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Sonoma County District Attorney Jill Ravitch announced today that 2,735 Sonoma County marijuana convictions will be dismissed as part of a program initiated by her office with the assistance of the “Clear My Record” application, a state-wide software application that allows District Attorneys to securely and accurately evaluate eligibility for Proposition 64 relief by reading and interpreting criminal history data from the California Department of Justice.

Prop 64 amended provisions of the California Health and Safety Code to change how the State categorized cannabis crimes, A combination of factors, including the need for those convicted to file petitions with the court to seek relief, and the lengthy process for said petitions to make it through the courts, slowed the relief the law sought to provide.Proposition 64, which was passed into law by ballot initiative in 2016,amended provisions of the California Health and Safety Code to change how the State categorized cannabis crimes. With the passage of Proposition 64 some conduct that had previously been categorized as felonious was re-designated misdemeanor conduct, while conduct that had previously been characterized as misdemeanor conduct was re-designated as either punishable as an infraction or no longer illegal. Proposition 64 additionally gave those with prior cannabis convictions the right to petition courts to re-classify their convictions to conform to the severity of the offense post-Proposition 64, or to have their convictions dismissed altogether if the underlying conduct is no longer considered a crime.

AB 1793 Identifies those eligible for relief under Proposition 64

Click on image to watch video of the announcement BACK IN 2018 of the legislation (Assembly Bill 1793) from Assembly member Rob Bonta (D-Oakland) which creates a simpler and expedited pathway for Californians to turn the page and make a fresh start by having certain criminal convictions for cannabis-related offenses removed or reduced from their records, by July 1 2020. Screen Shot California Assembly Democrats Youtube Channel
video URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=63&v=-i2PhbIPY2s&feature=emb_logo 

Unfortunately, the relief granted under Proposition 64 failed to reach many of those affected. A combination of factors, including the need for those convicted to file petitions with the court to seek relief, and the lengthy process for said petitions to make it through the courts, slowed the relief the law sought to provide. As a result, in 2018 the California Legislature passed AB 1793 which required the California Department of Justice to review state criminal history information, identify those eligible for relief under Proposition 64 to the courts, and the courts to automatically reduce or dismiss eligible convictions by July 1, 2020.

Using the Clear My Record software, the Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office identified 2,110 individuals eligible for Proposition 64 relief. Of those, 427 had misdemeanor convictions eligible for complete dismissal, and 1713 had felony convictions eligible for reduction to misdemeanors. However, District Attorney Ravitch chose to offer further relief not required by the statute. Namely, the actual dismissal, and not just reduction, of the 1713 felony convictions identified by her office. DA Ravitch noted, “My office has been very committed to working with those individuals seeking relief from marijuana convictions under the provisions of Proposition 64.

CLEAR MY RECORD PORTAL

Take the first step in just 10 minutes

Start now 

 

The only way to truly provide justice for all

However, the process has often been slow, and the reach has been narrow. As a result, we have undertaken a thorough review of all cases identified by Code for America’s software program Clear My Record and determined that the only way to truly provide justice for these individuals is to go beyond the requirements of the statute and provide complete dismissal in each of the cases. We understand the burden that has been placed on individuals, families, and communities as a result of cannabis convictions. I do not believe this is consistent with the values of the overwhelming number of people of Sonoma County, and therefore, we are taking aggressive steps to assist those affected.”

District Attorney Ravitch additionally noted that the 2,110 individuals will have a total of 2,735 total convictions dismissed. Of those, 2,254 charges were felonies and 481 were misdemeanors. Of the individuals being provided relief, 1505 identified as White, 405 identified as Hispanic, 120 identified as Black, 25 identified as Asian, 16 identified as American Indian, 8 identified as Pacific Islander, 20 identified as Other, and 11 identified as Unknown.  

To find out if your record has been cleared, contact the Law Offices of the Sonoma County Public Defender or the Sonoma County Superior Court:

Business Hours

Monday – Friday

8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Mailing address

Sonoma County Public Defender's Office
600 Administration Drive
First Floor - Room 111
Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Juvenile Unit: (707) 565-6304

Expungements

For information regarding expungements please contact us and include your full name and contact information.

expungements@sonoma-county.org 

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