You may have heard of the Certificate of Discharge (COD) and the Certificate of Restoration of Opportunity (CROP). The names are somewhat similar and they both have to do with restoring your civil rights after completing a criminal sentence. But they are not the same thing.
What is a COD?
A COD is a court order showing that you have fulfilled the terms of your felony sentence. In some cases, you can have the court waive the remaining nonfinancial requirements of your sentence if you have a good reason for not completing them. Once you obtain your COD, you can vote and serve on a jury again. In some cases, the court will automatically issue your COD. But you might have to go to court to ask for it.
CROPs and professional licenses
On the other hand, A CROP goes further when it comes to restoring your rights. Having a CROP restores your eligibility for certain professional licenses, which can help you boost your career. However, it does not mean you will automatically get the license. Having a CROP means you cannot be denied a license solely because of a conviction on your record. If the licensing agency has another reason to turn you down, the law lets them do so. Also, those with certain felonies on their records, including all class A felonies and sex crimes, are ineligible for a CROP.
You don’t have to choose to pursue one or the other. But if you need either one, the process can be confusing if you aren’t familiar with it. An attorney who works in redemption law can improve your chances of success.