Only 35% of those who apply for the California Bar pass the moral character assessment due to previous criminal activity, dishonesty or indiscretions. These actions can have major impacts on an individual’s livelihood and life. In the case of a crime, the judge may order these individuals to pay fines or go to jail.
However, California allows these professionals to apply for a Certificate of Rehabilitation to regain their licenses. These are ways to show rehabilitation.
Many times, a crime harms an individual or organization. The accused or convicted professional needs to acknowledge the crime and try to make amends.
Actions, not words, are often necessary to prove rehabilitation. If the individual cannot make amends directly to those who experienced harm, he or she can volunteer or commit other good acts to recompense for past wrongs. However, pro bono work is not considered rehabilitation because it is a requirement for attorneys in California.
When the judge orders punishment, whether it is jail time, fines, parole or probation, or completing a treatment program, the accused needs to complete the order without argument, complaint or delay. In addition, this individual should receive an exemplary record.
Friends, family, coworkers and those you volunteer with should recognize a change in the person completing the moral character application. Therefore, this individual should gather statements from them. However, parole officers or police officers can also provide statements. However, the accused should only gather statements from individuals who have actually witnessed his or her growth and changes.
Rehabilitation takes significant effort. The extent and seriousness of the criminal activity can impact this decision. However, eligibility for expungement or a governor’s pardon can help prove rehabilitation.