Destruction of Arrest and Conviction Records
California Health & Safety Code §11361.5 Removing and
Expungement (PC §1203.4 ) of your Marijuana Conviction
California law requires all governmental agencies to automatically destroy any records of marijuana possession charges and any records of charges for giving away or transporting up to one ounce of marijuana two years after the date of conviction or arrest, unless the terms of the sentence have not been satisfied; not including cases concerning concentrated cannabis.
Drug diversion records are also to be destroyed. Thereafter, no public agency may limit or deny an individual of any opportunity as the result of the conviction. The record should not be included in any subsequent probation report or be considered for any purpose by any subsequent sentencing court in any other matter [H&S §11361.7]. However, I have been advised that US federal records do not get destroyed. That also means that gun rights are not reinstated.
Unfortunately, felony marijuana convictions for sale, transportation, possession for sale and cultivation cannot be destroyed. However, they are subject to expungement under PC 1203.4, which gives the person the right to deny the conviction except when applying for public office, licensing by a state or local agency, or contracting with the state lottery. Nevertheless, the possession or use of a firearm can be used as prior for future convictions against an ex felon; expungement does not prevent the prosecution. Expungement does not remove a conviction from the defendant’s records, but it would indicate that the conviction has been set aside, a not guilty plea is entered and the case is dismissed. Under Prop 64 almost all previous marijuana felonies and convictions can be reduced to misdemeanors or reduced retroactively.
Under new legislation of Senate Bill No. 393, a defendant that has suffered an arrest but was not charged or convicted, may petition for the sealing of his or her arrest record. (Contact our office for more information. )