There are hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents who were arrested on marijuana charges over the past two decades. Since New Jersey voters decided to legalize recreational marijuana in 2021, there are many people who may be wondering if their marijuana conviction could be expunged.
The bill was signed into law by Gov. Phil Murphy in February 2021, which ended fines and penalties for people who possessed or sold small amounts of marijuana. The state Judiciary estimated 360,000 of those types of low-level marijuana offenses qualified for automatic expungement and began the process of dismissing such cases in July, then expunged them.
According to the order, the following types of charges were available for automatic expungement:
- Possession or sales of less than 1 ounce of marijuana.
- Possession of drug paraphernalia.
- Failing to turn over marijuana.
- Possessing marijuana while in a vehicle.
Ultimately, expungement clears a person’s record of the offense. While the Judiciary expunged over 360,000 records so far, state officials believe there are up to 150,000 more marijuana expungements for the courts to complete automatically.
However, this automatic expungement of low-level marijuana charges does not cover charges associated with the specified charges of the court expungement order. For example, if a person was pulled over for a traffic violation and the marijuana charge came with that, the traffic violation charge still stands.
In addition, there are thousands of people who had marijuana convictions from the past whose cases were not automatically expunged but now may be available for expungement. To get the expungement, you must file a Petition for Expungement.
Many Marijuana-Related Offenses Can Be Expunged
There are many marijuana-related offenses that people can ask the courts to review for expungement. Some of these changes include:
- Distribution or possession of under 1 ounce of marijuana or under 5 grams of hashish, including charges for this in a school zone and public housing facilities.
- Obtaining, possessing, using, or being under the influence of marijuana.
For some more serious marijuana convictions, the waiting period to expunge the charges is now three years, as opposed to six years. Those offenses include the following:
- Distribution or possession with intent to distribute between 1 ounce and 5 pounds of marijuana and up to 1 ounce of hashish, even if they occurred in school zones or within 500 feet of public housing facilities.
- Possession of more than 50 grams of marijuana or more than 5 grams of hash.
South Jersey Expungement Lawyers at Agre & St. John Can Help Clear Your Record of Marijuana Convictions
Our South Jersey expungement lawyers at Agre & St. John work with clients who may have issues getting their marijuana offenses expunged. If you are looking to expunge a criminal conviction, we can help you with the legal process. Located in Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Burlington County, Camden County, Gloucester County, and Salem County. Call us at 856-428-7797 or complete our online form for an initial consultation.