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Senate Bill 420 to Expunge Marijuana Convictions

Senate Bill 420 to Expunge Marijuana Convictions

On June 24, 2019, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed Senate Bill 420 to set procedures for individuals who were found guilty of low-level marijuana offenses before 2014 to get their convictions expunged.

In addition, the law allows eligible individuals to avoid serving their remaining jail terms and paying outstanding fines for those convictions.

This legislation enables the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) to look back at criminal records to find outdated misdemeanor convictions and make a request to prosecutors to set them aside. The law is effective starting on January 1, 2020.

State lawmakers passed Senate Bill 364 in 2015, allowing individuals with old cannabis-related offenses (e.g. possession, possession with intent, sale, etc.) to expunge their criminal records. However, a conviction for a controlled substance in Oregon doesn’t specify the exact drug involved in the offense.

Police reports typically show if a controlled substance involved in a crime was marijuana or another drug. That means the DOJ must look at each case to determine if a person qualifies for expungement.

Petitioners do not have to pay a fee to submit an expungement request. Any objections to the request need to be made within 30 days.

In 2014, Oregon voters approved Measure 91, which legalized the recreational use of marijuana throughout the state. An adult who is 21 years of age can possess and purchase up to one ounce of cannabis and store up to eight ounces—or grow up to four plants—at home.

Last month, Gov. Brown signed Senate Bill 970, which prohibits landlords from taking discriminatory action against individuals who were convicted of a marijuana-related crime or use medical cannabis.

If you are interested in getting an old marijuana possession conviction expunged from your criminal record in Bend, contact Baxter Harder, LLC today at (541) 238-9210 to discuss your case with our team.

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