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. After waiting months since the proposition passed, Arizonans are now able to file Petitions for Expungement of marijuana-related convictions and charges as of July 12, 2021.
If you have been charged or convicted of a marijuana crime, it is recommended that you work with an experienced criminal defense attorney to ensure that your petition is prepared properly, as well as to prepare for your hearing.
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?
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.
2023 Update: Get Your Record Sealed
As of January 1, 2023, individuals that have been arrested, convicted or sentenced in the State of Arizona may petition the courts to seal their records.
Following the enactment of A.R.S § 13.911, you may be eligible to seal your arrest record. Due to this groundbreaking new law, when an individual has their criminal record sealed, the records relating to the crime are hidden from public records, and no one may view the contents without a court order.
When a record is sealed, employers, landlords, and schools that run a background check will not come up with any record of your criminal conduct.
We may be able to help you if you were:
- Convicted of a criminal offense and has completed all of the terms and conditions of the sentence imposed by the court, including the payment of all monetary obligations and restitution to all victims.
- Charged with a criminal offense and the charge was subsequently dismissed or resulted in a not guilty verdict at a trial.
- Arrested for a criminal offense and no charges were filed.
All case records that are sealed pursuant to this section may be:
- Alleged as an element of an offense.
- Used as a historical prior felony conviction.
- Admissible for impeaching any party or witness in a subsequent trial.
- Used to enhance the sentence for a subsequent felony.
- Used to enhance the sentence pursuant to sections 28-1381 and 28-1382.
- Pleaded and proved in any subsequent prosecution of the person by this state or a political subdivision of this state.
- Used as a conviction if the conviction would be admissible if the conviction was not sealed.
If you are unsure whether or not you meet the criteria to have your record sealed, contact the criminal defense team at JacksonWhite. Our criminal defense team has years of experience defending their clients’ rights, and they offer free case reviews to answer any questions you may have.
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.