Articles Tagged with California criminal record

Prop 64, or the Control, Regulate, and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, does a lot more than the title might suggest. In addition to legalizing marijuanamarijuana criminal defense in California (and regulating and taxing), it offers a unique opportunity for the state to make reparations of sort to the people and communities who have suffered the most from the destructive “War on Drugs,” which turned out to be more of a slanderous attack on marijuana and an assault on minorities.

According to ACLU, most drug arrests between 2001-2010 were for marijuana, and a whopping 88% of those were for possession. Worse yet, black people were more than 3 times as likely to be arrested for marijuana-related crimes than white people despite having almost equal rates of use.

San Francisco and San Diego are leading the way in the state toward making amends for past marijuana-related crimes. The city’s district attorneys are proactively reviewing cases on the books and expunging misdemeanors that are no longer crimes, giving those who previously have been punished a clean slate. They also are checking for charges that can be reduced to lesser crimes.

But what about the rest of the state? Continue reading

Most Californians are aware that recreational marijuana use was legalized in November 2016. What is less well known is that Proposition 64 (the Control, Regulate and Tax Adult Use of Marijuana Act, or “the Act”) also carried sentencing provisions, which eliminated penalties for minor marijuana offenses, and reduced penalties for more serious offenses such as selling or cultivating marijuana. More importantly, these provisions are retroactive. This has allowed many incarcerated Californians to file petitions under the Act and seek immediate release. Hundreds of inmates have achieved such release since the law took effect.  cannabis conviction attorneys

The Effects of Proposition 64

The Huffington Post reports that close to one million people in California qualify for relief under Proposition 64. This can include: reducing a felony conviction to a misdemeanor; terminating a sentence of probation or incarceration, expunging criminal records, or dismissing a pending case. The terms of Proposition 64 created a new law (California Health and Safety Code §11361.8) by which to facilitate the process of applying for relief.

Retroactive application of a sentencing law is unusual in and of itself, but §11361.8 is even more striking, in that it does not place a time limit on which the conviction must have occurred. Any person currently serving a sentence may apply for relief if he or she would not have been guilty – or been guilty of a lesser offense – had the Act been in affect at the time of the offense. Moreover, California courts are instructed to broadly grant petitions for relief. In order to deny such a petition, the court must determine that an unreasonable risk of danger to public safety would be posed by granting it. This creates a de facto legal presumption that qualified applicants are entitled to have their petitions for relief under the Act granted. This presumption can be challenged (and overcome) by a prosecutor, but it is still an advantage for defendants seeking relief from their sentences for marijuana offenses. Continue reading