Merced County California

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Certificate of Rehabilitation and Pardon
Certificate of Rehabilitation
    A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court order declaring that a person convicted of a crime is now rehabilitated.  Generally, any person convicted of a felony who still resides in California may apply to the Superior Court in the county where he or she lives for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, provided that the applicant meet the legal requirements of demonstrated rehabilitation.  There are special rules that apply to individuals convicted of sex offense.  

    An application for a Certificate of Rehabilitation can usually be obtained from the court clerk, probation department, or public defender's office.  

    The Merced County Public Defender's Office has the forms for the Certificate of Rehabilitation and will draft and file the Petition with the Court for no charge.    If the Petitioner's prior prison record is out of county the petitioner should have a copy of his/her rap sheet which can be obtained from any livescan location. 

    If the Court issues/grants a Certificate of Rehabilitaion, the certificate is forwarded to the Governor's Office in Sacramento where it automatically becomes an application for a pardon.  The Governor's receipt of a Certificate of Rehabilitation does not guarantee that a pardon will be granted.

Traditional Pardon
The traditional pardon procedure is available to people who are ineligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation.  This procedure is used primarily by people who were convicted of a crime in California and now reside outside the state.  The traditional pardon procedure is also available to people who are not eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation because they have been convicted of specified sex offenses or misdemeanor offenses.  

    Applicants for a traditional pardon may obtain the application either by accessing the Governor's website at www.gov.ca.gov, or by requesting an application in writing at the following address:

                                        Governor's Office 
                                        State Capitol
                                        Attention: Legal Affairs
                                        Sacramento, CA 95814

    
The applicant should first complete the Application for Executive Clemency.  Then the applicant must send the Notice of Intent to apply for Executive Clemency to the District Attorney of each county in which the applicant was convicted so that each District Attorney receives the legally-required notice.  The District Attorney acknowledges receipt of the Notice of Intent and returns the notice to the Governor's Office.  Finally, the applicant should return the completed application to the Governor's Office at the address listed above.


Merced County 2222 M Street Merced, CA 9543 Ph. (209) 385-7434 Toll Free (800) 226-6452