The Certificate of Rehabilitation

The Certificate of Rehabilitation, when granted, precludes a New Jersey licensing authority from discriminating against any applicant on the grounds of the previous conviction. The professional licenses that we refer to can include (to name just a few) licenses to become a real estate broker, a driving instructor, a cosmetologist, a taxi cab driver, a jockey, and a psychologist.

The New Jersey statutes that govern the Certificate of Rehabilitation begin at N.J.S. 2A:168A-1. The Certificate of Rehabilitation can be granted by the judge at the time of sentencing, when the sentence is non-custodial. It can also be granted by a supervising authority following sentencing. “Supervising authority” means the New Jersey State Parole Board where a sentence included imprisonment; or the Probation Department, where the sentence included probation.

Certificates of Rehabilitation are not expungements. Following the grant of a Certificate of Rehabilitation, all original court records remain. They are, however, presumptive evidence of rehabilitation. Private employers can afford as much (or as little) weight as they want to Certificates of Rehabilitation.

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