Can I Get a Conviction Expunged in Arizona?
People convicted of possession of marijuana and related drug paraphernalia offenses are now afforded the opportunity to have their convictions expunged. This is because in November 2020 Arizona voters overwhelming passed Proposition 207, the Smart and Safe Marijuana Act.
This new law legalized the personal use of Marijuana for those over twenty one. Prior to the new law personal use possession of marijuana in Arizona was a class six felony. Most of these cases in Pima County were charged as class one misdemeanors, but that was merely prosecutorial discretion. Many Arizonans have received felony convictions for marijuana crimes because of the circumstances and jurisdiction of their case. They are living with the collateral consequences of a felony conviction including the loss of their civil rights.
A felony or misdemeanor marijuana conviction on a background check can potentially eliminate candidates from certain job opportunities, professional licenses, loans, housing, and public benefits.
Prior to the passage of Prop. 207 convicted defendants could only ask that their marijuana convictions be set aside pursuant to A.R.S. § 13-907. The set aside of conviction in Arizona does not remove the conviction from the public record. The set aside conviction is still visible on background checks. Now A.R.S. § 36-2862 authorizes the expungement of prior marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia convictions.
The statute applies to convictions for possession of marijuana of 2.5 ounces or less and does not apply to convictions of possession of marijuana for sale. Expungement means that the record of the conviction is sealed and not visible to the public.
This can make a big difference for those looking to improve their record for background checks.
How Can I get My Record Expunged
In order to have your marijuana record expunged you will need to file a petition for expungement with the sentencing court. Once the petition is filed the prosecutor has thirty days to respond whether they oppose or do not oppose your petition.
If your petition is opposed the Judge will likely hold a hearing.
The presumption is for expunging the conviction unless the prosecutor can prove you are not eligible. This presumption shows a strong legislative intent in favor of expungement, with denials in only obvious and rare circumstances.
Once a marijuana conviction is expunged your record is sealed and your civil rights are restored.
For help with getting help with your specific case, please call or contact our office today!