A new law in New York, effective August 28, 2019, decriminalized possession of certain quantities of Marijuana, and effected more than 202,000 prior Marijuana convictions in the state from the late 1970s through mid-June of 2019.
The new law reduced the penalty for the possession of less than 1 ounce of Marijuana leaf or flower to a $50 fine, regardless of criminal history, and the maximum of a $200 fine for the possession of between 1 and 2 ounces.
Certain prior low level Marijuana convictions will be sealed, and more than 24,400 people will no longer have a criminal record due to their prior Marijuana convictions.
Under the new law, certain prior convictions were automatically sealed in the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation system.
However, in order for individuals to have their convictions expunged and the actual records destroyed, the individuals must petition the court where the conviction occurred for relief.
Without destruction of the records, under certain circumstances they could be available for access. Such as when the individual waives the seal, usually to secure a professional license or to apply for certain public safety and national security jobs or upon the presentation of a National Security Letter or a FISA Warrant.
To have the greatest possibility of success when seeking to have the prior conviction records destroyed, it would be wise to have such a petition prepared and submitted to the court by a New York Criminal Defense Lawyer, such as Pascazi Law Offices PLLC.
It is always wise to engage an Attorney, anytime a person becomes involved with the Criminal Justice System.
### September 1, 2019