SAFFORD – Those who have been convicted of a marijuana crime can now seek to have those convictions expunged with the legalization of recreational cannabis in Arizona.
The Southern Arizona Legal Aid Begin Again Expungement Project will hold a free Marijuana Expungement clinic on the second floor of the Graham County Courthouse at 800 W. Main St. in Safford, Arizona, on Feb. 2, from 2 – 5 p.m.
What is expungement?
Under Arizona law, expungement means that qualifying criminal records are sealed and no longer available to the public.
What offenses may apply?
a) Possessing, consuming, or transporting
i) 2.5 ounces (70 grams) or less of marijuana
ii) Not more than 12.5 grams can be in the form of marijuana concentrate
b) Possessing, transporting, or cultivating
i) Six marijuana plants or less
ii) Must be at the individual’s primary residence for personal use (not for sale)
c) Possessing, using, or transporting
i) Paraphernalia relating to the cultivation, manufacture, process, or consumption of marijuana
What happens after I file for expungement?
Expungement is not effective immediately. There is a process that your petition will move through. Below are the steps that you can expect:
a) First, file your petition paperwork with the court.
b) Next, the prosecuting agency (City or County Attorney) has 30 days to review the petition. They will decide if they consent to expungement in your case or if they will contest your petition.
c) At the end of the 30-day review period, your case will be handed over to a judge. The judge may do one of three things:
i) Request additional evidence from either the petitioner (you) or the prosecutor.
ii) Deny the request to expunge, if the court finds you ineligible based on the evidence provided and the law.
iii) Grant the petition and issue an order directing court records and law enforcement records relating to the qualifying offense to be expunged.
If you need help after filing the petition because the prosecuting agency opposes your petition, a judge requests additional evidence or orders a hearing, or you are wrongfully denied — contact the Arizona Marijuana Expungement Coalition. It is important that you contact us as soon as possible so that an attorney can properly evaluate your case and try to assist you.
For that and any other questions contact (520) 623-9465, extension 4420, or email Expunge@sazlegalaid.org.
*Legal services provided by the Marijuana Expungement Coalition are funded by the Arizona Department of Health Services grant program, as part of The Smart and Safe Act.