As many as 50,000 Los Angeles marijuana-related convictions are to be dismissed or reduced, the L.A. District Attorney said, noting completion will not only align with California’s 2020 deadline for prosecutorial review of expungement for pot crimes – it will beat it by nearly 9 months. Los Angeles marijuana expungement attorneys understand this was made possible with the aid of a nonprofit called Code for America, which developed a digital algorithm that allowed prosecutors to more quickly identify eligible candidates.
This same group was reportedly also involved in helping San Francisco expunge more than 9,000 marijuana convictions earlier this year – even though some of those date back to 1975. The Los Angeles D.A. has said she expects the same to be the case here, pointing out that Department of Justice records in cannabis cases go back more than seven decades.
Los Angeles marijuana expungement attorneys know the chances of someone with a 1940s cannabis conviction is both alive and has any real interest in having their name cleared, is unlikely. The D.A.’s office has said they aren’t necessarily starting with the oldest cases first, and will instead be prioritizing those individuals who are looking for:
- A fresh start
It’s also worth noting that not all prior convictions are going to be expunged. Those who most likely would not receive an expungement would include:
- Registered sex offenders (regardless of whether the cannabis offense was related);
- Those convicted of violent offenses;
- Individuals convicted of large-scale drug trafficking or habitual drug offenses
Although she did not break down the details of the priority list, she did indicate her office would most likely be starting with cannabis cases involving low-level, first-time non-violent offenders.
This doesn’t mean anyone whose prior offenses see to fit the bill of the former category should assume they have no shot at prosecutorial review, and neither does it mean those in the latter category should automatically presume they’re home-free. People who have a pressing and vested interest in having their Los Angeles cannabis conviction expunged, dismissed or reduced should promptly contact an L.A. marijuana criminal law firm skilled in defense and expungement. It’s possible with the benefit of a qualified marijuana attorney, it may be possible to request for a case to be expedited.
The D.A.’s office said that while it lacked the resources to pursue wiping clean all these convictions with its own resources, the algorithm supplied by the third-party non-profit allowed it to quickly identify which cases would be eligible to have cases would have been eligible for the benefit. Although an expedited process is always welcome, it’s not impossible that a case may have been deemed “ineligible” by mistake. That’s why it’s a good idea to have your old California marijuana conviction reviewed for expungement eligibility.
The way prosecutor’s were going about it initially would have-all-but-required a lawyer. Individuals interested in having old cannabis cases expunged – and doing it right – needed an attorney to help review the forms, prepare them, file them, file them in the correct court and then pay to obtain the record.
The system of automatic expungement in Los Angeles means basically that the state handles the entire process for you – and you need never go to the trouble. Again, this is great – but only if the system works as intended and there are no glitches.
Even if your criminal record has been expunged of cannabis convictions, you may not even know it. Although the agency is working on the best way of getting word to people that their records are clean, they’re also trying to be cautious of privacy and avoid inadvertently revealing the expunged information to a third party.
The non-profit agency points out there are 1/3 people in the U.S. with a criminal conviction and in California alone (one of the more relaxed states on this front) those people face 4,800 legal obstacles – in housing, employment, education, parenting time and more. Consulting with an experienced marijuana expungement attorney in L.A. might spare you the trouble of being denied last-minute on a rental, applying for next year’s school financial aid or landing the next big job.
The Los Angeles CANNABIS LAW Group represents growers, dispensaries, collectives, patients and those facing marijuana charges. Call us at 714-937-2050.
Two More California Counties Will Use Tech To Expunge 54,000 Marijuana Convictions, April 1, 2019, By Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment
More Blog Entries:
California Declares “War” on Illegal Marijuana Farmers, Retailers, April 3, 2019, Los Angeles Expungement Layer Blog