Virginia House And Senate Approve Marijuana Expungement Bills

Virginia House And Senate Approve Marijuana Expungement Bills

Both chambers of the Virginia legislature this week approved bills to help people clear prior marijuana convictions from their records. The state Senate passed legislation on Thursday that would provide individuals with an opportunity to have cannabis possession convictions expunged—one of the latest in a series of marijuana reforms that legislators have advanced during the summer special session. Sen. Creigh Deeds (D) introduced the bill, which would require individuals to first pay “all court costs, fines, and restitution, and for five years to have elapsed since the date of conviction” before their court and police records could be cleared. Beyond cannabis possession, people would also be eligible to petition for an expungement of other low-level offenses such as using a fake ID to buy alcohol. The House of Delegates also approved a separate expungement bill on Wednesday. It would establish “a process for the automatic expungement of criminal records for certain convictions, deferred dispositions, acquittals, and for offenses that have been nolle prossed or otherwise dismissed,” according to a summary. Those with marijuana possession convictions would be eligible for the expungement. That bill has been transmitted to the Senate and referred to the Judiciary Committee. Since both chambers have now passed expungement legislation, albeit in different forms, it is likely that some kind of bicameral deal on the issue can be negotiated in order to get a proposal to the desk of Gov. Ralph Northam (D). “These bills include long overdue steps the Commonwealth should immediately take to begin undoing…

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Source : MJ moment
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