San Francisco’s District Attorney will retroactively expunge about 8,000 drug possession convictions dating back to 1975. The convictions in question involve possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. The action falls under Proposition 64, which voters passed last year. The measure decriminalized personal possession of marijuana. The District Attorney’s office is reviewing nearly 5,000 felony convictions and more than 3,000 misdemeanor convictions.
Proposition 64 did not require county court systems to review or dismiss old marijuana convictions, but San Francisco has chosen to proceed with the automatic dismissal of qualifying convictions it obtained over the last 43 years.
Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom supports the move and hopes that other California counties will take the lead. Even if counties do not pursue a policy of automatic review of old convictions, individuals can seek relief under the law. Despite the relief available, only about 5,000 Californians have sought to have their convictions dismissed under the law. San Francisco’s District Attorney speculates the cost and lack of information about the law prevent more people from seeking relief.
Regardless of whether an old conviction is a misdemeanor or a felony, eliminating convictions can yield positive benefits. According to San Francisco’s District Attorney, marijuana convictions disproportionately affected black and Latino defendants. Despite statistics showing that whites, blacks and Latinos consume marijuana proportionally, blacks and Latinos have a much higher conviction rate. This can lead to difficulty in finding or keeping meaningful employment. Higher incarceration rates also have negative effects on black and Latino families.
Los Angeles drug possession attorney
When you have a drug possession conviction on your record, your options for employment may be limited. An experienced drug possession attorney can help you apply for and get relief under Proposition 64.
Don’t allow a prior conviction for an offense that is no longer illegal continue to harm your well-being. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County drug possession case.
Photo Credit: Torben Hansen, via Flickr.com