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Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Expunging Marijuana Convictions In California

Assembly Bill 1793
Last November, we covered an important topic relevant to many Californians, especially those with marijuana convictions on their record. Proposition 64 didn’t just give adults permission to buy and smoke pot, it also allows for expunging criminal charges for cannabis possession. Packed into the complicated bill is recourse for people whose lives are made difficult due to a cannabis conviction; for instance, many people are unable to get the jobs they want or apply for the apartment they desire. Such restrictions should no longer be a problem thanks to legalization. However, the process of wiping a person’s record clean is not straightforward.

The Drug Policy Alliance says that more than million Californians can erase their cannabis conviction under Prop 64, Leafly reports. Unfortunately, few people have filed petitions to start the process; somewhere around 5,000 Californians have done so according to court records. You’d likely think that more people would have taken steps to clear their record by now, right? Well, it turns out that not many individuals understand that they can reduce or expunge their conviction.

As a result, local officials and state lawmakers are doing what they can to get the word out and are taking steps to simplify the process which could save people lots of money.


Assembly Bill 1793

As it stands right now, those interested in wiping the slate clean need to navigate a complicated process. It isn’t like the court is going to go out of its way to clear your record. Those interested in a fresh start need to fill out a lot of paperwork and appear in court. In fact, it could require possibly several court appearances, according to the article. What’s more, if documents are not filled out correctly, then it can result in just reducing one’s charges, even though a person is eligible for expunging their record.

Understanding laws and your rights is vital. It’s now apparent that tens of thousands of Californians don’t fully grasp Prop 64 and what needs to happen to expunge your record. Naturally, most people have a hard time justifying spending a lot of money on a private attorney to navigate the process in the right manner. With that in mind, Assemblyman Rob Bonta put forward Assembly Bill 1793, which would put the responsibility of expungement on the courts, the article reports. Approval of AB 1793 would force the courts to reduce or expunge all relevant criminal marijuana convictions; Californians would no longer have to fill out paperwork, hire lawyers, or go to court.

“This bill does not create any new substantive right,” says Bonta. “It simply is a practical approach to speeding up and making more efficient a right that already exists.” 

We will continue to follow this helpful piece of legislation and update you in the future.


Criminal Defense Attorney

If you, or loved ones, are facing criminal charges, the Law Office of Ronald G. Brower can help. Attorney Brower has over thirty years of experience across the state of California. Please contact us today.

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