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San Bernardino County Public Defender staff assist individuals with becoming productive and positive members of the community by clearing criminal convictions. If the court grants post-conviction relief, the individual is released from all disabilities flowing from the conviction, thereby nullifying the effects of the conviction for most employment purposes. Although the petition does not remove the court records from public inspection, and it may not prevent the conviction from being used as a prior to increase punishment in case of a subsequent conviction, it may assist individuals with obtaining employment or registering for school. This is just one aspect of our holistic approach towards rehabilitation and reintegration in a way that benefits the community.

Conviction not in San Bernardino County?

Contact the Public Defender Office in the county in which the conviction occurred.

Call the Public Defender Post-Conviction Unit (909) 387-7050 or send them an email. 

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The Law Offices of the Public Defender, Riverside County’s “Fresh Start Program" is designed to give information about the various types of post-conviction relief available to clear your record for improved opportunities for employment, professional licensing or consumer credit.

If you've been convicted of a crime you may be eligible for relief. Some convictions can be modified on your record so that when you apply for most jobs, you can legally indicate that you were not convicted of that crime. Other convictions may be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor in certain situations. Also, Riverside County residents who have completed a term in prison may be eligible for a Certificate of Rehabilitation

A paralegal is available at the Riverside County Public Defender's Main Office located at 4075 Main Street, Suite 100, Riverside to assist you in getting the process started.  You can obtain the documents necessary to begin the process by clicking on the buttons on this page for the type of relief you are seeking.

To apply to Fresh Start: Download the application packet, fill out the application and financial statement as completely as possible and gather additional needed documentation such as letters of reference and certificates.  Email your filled-out application, financial declaration and additional documents to: FreshStart@RIVCO.ORG.

While email is our preferred form of communication, you may also mail or bring the completed packets into the Main Office.  You can also request a packet be mailed to you by making a request by email or by calling (951) 955-6072.

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