Helping Clients Expunge or Reduce Cannabis Convictions
We have partnered up as “Of counsel” with The Biederman Law Office in helping individuals expunge previous Marijuana related convictions under Prop 207 which was recently passed. Before the passing of this bill, Arizona had some of the harshest Marijuana laws in the nation. Arizona was actually one of the only states in the nation to consider first time possession of small amounts of Marijuana a felony.
Why Would Someone Want an Expungement?
Expungements are valuable. They all will remove the convictions from official state performed background checks. They all allow for you to deny that you have been convicted of a crime on job applications. They could even be used as defenses to later offenses.
We all know that employers perform background checks. The job market today is employer friendly environment. Many employers will disregard all the candidates with convictions. Sometimes even a speeding conviction could make your application less desirable than one without.
Frequently, landlords and mortgage officers run background checks. Even with a good job and decent credit, an old conviction can keep you from owning a home of your own or lead to a higher interest rate.
An expungement can restore the rights you lose. A felony conviction takes away your right to vote, hold public office, serve on a jury, and have a firearm. A felony expungement may restore those rights.
Some misdemeanor drug offenses can prevent you from receiving student loans. Voiding and sealing those convictions could get you back in school.
Many professional boards will not grant you a license if you have a conviction. It’s not just professions like attorney, accountant, and doctor. Arizona has statutes that make it difficult for people with a record to get licensed for anything. There are laws prohibiting real estate brokers, nurses, teachers and others from getting licensed.
Expungement can give you a second chance on life. Anyone with an old marijuana conviction can benefit from expungement. Finally many of our clients just want the peace of mind of knowing their record is clear.
No matter why you want a clean record, we can help.
Smart and Safe Arizona Act (Prop 207)
- Legalizes the sale, possession (one ounce) and consumption of adult use cannabis for adults at least 21 years old.
- Adds a 16 percent excise tax on adult use cannabis sales, in addition to the state’s 5.6 percent, totaling a 21.6 percent tax.
- Allocates an estimated $300 million in Arizona revenue to be divided between community college districts, municipal police, sheriff and fire departments, fire districts, highway funds, public health programs, infrastructure, and a new Justice Reinvestment Fund.
- Allocates more than $30 million annually for addiction prevention, substance treatment, teen suicide prevention, mental health programs, and justice reinvestment projects.
- Provides opportunities for expungement of certain lesser cannabis-related crimes such as possession, consumption, cultivation or transportation.
Under the new law, “marijuana” applies to ALL parts of the plant, including the seeds, resin extracted from the plant, and compounds and derivatives therefrom.
Proposition 207 covers the leafy version of marijuana, wax, oil, and other substances derived from the plant.
Employers still have the right to restrict their employees’ ability to use marijuana.
It is illegal to drive a car, operate a boat, or fly a plane while under the influence of marijuana. (Legislation is still pending on this, and the laws are constantly changing so please be aware)
Individuals under the age of 21 are not permitted to possess or use marijuana.
Individuals can possess paraphernalia related to the use, sale, transportation, cultivation, and manufacture of marijuana.
The mere fact that a person has marijuana in their system is not sufficient to charge them with DUI. The state must also prove that the person is impaired to the slightest degree.
The scent of burnt or fresh marijuana is no longer sufficient by itself to justify police investigation of a crime or detention of an individual, unless police are investigating a DUI.