In May 2022, Rhode Island lawmakers voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana in Rhode Island. Given the change in the legal status of marijuana, many are left wondering what this means for previous marijuana crimes still appearing on their criminal records. The experienced Rhode Island expungement lawyers at Abilheira Law are here to help navigate the new law and to assist you with criminal record expungement! Contact us today,
Expungement of Possession of Marijuana in Rhode Island
Under the Rhode Island Cannabis Act, “any person with a prior civil violation, misdemeanor or felony conviction for possession only of a marijuana offense that has been decriminalized subsequent to the date of conviction shall be entitled to have the civil violation or criminal conviction automatically expunged.”
What are the Eligibility Requirements to Expunge a Marijuana Possession Charge In Rhode Island?
A person is eligible to expunge marijuana possession that has been “decriminalized.” This is now two (2) ounces of marijuana or less. The Court will make a presumption that a person was convicted of having less than two (2) ounces of marijuana if the case file/court record does not mention a specific quantity.
Unlike most expungements in Rhode Island which have specific eligibility requirements and waiting periods, marijuana possession charges can now be expunged regardless of:
- Prior arrests and convictions, including crimes of violence
- Pending criminal proceedings
- Any outstanding fines, fees or costs owed to the Court
Additionally, unlike other forms of expungement, marijuana possession can now be expunged as part of a larger case. Typically, cases can only be expunged as a whole and cannot be expunged for individual counts. However, lawmakers have made an exception, allowing for marijuana possession to be expunged, even if the rest of a case is not otherwise eligible for expungement.
What is the timeline for expunging marijuana possession charges in Rhode Island?
The Act provides for the automatic expungement of all marijuana related possession offenses that have been decriminalized by July 1, 2024. However, petitioners do not have to wait two years. Instead, they can file a Motion to Expunge now to remove these charges from their criminal record.
What should I do if I have a marijuana possession charge on my record in Rhode Island?
If you have previously been convicted of marijuana possession in Rhode Island, you may immediately be eligible for expungement! Don’t wait two years for the Court to do it for you, call the experienced Rhode Island expungement lawyers at Abilheira Law today. We will conduct a thorough review of your entire criminal record and inform you of your eligibility for expungement. If you are eligible for expungement, we can get your case expunged in just a few weeks!
Get Your Second Chance Now
A past conviction for possession of marijuana can lead to a lifetime of harsh consequences. Convictions can lead to denial of student financial aid, housing, employment, and professional licenses.