Generally, pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4 (California Law), persons who have:
Fulfilled all of the conditions of probation for their full probation term, or
Have had their grant of probation modified and terminated as successful early, may at any time request that the court allow a change of plea from guilty to not guilty, or have their guilty verdict set aside (if convicted after a plea of not guilty) and have the accusation or information against them be dismissed.
To be eligible for this relief, the person cannot:
Currently be serving a sentence for any offense;
Be on probation for any offense; or
Have a pending charge for the commission of any offense.
Note: Certain offenses are excluded from relief under this law (Penal Code Section 1203.4(b)) (California Law).
If the court has dismissed the accusation pursuant to Penal Code Section 1203.4 (California Law), the person may file a petition with the court for a certificate of rehabilitation and pardon if they:
Have remained free from custody in prison, jail, a detention facility or other penal institution or agency since the dismissal of the accusatory pleading;
Are not currently on probation for the commission of any felony; and
Can provide evidence of 5* years residence in California prior to the filing of the petition (*exceptions are noted in Penal Code Section 4852.03) (California Law).
If the court approves the petition and a certificate of rehabilitation is ordered, a certified copy of the certificate is transmitted to the Governor and other appropriate parties, and serves as an application for a pardon and restoration of rights.