What Is a Certificate of Rehabilitation?

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It’s no secret that a criminal conviction can have a serious impact on your life. In fact, a criminal record can affect everything from your employment prospects to your ability to obtain certain professional licenses. In other words: a criminal record is definitely something to avoid. However, if you’ve already been convicted of a crime, there are steps you can take that may reduce the negative impact that it can have on your life. One such step is to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation, which is a court order that essentially states you’ve been a model citizen since your conviction.

Benefits of a Certificate of Rehabilitation

A Certificate of Rehabilitation signifies that you’ve been rehabilitated, and it provides the following benefits:

  • It serves as an automatic application for a governor’s pardon.
  • It precludes state licensing boards from automatically denying you professional licenses.
  • It can eliminate the requirement to register as a sex offender under certain circumstances.
  • It can open up job opportunities for you by demonstrating to potential employers that you’ve been rehabilitated.

Can a Certificate of Rehabilitation “erase” your criminal record?

Unfortunately, a Certificate of Rehabilitation cannot erase your criminal record. In other words, even if you obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation, your conviction will still appear on criminal background checks, and you will have to supply potential employers with this information if they ask. In addition, your past criminal conviction will still be taken into account if you’re charged with a new offense, and this can affect sentencing if you’re convicted. However, methods do exist that enable convicted criminals to clear their records, and you should discuss this topic with an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney for details.

How can I obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation?

The best way to obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation in San Diego is to obtain the services of an experienced San Diego criminal defense attorney. At the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, in addition to helping you obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation, we can pursue various other forms of post-conviction relief on your behalf.

San Diego Criminal Defense Lawyers

Due to the potential consequences involved, it is important that anyone charged with a crime in San Diego, California, seek the guidance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. In addition, those who’ve already been convicted of a crime should contact an attorney to discuss their options. At the Law Offices of Kerry L. Armstrong, our experienced criminal defense attorneys provide all of our clients with expert legal guidance in order to achieve the most favorable results possible. The talent and experience of our San Diego, California, attorneys ensure that our clients’ cases are handled expertly and with the utmost care. If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges in California or would like to pursue a Certificate of Rehabilitation, please contact us immediately for a free consultation.

Author Photo

Kerry L. Armstrong


Attorney Kerry Armstrong opened up his law firm in June 2007. Mr. Armstrong attended Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego, California, and received his B.S. from Middle Tennessee State University. Kerry L. Armstrong became certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization for criminal law in August 2020, making him one of the few criminal defense attorneys with a criminal law legal specialization certificate in San Diego County.  Between 2014 – 2019, Mr. Armstrong was selected for inclusion in the California Super Lawyers list, an honor only awarded to 5% of the nation’s attorneys.

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