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Can the classification of a past marijuana conviction be reduced?

On Behalf of | Nov 11, 2022 | Drug Crimes |

Increasingly, marijuana is being legalized with people being allowed to use it recreationally and for medical purposes. This is true in Oregon and other states across the nation. However, people who were convicted of marijuana-related crimes in the past still have a criminal record.

This can still cause a person problems when they are trying to get jobs, be admitted to schools and for other endeavors. Getting expungements can be helpful. It can also be useful to reduce the classification of the offense. State law allows this in certain circumstances.

What does the law say about reducing a marijuana conviction classification?

A key with having the classification of a marijuana conviction reduced is if the law changed from when the person was convicted. If a marijuana crime would be a misdemeanor instead of a felony if it were to happen today, then it can be reduced. Other examples are if it was a higher felony and would now be a lower felony; if it was a higher-level misdemeanor and would now be a lower-level misdemeanor; or if it would now be a violation instead of a crime.

Those who want their past conviction classification reduced will not be asked to pay the standard filing fee or other fees. After filing the motion, the prosecutor will have 30 days to object to the request. Some reasons why they might do so include the conviction not being eligible for a reduced classification or the person not completing their sentence or complying with its parameters.

If the prosecutor does not object, the court will proceed in considering the request. If the prosecutor does object, there will be a hearing. The person seeking the reduction must show that the conviction is eligible, that they completed the sentence and complied with the court requirements. Once that is done, then the reduction can be completed.

For this and other criminal law matters, help is imperative

With the laws changing, people whose past convictions were more severe than they would be under the new laws should understand their rights to lower the classification of their conviction. This can be beneficial in many ways and is worth the time to consider.

It is not an expungement, but it can be an effective strategy and have a positive impact on the future. For this or any other criminal law concern, it is important to have help. Calling professionals who understand drug crimes, expungements and all other aspects of the law can give information and guidance.