Claims for Erroneously Convicted Persons

Claims for Erroneously Convicted Persons (Pen. Code §§ 4900, et seq.)

California Penal Code sections 4900 through 4906 require that CalVCB process claims of persons who claim to be erroneously convicted of felonies. The Erroneously Convicted Person statutes originated in 1913. Prior to 2000, compensation was capped at $10,000. In 2000, the law was amended to allow compensation of $100 for each day served in prison after the conviction with no maximum amount. In 2016, the law was again amended to change the compensation rate to $140 per day for each day of incarceration served, including pre-conviction time spent in custody.

To file an Erroneous Conviction Claim, a claimant must fill out the Erroneously Convicted Person Claim Form and submit it to CalVCB within ten years after judgment of acquittal, dismissal of charges, after a pardon granted or after release from imprisonment.

Unlike the burden of proof for criminal cases, where the prosecutor must prove a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, a claimant who applies for compensation must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that they did not commit the crime that resulted in their incarceration. A preponderance of evidence means that, based on the evidence the claimant presents, it is more likely than not the claimant is innocent. To prevail, the claimant must also prove by a preponderance of evidence that they sustained injury, meaning the claimant would not have been confined in custody but for the erroneous conviction. Compensation is barred for any claimant who pled guilty with the specific intent to protect another from prosecution for the underlying conviction.

Past Penal Code section 4900 decisions adopted by the Board are available upon request.
Call 888-883-3593 for more information.

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