Overview – Start Here

 Summary of California Relief Mechanisms

California offers a variety of routes to restoration of rights, depending on the particular type of conviction or disposition, the individual circumstances (including residence) and the reasons for seeking relief, which are all listed below.

1203.3
Early termination of probation should be granted relief in the interest of justice.

Who is Not Eligible?
A person is not eligible for a record clearance of this type if any of the following conditions exists:

  • The person has not complied with the terms and conditions set forth by the court i.e. completed classes, community labor or community service.
  • The person was arrested and convicted of a crime while on probation.
  • Probation for the current application was revoked and not later reinstated.
    Penal Code 17(b), 1203.3, 1203.4a, 1203.41, 1203.43, 1203.49 Petition Information and Instruction Sheet
    Revised March 2017
  • The person has failed to appear or failed to pay fines to the Department of Motor
    Vehicles., or to the Department of Revenue Recovery.
    Violation of Sections 2800, 2801, or 2803 of the California Vehicle Code.
    Certain convictions are not eligible for dismissal.
  • This includes any misdemeanor that is within the provisions of VC 42001(b); or any violation of the following: PC 286(c);
    PC 288; PC 288a(c); PC 288.5; PC 289(j)

Get the form.

17(b)

This selection is about the reduction to a misdemeanor,

(b) When a crime is punishable, in the discretion of the court, either by imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by fine or imprisonment in the county jail, it is a misdemeanor for all purposes under the following circumstances:

(1) After a judgment imposing a punishment other than imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170.

(2) When the court, upon committing the defendant to the Division of Juvenile Justice, designates the offense to be a misdemeanor.

(3) When the court grants probation to a defendant without imposition of sentence and at the time of granting probation, or on application of the defendant or probation officer thereafter, the court declares the offense to be a misdemeanor.

(4) When the prosecuting attorney files in a court having jurisdiction over misdemeanor offenses a complaint specifying that the offense is a misdemeanor, unless the defendant at the time of his or her arraignment or plea objects to the offense being made a misdemeanor, in which event the complaint shall be amended to charge the felony and the case shall proceed on the felony complaint.

(5) When, at or before the preliminary examination or prior to filing an order pursuant to Section 872, the magistrate determines that the offense is a misdemeanor, in which event the case shall proceed as if the defendant had been arraigned on a misdemeanor complaint.

(c) When a defendant is committed to the Division of Juvenile Justice for a crime punishable, in the discretion of the court, either by imprisonment in the state prison or imprisonment in a county jail under the provisions of subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by fine or imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year, the offense shall, upon the discharge of the defendant from the Division of Juvenile Justice, thereafter be deemed a misdemeanor for all purposes.

(d) A violation of any code section listed in Section 19.8 is an infraction subject to the procedures described in Sections 19.6 and 19.7 when:

(1) The prosecutor files a complaint charging the offense as an infraction unless the defendant, at the time he or she is arraigned, after being informed of his or her rights, elects to have the case proceed as a misdemeanor, or;

(2) The court, with the consent of the defendant, determines that the offense is an infraction in which event the case shall proceed as if the defendant had been arraigned on an infraction complaint.

(e) Nothing in this section authorizes a judge to relieve a defendant of the duty to register as a sex offender pursuant to Section 290 if the defendant is charged with an offense for which registration as a sex offender is required pursuant to Section 290, and for which the trier of fact has found the defendant guilty.

These are the legal motions provided by the California Superior Court.

Here’s a list of Petition Information and Instruction Sheet. Click here for detailed information.

Penal Code § 1203.4 –
Successful Completion of Probation

  • After successful completion or early termination of probation, you may petition the court to
    dismiss the charges under Penal Code §1203.4. To be eligible for consideration pursuant to
    PC § 1203.4, you must not be:
  • Serving a sentence for any offense.
  • Be on probation for any offense.
  • Be charged with the commission of any offense.
  • (You may petition the court for an early termination of probation by filing a Petition
    for Modification of Sentence. The judge, in the interest of justice, may grant an
    early termination of probation).

Penal Code § 1203.4a,and § 1203.41 – Not Placed on Probation.

If you were not placed on probation and more than one year has elapsed since the date of
pronouncement of judgment, you may petition the court to dismiss the charges under Penal
Code §1203.4a. To be eligible for consideration pursuant to PC §1203.4a:

  • Did not serve a prison term on this case.
  • Must have complied with the court sentence
  • Must not now be serving a sentence

What Will Be The Effect of Having The Petition Granted?

The most common reason for obtaining relief pursuant to PC1203.4/1203.4a is to allow the
previously-convicted person to state on non-governmental employment applications that they have not been convicted of a felony. However, the record of conviction continues to exist and continues to have certain effects.

A clearance of this type does not eliminate all possible adverse consequences or release a person from all “penalties and disabilities” resulting from the charges in the case:
Penal Code 17(b), 1203.3, 1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.41, 1203.43, 1203.49 (Petition Information and Instruction Sheet (Revised March 2017)
 Information relating to the case may be available to others when the release of
such information is authorized by law.
 A dismissal pursuant to PC 1203.4/1203.4a does not relieve you from the obligation to
disclose the conviction in response to any direct question contained in any questionnaire
or application for public office, for licensure by any state or local agency, or for
contracting with the California State Lottery, but allows you to indicate “no” on most
employment applications that ask whether you have been convicted of a crime.
 A dismissal pursuant to PC 1203.4/1203.4a will not keep the conviction from being
used against a person as a prior conviction in any future criminal proceedings, such
as for enhancing a prison sentence.
 A dismissal pursuant to PC 1203.4/1203.4a will not avoid suspension of one’s driving
privilege as set forth in Section 13555 of the Vehicle Code. Granting of the Petition
does not affect Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) actions or future consequences
for crimes involving operation of a motor vehicle.
 A dismissal pursuant to PC 1203.4/1203.4a will not permit the person convicted to own,
possess, or have in their custody or control a firearm, and will not prevent a person from
being convicted under Section 12021 of the Penal Code (person prohibited from
possessing a firearm) in the future.
 Granting of the Petition does not relieve you from any obligation to register under Penal
Code §290.
 Granting of the Petition does not seal your record, destroy or remove any entries
from the court, law enforcement, Department of Justice or DMV. The case,
including the conviction will remain public record.

Filing Requirements

At the time of filing the petition, you must provide the Court with:
An original Petition for Dismissal (Form No. CR-180)  Declaration Form No.MC-030 CR-181)  CRIM 196), if applicable, and five (5) copies of each. The CR-9 is only used for 1203.3/17PC requests or for 1203.4 PC requests if the case is still on probation.

  • An original Petition for Dismissal (Form No. CR-180) and five (5) copies of eachAn original Order for Dismissal (Form No. CR-181) and five (5) copies of each.
    Distribution of the copies is as follows:
  • Original for the Court
  • One copy for Probation
  • One copy for the District Attorney
    Penal Code 17(b), 1203.3, 1203.4a, 1203.41, 1203.43, 1203.49 Petition Information and Instruction Sheet
    Revised March 2017
  • One copy for petitioner/filer
  • One copy for petitioner with a self addressed stamped envelope* for return by U.S. mail
  • One copy for file
  • All documents must be two-hole punched at the top.
  • The Court will forward the copies of documents to the appropriate agencies.
    *To receive a copy of the petition by U.S. Mail after it has been ruled upon, you must
    submit a self-addressed stamped envelope. Failure to do so will equate to a $25
    certification charge plus a copy fee of $.50 per page if a copy is requested at a later
    date.

    Is There a Filing Fee?

    There is no “filing” fee. However, the Court will impose a non-refundable administrative
    processing cost, payable at the time the petition is submitted to the court. This cost is charged per petition, regardless of the outcome of the petition(s).
     If no probation was given at the time of your sentence, the cost is $60.
     If a probation term was given at the time of your sentence, the cost is $120.
     There is no cost when filing a PC 17(B) or a PC 1203.3 petition only.
    If you believe you do not have the ability to pay the cost associated with your petition,
    you may complete and submit a “Sacramento Court Financial Declaration” form with your petition. Your ability to pay will be determined by a judge, based on the information you provide. Your petition will not be reviewed until any costs ordered by the Judge have been paid.

Is My Appearance Necessary?

Your appearance at the hearing depends on the type of case:
 For misdemeanor cases only, no appearance is necessary. These hearings are conducted ex parte with a “Rule By Date” on or before 90 days from date of filing.
For felony cases, you must appear. The hearing will be on a date ninety (90) days from the date of filing.
 If filing both felony and misdemeanor cases simultaneously, all cases follow the felony path.

Upon Granting the Petition, the Court Will Order That:

 The conviction be set aside;
 A plea of not guilty be entered; and
 The case be dismissed pursuant to the applicable Penal Code (1203.4, 1203.4a, 1203.49, 1203.41 or 1203.43 ).

Checking the Status of Your Petition

You may Check the Status of Your Petition on the web seven (7) court days after the “Rule By Date” noted on the petition (or the Hearing Date for felony cases).
 If your petition is denied, you may refer to the Local Rules of Court to obtain information about how to how to request a hearing.
 If you provided a self-addressed stamped envelope at the time the petition was filed, a copy will be mailed to you within seven (7) court days of the court’s decision.

Forms
You may obtain forms at the end of this document. Other General Judicial Council forms are available on the web at http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm

For Department of Justice Information, contact the Records Review section at (916) 227-3849, or on the web at http://ag.ca.gov/fingerprints

or simply call Michelle at 661.418.8361.