In February of this year Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that Seattle intended to vacate convictions for people charged under the city’s misdemeanor marijuana possession ordinance. The State of California recently took a similar step by passing a bill requiring state prosecutors to erase or reduce marijuana convictions. This comes after California’s passage of Proposition 64 in 2016, which allowed the adult use of marijuana, and eliminated a slew of other pot related crimes. The question for Washington State is whether it will follow suit and do the same? In Seattle the decision affected approximately 500 convictions; that obviously is a tiny fraction of the total number of Washingtonians that were deemed criminals because they possessed marijuana in one form or another.
California’s new bill literally orders the California Department of Justice to: (1) identify eligible cases for clearing of record, and (2) notify the appropriate prosecutors of the same. It is estimated that an astounding 220,000 cases are eligible for some form of remediation, erasure or reduction. The bill gives the California DOJ until July 1, 2019 to compile and forward the aforementioned list to state prosecutors. Thereafter, prosecutors have until July 1, 2020 to take action on those cases identified.
Washingtonians that have a marijuana related blemish on their record are impacted in ways that affect, among other things, their housing, employment, and student loans. In light of this, it may be about time that Washington State follows the lead of its biggest City and that of the golden state to its south – clear out cases related to marijuana charges.
When charged with a crime, it is a smart idea to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Attorney. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyers that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.