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Name: People v. Zeigler
Case #: H036573
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 6 DCA
Opinion Date: 11/30/2012

In considering an application for a certificate of rehabilitation pursuant to Penal Code section 4852.01 et seq., the underlying conduct of an offense dismissed pursuant to Penal Code section 1210.1 is to be considered. Appellant petitioned for a certificate of rehabilitation for two prior drug convictions, one in 1989 and one in 2000. Over the prosecution’s objection, the trial court ruled that it had no discretion to consider evidence of the conduct underlying appellant’s 2007 drug offense for which he was granted and successfully completed Proposition 36 probation, and granted the certificate. Reversed. Section 4852.01 et seq. gives the court discretion to decide whether a petitioner has demonstrated, by his conduct during the specified time, his fitness to exercise all of the civil and political rights of citizenship. The decision whether to grant relief is discretionary and the court may deny a petition if it determines that petitioner has violated any laws during the rehabilitation period. Penal Code section 1210.1 provides that a record of arrest or conviction for a drug offense for a defendant who has successfully completed Proposition 36 probation can not be used in any way that could result in the denial of a certificate, including one for rehabilitation. In this case, the court found that although the plain language of section 1210.1, subdivision (d) limits the use of evidence of an arrest and conviction of the nonviolent drug offense, it does not bar consideration of evidence of the underlying conduct of the Proposition 36 offense for purposes of section 4852.01 et. seq. The trial court’s mistaken understanding as to its scope of discretion in considering the conduct of petitioner’s 2007 Proposition 36 offense resulted in an abuse of discretion. Accordingly, the granting of the certificate was reversed and remanded for further proceedings on the petition for a certificate of rehabilitation.