Posted on September 14, 2021 in Arizona Law
Prop 207 made the recreational use of marijuana legal in Arizona for adults over the age of 21. However, recreational marijuana use was previously illegal. Accordingly, numerous citizens still have criminal records related to the use or possession of marijuana. You may be one of them.
That recreational use of marijuana is now legal may not prevent you from facing the consequences of a prior conviction. For example, a potential employer may learn of your conviction after a background check and decline to hire you.
It’s essential to know that you have options. Prop 207 allows Arizona residents who were previously convicted of, arrested for, or charged with marijuana-related crimes to petition for their records to be expunged. This guide will explain how.
It’s been possible to have information regarding a marijuana crime “set aside” on your criminal record for some time now. However, this is not the same as expungement. Having a record set aside means your record will show that you have fulfilled your sentence and probation terms. It does not remove information about a conviction from the public record.
Expungement is different. When a criminal record is expunged, it is destroyed or sealed. If your criminal record is expunged, it’s as if your conviction never happened.
Expungement has typically been used in juvenile cases. That said, expungement is also sometimes an option when a state makes significant changes to its criminal laws.
Not all marijuana records are eligible for expungement. Only the following crimes are eligible for expungement:
If you’re not sure whether your record is eligible for expungement, discuss your case with an Arizona drug crimes attorney. They can determine if you are entitled to petition for expungement and assist you throughout the process.
You can find the forms related to the petition for expungement here. The forms also offer court instructions to help you determine where to file them. Your attorney can help you fill out the forms and file them with the appropriate court.
Once you have petitioned for expungement, prosecutors will have up to 30 days to object. If a prosecutor fails to object within 30 days, the court will process your expungement.
The following will occur if your petition to expunge a marijuana record is successful:
This is all very good news for many Arizona residents with marijuana records. However, it’s critical that you follow all steps correctly when petitioning to have your record expunged. A single mistake could prevent you from achieving your goal. Avoid this by consulting with an attorney.