What is Post-Conviction Relief?

post-conviction relief

A criminal conviction is a common reason many California licensing boards deny a professional license application or file an accusation against a current license. You need an experienced license defense attorney on your side to clean up your past records and fight the accusations against your current license. Post-conviction relief is your solution to unlocking your current and future career. This process includes, but is not limited to, expungements, early termination of probation, and a certificate of rehabilitation. 


Also known as a petition for dismissal, an expungement is the process of dismissing your criminal conviction. This begins with a review of your Department of Justice report, aka your RAP sheet.  Then, your license defense attorney will file a petition for dismissal with the court. If the petition is granted, your original guilty plea will be withdrawn and your case will be dismissed. You will no longer have a criminal conviction on your record. 

It’s important to remember that even if your conviction was expunged, you must still disclose this with your professional licensing board. On your initial application, you should provide the conviction you received and explain that it was expunged. Because this process can also be complicated, you should consult with a license defense attorney on submitting your application as well. 

Related Article: Case Study: Expunging Criminal Records and Obtaining RN License

Early Termination and Reduced Felony Convictions

Another aspect of post-conviction relief is early termination of probation and reducing a felony conviction. After you have completed approximately 50% of your probation imposed by the criminal conviction you have the option to file a petition for early termination of your probation. Since you must be off of criminal probation in order to expunge your matter you will need to file the petition for early termination of probation to move forward.

Additionally, if your original conviction was a felony that required no jail time, you can also file a petition to reduce that charge to a misdemeanor. This will benefit you when reapplying for your professional license because your previous conviction will be considered a minor wrongdoing instead of a serious crime.

Certificate of Rehabilitation

The final aspect of post-conviction relief is a certificate of rehabilitation. This process involves clearing your record by demonstrating you have rehabilitated from your previous criminal conviction and received a pardon by a judge. Unlike expungements, this process does not erase your criminal record. However, receiving this will increase your chances of getting approved for a job and professional license. On your application, you can clearly show the board or employer that you are a reliable and trustworthy member of the community.

Related Article: Effects of DUI Convictions on California Licensed Professionals

A certificate of rehabilitation is eligible for people who received a conviction and who have been rehabilitated for 2-5 years since their charge, were sentenced to probation and have had an expunged conviction, or served jail time. A license defense lawyer like those at Unlock Legal can file this certificate for you with the Superior Court and help you unlock your career. 

Contact Unlock Legal

Were you previously convicted of a crime? Contact us to learn more about our post-conviction relief services

Each year, there are over 250,000 felony arrests in California. 

We are experienced attorneys in all aspects of record clearance and post-conviction relief. We will work tirelessly to help you get the best outcome possible for your case.

Unlock Legal provides focused representation in criminal defense and license defense for California professionals. Contact Unlock Legal today or give us a call at 949-988-4444 to speak with a professional about your case and your unique needs. You’ll find we are compassionate, easy to talk to, and willing to help in any capacity we can.

Request a free consultation

"*" indicates required fields

Last Name*
Are you currently under investigation by your licensing board?*
Are any disciplinary proceedings pending from your licensing board?*
Does your case involve any arrest or criminal conviction?*
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Search through our posts...