EXPUNGE MARIJUANA CONVICTIONS AND ARRESTS
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Arizona Proposition 207 (also called the Smart and Safe Arizona Act) legalized recreational marijuana for adults over the age of 21. Under A.R.S. § 36-2862 certain marijuana convictions in Arizona may be expunged staring July 12, 2021. These are:
Possession, Consumption, or Transportation of Marijuana
Under the new statute, those who were convicted or charged with possessing, consuming, or transporting 2.5 ounces of marijuana (if in the form of marijuana concentrate, 12.5 grams) or less are eligible to petition for the expungement of any record of their arrest, charge, conviction, adjudication, and sentence.
Possession, Transportation, or Cultivation of Marijuana Plants
Those who were convicted or charged with possessing, transporting, cultivating, or processing no more than six marijuana plants at their primary residence for personal use are eligible to petition for the expungement of any record of their arrest, charge, conviction, adjudication, and sentence.
Possession, Use, or Transportation of Marijuana Paraphernalia
Those who were convicted or charged with possessing, using, or transporting paraphernalia relating to the cultivation, manufacture, processing, or consumption of marijuana are eligible to petition for the expungement of any record of their arrest, charge, conviction, adjudication, and sentence.
Benefits to Expungement
If you were convicted of a felony marijuana crime, you can apply for restoration of your civil rights, including the right to possess a firearm, vote, hold public office, serve as a juror, secure government-funded housing or loans, and obtain certain business and professional licenses. Even if you were only convicted of a misdemeanor drug crime, expungement can help you qualify for better housing or student loans, pass a criminal background check for employment, and improve your child custody situation. Expungement seals all the records of your arrest and conviction—which means only you and your attorney have access to those records. Not employers, not landlords, not the public. In this way, Prop 207 expungement can have a huge impact on those with prior marijuana convictions.
Starting on July 12, 2021, marijuana convictions and arrest records can be expunged by filing a petition for expungement with the appropriate court on or after that date. After you have filed, the court will give the prosecutor a 30-day notice to respond to your petition for expungement. If the prosecutor disputes your petition, you may be called to a hearing. At this hearing, the prosecutor will be required to produce clear and convincing evidence that you are not eligible for expungement. If the court grants your petition, it will issue a signed order stating that it has expunged all records of your arrest, charge, conviction, adjudication, and sentence. Your civil rights will be formally restored, your records will be sealed, and the appropriate agencies will be notified, including the Department of Public Safety, the prosecuting agency, and the arresting law enforcement agency. If the court denies your petition, you may file an appeal.
Marijuana Offenses that Cannot be Expunged
Only the offenses covered by Prop 207, and only charges brought by the State of Arizona can be expunged. If you were convicted of federal marijuana offenses, you cannot have your record expunged because marijuana is still considered a controlled substance by the federal government.
Other marijuana-related charges that currently may not be expunged include:
Driving under the influence of marijuana
Selling marijuana, marijuana plants, or marijuana-related products, such as edibles, outside of a licensed dispensary
Possessing more than 12 marijuana plants
Possessing, consuming, or transporting more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana
Possessing, consuming, or transporting more than 12.5 grams of marijuana concentrate