Seeking a Direct Pardon
You can apply for a direct pardon if you are not qualified to apply for a certificate of rehabilitation. A direct pardon is more commonly used by someone convicted of a crime in California but who now lives out of state.
A pardon does not necessarily expunge or seal your criminal record. It does not allow you to state that you have no record of a criminal conviction. It is more or less a “gesture of forgiveness” that restores certain of your rights.
Pardons are becoming very rare. To apply for a direct pardon, you can obtain an application from the Governor's Office. Due to the fact that direct pardons are rarely granted, you should hire a competent attorney.