Update to Marijuana Statutes and Expungement Under New York State Law

Under New York State Law, some marijuana possession charges are automatically expunged from your record. Under the new law, charges that are eligible for expungement are expanded. Other charges require a motion to be submitted.

Expungement means that the arrest, the court case, and the conviction are treated as if they never happened. For a definition of expungement see CPL 1.20 (45). Charges that have been expunged:

  • will not appear or show up on a criminal history background check.
  • cannot be used against an individual when applying for housing, student loans, or a job.
  • will not be found by law enforcement unless you are applying for a gun license or a job in law enforcement.
  • do not need to be listed on a job or school application that asks about convictions or arrests.

Statutes that are automatically expunged without motion include (

  • PL 221.05 Unlawful Possession of Marihuana in the Second Degree
  • PL 221.10 Unlawful Possession of Marihuana in the First Degree
  • PL 221.15 Criminal Possession of Marihuana in the Fourth Degree
  • PL 221.20 Criminal Possession of Marihuana in the Third Degree
  • PL 221.35 Criminal Sale of Marihuana in the Fifth Degree
  • PL 221.40 Criminal Possession of Marihuana in the Fourth Degree
  • PL 222.10 Restrictions on Cannabis Use
  • PL 222.15 Personal Cultivation and Home Possession of Cannabis
  • PL 222.25 Unlawful Possession of Cannabis, and
  • PL 222.45 Unlawful Sale of Cannabis
  • The Court will not send out notices to individuals that a case was expunged. The Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), the police, District Attorneys, and other law enforcement agencies will be notified.
  • If you would like to know if your conviction was expunged, you can request a certification of disposition from the Court where it was decided.

Potential Immigration Consequences

Non-US Citizens may wish to speak with an immigration attorney before taking any additional steps regarding their criminal record. They may need to file a different type of motion even if the conviction is eligible for automatic expungement.

The criminal defense attorneys at Heiferman & Associates have sealed/expunged major felonies including sale of controlled substances, burglary, DWI (driving while intoxicated) and more. Don’t let a past mistake get in your way. With a clean record, people will be able to pass background checks for employment. Our criminal defense lawyers assisted numerous clients seal records in New York and New Jersey. These successes include both felony and misdemeanor convictions. Additionally, our immigration lawyers can advise how your criminal cases can/will affect your immigration issues. If you or someone you know has a criminal conviction, we might be able to help seal (NY) or expunge (NJ) your record. Contact us today at (718) 888-9545 for a consultation.