Claims for Erroneously Convicted Persons

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

CalVCB processes claims from persons seeking compensation as an erroneously convicted felon pursuant to California Penal Code sections 4900 through 4906. Relief under section 4900 is limited to claimants who, being innocent, were erroneously convicted and imprisoned because the charged crime either did not occur or was not committed by the claimant. (Pen. Code, § 4900, subd. (a).) A successful claim results in a recommendation to the Legislature to appropriate compensation in the amount of $140 per day of the claimant’s wrongful imprisonment. (Pen. Code, § 4904.)

To be eligible for consideration, the claimant must have been convicted of a felony under California law, for which a prison sentence was imposed, and the claimant must no longer be imprisoned for that offense. In addition, the claimant must timely submit a completed Erroneous Conviction Claim Form, with supporting documentation, within ten years after release from custody, dismissal of charges, judgment of acquittal, or pardon granted, whichever is later. The claim must be accompanied by a statement of facts, signed under penalty of perjury, showing that the claimant did not commit the underlying offense(s) for which they were convicted and imprisoned. (Pen. Code, § 4901; Cal. Code Regs., tit. 2, §§ 640, 642.)

Generally, the claimant must prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that they did not commit the crime that resulted in their incarceration and that they sustained injury as a result of their erroneous conviction. (Pen. Code, § 4900, subd. (a).) Injury is shown if the claimant would have been free but-for the erroneous conviction. The claimant is entitled to a hearing to prove both innocence and injury, at which the Attorney General may appear. (Pen. Code, § 4903, subd. (a).) Nonetheless, both of these elements are presumed, and a recommendation for compensation automatically mandated without a hearing and within 30 days, if a court has found the claimant to be factually innocent of the challenged conviction. (Pen. Code, §§ 851.865, 1485.55, 4902, subd. (a).) Alternatively, if the conviction was vacated by a grant of habeas relief or pursuant to Penal Code section 1473.6 or 1473.7, subd. (a)(2), a recommendation for compensation is required absent clear and convincing proof of the claimant’s guilt. (Pen. Code, §§ 4900, subd. (b), 4902, subd. (d), 4903, subd. (b).) Compensation is barred for any claimant who pled guilty with the specific intent to protect another from prosecution for the underlying conviction.

To submit a claim, access the link below to the Erroneously Convicted Person Claim Form, complete the form in its entirety, attach all supporting documentation, and return to CalVCB either by regular mail addressed to P.O. Box 350, Sacramento, CA 95812-0350, or by email addressed to A CalVCB representative will contact you once your submission has been received and considered.

Call 888-883-3593 for more information.

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