Certificates Of Rehabilitation—Period Of Rehabilitation

The period of rehabilitation is five years residence in California PLUS a period of time (for most, +2 years, but there are exceptions listed below). To figure out your period of rehabilitation, you add the base term of 5 years plus an additional amount of time based on your conviction offense:[3332]

    Base 5 years + 2 years = 7 years if your conviction was for:
    California Penal Code sections 311.2(b), (c), or (d), 311.3, 311.10, or 314;
    Any offense not listed here that does NOT carry a life sentence.
    Base 5 years + 4 years = 9 years if your conviction was for:
    California Penal Code sections 187, 209, 219, 4500, or 18755;
    Military & Veterans Code section 1672(a); or
    Any other offense that carries a life sentence;
    Base 5 + 5 years = 10 years if your conviction was for:
    Any offense that requires you to register as a Sex Offender under California Penal Code section 290 (including any conviction for an attempted offense);
    Exception: If your conviction was for sections 311.2(b), (c), or (d), 311.3, 311.10, 314, you only need to wait 7 years (see above).

In addition to the above requirements, you must have completed any term of probation or parole that was part of your sentence or was a condition of your release. HOWEVER, the time you spend on probation or parole counts toward your total “period of rehabilitation.”

NOTE: If you served consecutive prison terms, the judge may think that you should wait for a longer period of rehabilitation. If this happens, the judge will deny your COR the first time you apply, and will tell you how much additional time you must wait before you can re-apply.[3333]

NOTE: It is possible to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation before the end of your period of rehabilitation. You must convince the judge that granting your Certificate of Rehabilitation early serves the “interests of justice.”[3334] In other words, you’d better have a really good reason why you should get a COR early. The judge may consider your good conduct, rehabilitation efforts, and how important getting a COR is to your success in the future. (This option is not available to you if you are required to register as a sex offender under California Penal Code section 290.)

  1. 3332

    Cal. Penal Code § 4852.03(a).

  2. 3333

    Cal. Penal Code § 4852.03(a)(4). See also People v. Blocker, 190 Cal. App. 4th 438 (2010) (Refusal to admit guilt of the underlying crime can be a reason for a court to deny a certificate of rehabilitation).

  3. 3334

    Cal. Penal Code § 4852.22.