Have you been convicted of marijuana-related charges in California? Have you suffered from the consequences brought about by the criminal records that continue to haunt you? This good news might uplift your spirits. Even better, our Upland criminal defense attorneys can advise you on how this new law works and ensure you get full advantage of it.
Hailed by supporters as an opportunity for individuals get back to their normal lives, a new California legislation will certainly make it less complicated for individuals with previous marijuana convictions to get their records expunged entirely, or their sentences dramatically reduced.
Assembly Bill 1793-passed by an overwhelming majority in the California state Legislature as well as signed right int law Sunday evening by Gov. Jerry Brown will certainly simplify a formerly laborious procedure that made it challenging for locals with a previous marijuana-related sentence} to clear their names.
“This is transformative,” stated Rodney Holcombe of the Drug Policy Alliance, a nationwide organization, based in New York, that supports for human-rights driven drug policies. “This creates an opportunity for people reclaim their lives.”
California is not the very first state to retroactively permit those with marijuana convictions an opportunity to lower entirely eliminate their past; that distinction goes to Oregon, which legalized recreational weed in 2014. Colorado, Maryland, Massachusetts as well as New Hampshire, plus the cities of San Francisco, Seattle and also San Diego, have legislations comparable} to Oregon, where people found guilty of some marijuana-related criminal activities — like possession, cultivation, or production– can work to obtain their records sealed or expunged.
However, California is the very first state to automate the system, which legislators, as well as bill advocates wish, will certainly be a game-changer for countless residents that have actually restricted accessibility to student loans, housing, as well as jobs, because of their convictions.. The Judicial Council of California state, sat the very least, 218,000 residents would certainly gain from new legislation.
The action is California’s most recent initiative to assist those with marijuana charges go on with their lives. Two years back, Californians passed Proposition 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and above and also permitted those with criminal convictions petition to have their records erased. However, the process was time-consuming and complicated, requiring individuals to petition the courts to lower their sentence for previous convictions when marijuana was prohibited. It can likewise be a costly procedure, with expenses covering court fees, employing an attorney to walk individuals through paragraphs of complex legal jargon, as well as time spent away from work and homes.
The Drug Policy Alliance attempts to enlighten the general public on what it calls “collateral consequences,” the adverse effects that come from an often decades-old conviction, Holcombe claimed. Those collateral consequences can consist of not having the ability to get student loans, access to meaningful jobs or great housing, to name a few concerns.
Under the new legislation, the state will certainly do the job to clean up individuals’ records– even if they really did not understand they were qualified. Some people will be able to totally clear their record, while others will see their criminal offenses considerably reduced. Possession with the intent to sell, for instance, will now be reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.
Beginning January 1, 2019, the Department of Justice has seven months to assess all cannabis cases and also send out possible petitions to county district attorneys. DAs will have one year to challenge or approve the petition to change residents’ marijuana-related convictions. Top priority will be given to those presently serving time.
Support for legalizing marijuana has actually grown continuously over the last two decades in America. According to the Pew Research Center, just} 31 percent of adults in 2000 believed it needs to be legal. Currently, that number is 61 percent.
In spite of opposition, Holcombe and the DPA are optimistic that if California’s landmark law succeeds, various other states might take the same steps.
“My hope is that this momentum can continue, and we can use California as a guide on how to move forward.”
Talk to our Upland criminal defense attorneys on how to clear your records of marijuana possession convictions. Let us help you move forward to a better life.