If you were charged with a marijuana crime before marijuana was legalized in your state, you might wonder if you will still have the crime on your record. The good news is that the legalization of weed often leads to a path being created for a marijuana conviction to also be expunged from your record, such as in states like Illinois. However, you will want to speak with an attorney because your ability to expunge is based on your charges.
The Importance of Having Records Expunged
When an employer is performing a background check or when you are renting an apartment, your past criminal conviction involving marijuana might come up. However, if you have your records expunged, they will become sealed and will not be viewed by the general public.
Minor Cannabis Possession
If you were in possession of less than a designated number of grams of marijuana, you may have been charged with a minor cannabis offense. As a result, you may be qualified for an automatic expunging of your records. This includes if your charges were dismissed or you were acquitted.
If you were convicted of minor cannabis possession, you will still be eligible for automatic expungement. However, the process will often take longer because the record will need to be examined by a prisoner review board.
When you do not qualify for automatic expungement, this doesn't mean that you won't qualify for expungement under normal rules. This is a process that is available to many individuals with criminal records beyond marijuana possession. However, you should always first speak with an attorney about how you may have your marijuana records automatically expunged.
To have the records expunged the normal way, you must file to the court and pay a filing fee. If you are unable to afford the fee, make sure to bring this up with your attorney. Under some circumstances, you may be able to have your fee waived.
The benefit of speaking to an attorney is that they will be able to explain your options and the upsides and downsides of each. For example, having your records expunged might be more difficult depending on the details of your case. For example, you might not receive an automatic expungement if you gave marijuana to someone who was younger than you and was under a certain age.
Reach out to an expungement attorney to learn more.