Arizonans came together and overwhelmingly voted to pass Proposition 207, which legalized the recreational use, possession, and simple cultivation of marijuana. Previously, the only legal use of marijuana was for those with a medical purpose. Anyone who did not have a valid medical marijuana card was not within the law for possessing, using, or growing marijuana. Due to this, many individuals in Arizona were arrested for marijuana crimes that didn’t seem to match the punishment.
Sadly, due to Arizona’s previously harsh penalties and drug laws, many individuals are currently in prison or are dealing with the repercussion of being convicted of a drug charge. However, due to the passing of Prop 207, many of these people are eligible for an expungement of their convictions and charges.
When Does Proposition 207 Go Into Effect?
Arizona Proposition 207, also called the Smart and Safe Act, is well known for legalizing recreational usage of marijuana. Still, most Arizonans don’t know that all aspects of it are not yet in effect. In fact, due to flaws in the proposition, elements of it, such as buying marijuana and when do expungements begin, are months away from going into effect.
Currently, Arizona courts are not hearing or accepting Petitions for Expungement of marijuana-related convictions and charges. The courts are preparing for the influx of petitions they will receive and have set July 12, 2021, as the day that they will begin.
If you have been charged or convicted of a marijuana crime, use the time leading up until July to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to prepare your petition.
What is a Drug Crime Expungement?
To expunge means to erase or remove altogether, and in law, expungement is the process by which the record of a criminal conviction is destroyed or sealed. Once an expungement has been granted, a conviction is treated as if it had never occurred.
So, suppose you have been convicted of a marijuana crime that fits specific criteria. In that case, you may be eligible to have your conviction expunged and removed from public record by having your lawyer submit a Petition for Expungement. Once a court grants your Petition for Expungement, the following will occur:
- The expungement will vacate an adult conviction or juvenile adjudications
- Expungement of the arrest, charge, conviction, adjudication, and sentence
- Restoration of all civil rights lost due to the conviction (including firearms rights)
- All records relating to the arrest, charge, adjudication, conviction, and sentence are sealed
- If you are ever asked if you have been arrested for the drug crime, you can lawfully deny that it occurred
Who is Eligible for Marijuana Charges Expungement?
Thanks to Prop 207, people in Arizona can have their marijuana charges expunged if their convictions involve one of the following:
- Possessing, consuming, or transporting less than 2.5 ounces of marijuana and contains no more than 12.5 grams of marijuana concentrate
- Possessing, transporting, cultivating, or processing less than six marijuana plants at your home for personal use
- Possessing, using, or transporting paraphernalia used for the cultivation, manufacturing, processing, or consumption of marijuana
Suppose you are convicted of a marijuana crime that does not match the criteria above. In that case, there is still a chance that an experienced drug law lawyer can get you a reduction in charges or even an expungement. If you have been charged with a drug crime in Arizona, contact JacksonWhite Law today to schedule your case review.
Can a Crime Be Expunged if I Haven’t Been Convicted Yet?
Due to COVID-19, Arizona’s courts are backed up, and if you were charged with one of the marijuana crimes listed above before Prop 207 was passed, your charges could be dropped or expunged. Prosecuting agencies across the state are currently working to determine which cases are eligible for dismissal. If you have not been contacted, it does not mean you do not qualify for an expungement.
If you have been charged with a marijuana crime, an experienced criminal defense attorney can assist you with your case and help you get the charges dropped and receive an expungement. Expungements will begin to be processed on July 12, 2021, and the sooner your attorney submits a Petition for Expungement, the sooner your record will go away.
Get Help With An Expungement
Getting a marijuana charge or conviction expunged from your record can significantly improve your life and help you find better work and better housing. If you were previously convicted of a marijuana crime or are currently awaiting a court date for a marijuana charge, JacksonWhite’s criminal defense attorneys are here to help. Our team has years of experience representing clients in need, and we can assist you in seeking an expungement.
If you were charged with a marijuana crime and need an experienced criminal defense attorney to assist you with your case, we’re here to help! Call the JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to schedule a free case review today.
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