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PROP 64: Purge or REDUCE Marijuana Convictions

NEW: NOV. 2016: Marijuana Felonies now Misdemeanors: Petition for Re-Sentencing

The voters passed Proposition 64 and recreational use, possession and transportation of certain amounts of marijuana is now mostly legal in California.

The law is extensive and complex, and involves licensing of marijuana "shops" and a taxation protocol; the law is many pages long.

Of particular interest to us, however, is the provisions in Prop 64 that allow for persons convicted of Marijuana offenses that were felonies to petition the court to be re-sentenced as misdemeanors.

Former felonies that can be reduced to misdemeanors are:

11360 H&S Sales of Marijuana
11359 H&S Possession for Sales of Marijuana
11358 H&S Cultivation of Marijuana

There are certain limitations on the relief, but if you do not have an extensive record the court will grant the reduction.

This law is very new, and we have already filed petitions on behalf of some clients.

The law requires the Court as well as the California Department of Justice 'rap sheet' to purge and destroy certain Marijuana records two years after a conviction, but this is very often not done.

Section 11361.5 of the California Health and Safety Code (hereinafter "H&S") allows a petition to the Court and to the California Department of Justice ("CALDOJ") to request these records be destroyed two years after conviction. This includes most §11357 (and following) Health & Safety Code cases, as well as some other drug offenses not related to drug trafficking.

§11357 H&S covers personal possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana (28.5 grams), as well as concentrated cannabis and possession of more than one ounce if treated as a misdemeanor. The sealing provisions also include section §11364 H&S; possession of a "hash pipe".

All legal work is done by an Attorney with 20 + years legal experience and more than 2000 successful expungement cases.

§11361.5 H&S provides in pertinent part:

Any person subject to an arrest or conviction for those offenses may apply to the Department of Justice for destruction of records pertaining to the arrest or conviction if two or more years have elapsed since the date of the conviction, or since the date of the arrest if not followed by a conviction.

Upon receipt of a sufficient application, the Department of Justice shall destroy records of the department, if any, pertaining to the arrest or conviction in the manner prescribed by subdivision (c) and shall notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the law enforcement agency which arrested the applicant, and, if the applicant was convicted, the probation department which investigated the applicant and the Department of Motor Vehicles, of the application.

(c) Destruction of records of arrest or conviction pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) shall be accomplished by permanent obliteration of all entries or notations upon the records pertaining to the arrest or conviction, and the record shall be prepared again so that it appears that the arrest or conviction never occurred. However, where (1) the only entries upon the record pertain to the arrest or conviction and (2) the record can be destroyed without necessarily effecting the destruction of other records, then the document constituting the record shall be physically destroyed."

If you have suffered a marijuana possession or paraphernalia conviction, it is quite likely the record of that case can be permanently destroyed. Please call us to discuss your matter, and we can help you determine eligibility, and check to see if the case is still on public record. Unfortunately the Courts are very inattentive to this requirement.

Cases involving marijuana trafficking offenses such as possession for the purpose of sale (§11359 H&S) or transportation of marijuana (§11360 a H&S) are felony cases that are not covered by the record destruction statute. However, most such cases that cannot be sealed can be expunged under 1203.4 of the California Penal Code.

Our Attorneys have successfully sealed and expunged hundreds of Marijuana Cases in California. The procedure can take from 12 to 20 weeks, depending upon the Court, the complexity of the case, and how old the conviction is. Fees are reasonable, and include the petitions, court hearings, filing fees and research for BOTH the local trial Court and California Department of Justice.

California Health and Safety Code §11357

(a) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses any concentrated cannabis shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than one year or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment, or shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison.

(b) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars ($100). Notwithstanding other provisions of law, if such person has been previously convicted three or more times of an offense described in this subdivision during the two-year period immediately preceding the date of commission of the violation to be charged, the previous convictions shall also be charged in the accusatory pleading and, if found to be true by the jury upon a jury trial or by the court upon a court trial or if admitted by the person, the provisions of Sections 1000.1 and 1000.2 of the Penal Code shall be applicable to him, and the court shall divert and refer him for education, treatment, or rehabilitation, without a court hearing or determination or the concurrence of the district attorney, to an appropriate community program which will accept him. If the person is so diverted and referred he shall not be subject to the fine specified in this subdivision. If no community program will accept him, the person shall be subject to the fine specified in this subdivision. In any case in which a person is arrested for a violation of this subdivision and does not demand to be taken before a magistrate, such person shall be released by the arresting officer upon presentation of satisfactory evidence of identity and giving his written promise to appear in court, as provided in Section 853.6 of the Penal Code, and shall not be subjected to booking.

(c) Except as authorized by law, every person who possesses more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than six months or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by both such fine and imprisonment.

(d) Except as authorized by law, every person 18 years of age or over who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, upon the grounds of, or within, any school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for classes or school-related programs is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period of not more than 10 days, or both.

(e) Except as authorized by law, every person under the age of 18 who possesses not more than 28.5 grams of marijuana, other than concentrated cannabis, upon the grounds of, or within, any school providing instruction in kindergarten or any of grades 1 through 12 during hours the school is open for classes or school-related programs is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be subject to the following dispositions:

(1) A fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250), upon a finding that a first offense has been committed.

(2) A fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or commitment to a juvenile hall, ranch, camp, forestry camp, or secure juvenile home for a period of not more than 10 days, or both, upon a finding that a second or subsequent offense has been committed.

California Health and Safety Code § 11361.5

(a) Records of any court of this state, any public or private agency that provides services upon referral under Section 1000.2 of the Penal Code, or of any state agency pertaining to the arrest or conviction of any person for a violation of subdivision (b), (c), (d), or (e) of Section 11357 or subdivision (b) of Section 11360, shall not be kept beyond two years from the date of the conviction, or from the date of the arrest if there was no conviction, except with respect to a violation of subdivision (e) of Section 11357 the records shall be retained until the offender attains the age of 18 years at which time the records shall be destroyed as provided in this section. Any court or agency having custody of the records shall provide for the timely destruction of the records in accordance with subdivision (c). The requirements of this subdivision do not apply to records of any conviction occurring prior to January 1, 1976, or records of any arrest not followed by a conviction occurring prior to that date.

(b) This subdivision applies only to records of convictions and arrests not followed by conviction occurring prior to January 1, 1976, for any of the following offenses:

(1) Any violation of Section 11357 or a statutory predecessor thereof.

(2) Unlawful possession of a device, contrivance, instrument, or paraphernalia used for unlawfully smoking marijuana, in violation of Section 11364, as it existed prior to January 1, 1976, or a statutory predecessor thereof.

(3) Unlawful visitation or presence in a room or place in which marijuana is being unlawfully smoked or used, in violation of Section 11365, as it existed prior to January 1, 1976, or a statutory predecessor thereof.

(4) Unlawfully using or being under the influence of marijuana, in violation of Section 11550, as it existed prior to January 1, 1976, or a statutory predecessor thereof.

Any person subject to an arrest or conviction for those offenses may apply to the Department of Justice for destruction of records pertaining to the arrest or conviction if two or more years have elapsed since the date of the conviction, or since the date of the arrest if not followed by a conviction. The application shall be submitted upon a form supplied by the Department of Justice and shall be accompanied by a fee, which shall be established by the department in an amount which will defray the cost of administering this subdivision and costs incurred by the state under subdivision (c), but which shall not exceed thirty-seven dollars and fifty cents ($37.50). The application form may be made available at every local police or sheriff's department and from the Department of Justice and may require that information which the department determines is necessary for purposes of identification.

The department may request, but not require, the applicant to include a self-administered fingerprint upon the application. If the department is unable to sufficiently identify the applicant for purposes of this subdivision without the fingerprint or without additional fingerprints, it shall so notify the applicant and shall request the applicant to submit any fingerprints which may be required to effect identification, including a complete set if necessary, or, alternatively, to abandon the application and request a refund of all or a portion of the fee submitted with the application, as provided in this section. If the applicant fails or refuses to submit fingerprints in accordance with the department's request within a reasonable time which shall be established by the department, or if the applicant requests a refund of the fee, the department shall promptly mail a refund to the applicant at the address specified in the application or at any other address which may be specified by the applicant. However, if the department has notified the applicant that election to abandon the application will result in forfeiture of a specified amount which is a portion of the fee, the department may retain a portion of the fee which the department determines will defray the actual costs of processing the application, provided the amount of the portion retained shall not exceed ten dollars ($10).

Upon receipt of a sufficient application, the Department of Justice shall destroy records of the department, if any, pertaining to the arrest or conviction in the manner prescribed by subdivision (c) and shall notify the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the law enforcement agency which arrested the applicant, and, if the applicant was convicted, the probation department which investigated the applicant and the Department of Motor Vehicles, of the application.

(c) Destruction of records of arrest or conviction pursuant to subdivision (a) or (b) shall be accomplished by permanent obliteration of all entries or notations upon the records pertaining to the arrest or conviction, and the record shall be prepared again so that it appears that the arrest or conviction never occurred. However, where (1) the only entries upon the record pertain to the arrest or conviction and (2) the record can be destroyed without necessarily effecting the destruction of other records, then the document constituting the record shall be physically destroyed.

(d) Notwithstanding subdivision (a) or (b), written transcriptions of oral testimony in court proceedings and published judicial appellate reports are not subject to this section. Additionally, no records shall be destroyed pursuant to subdivision (a) if the defendant or a co-defendant has filed a civil action against the peace officers or law enforcement jurisdiction which made the arrest or instituted the prosecution and if the agency which is the custodian of those records has received a certified copy of the complaint in the civil action, until the civil action has finally been resolved. Immediately following the final resolution of the civil action, records subject to subdivision (a) shall be destroyed pursuant to subdivision (c) if more than two years have elapsed from the date of the conviction or arrest without conviction.

Record-Clear

We are a small firm that emphasizes personal attention, not a high volume of cases. Our fees are reasonable and competitive; you usually do not need to appear in court. Call or contact us through our site for a FREE Attorney consultation. We ONLY practice California Expungement Law.

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