Legislation to provide mandatory expungement eligibility to those convicted of certain marijuana offenses has been passed by Delaware’s full Senate.
Senate Bill 197 was passed yesterday by Delaware’s Senate in a unanimous 20 to 0 vote, with one member abstaining. According to the measure’s synopsis, “This Act provides mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were convicted of the possession, use or consumption of marijuana prior to Delaware’s decriminalization of these offenses.” To be eligible for the mandatory expungement, “the marijuana conviction must be the applicant’s only criminal conviction.”
The legislation was introduced by Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle (R), and House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D). It will now go to the House of Represenatives, where passage would send it to John Carney for consideration.
According to date collected by the Delaware Criminal Justice Information System, Senate Bill 197 would effect around 1,200 individuals charges with possession of up to an ounce of marijuana prior to 2015 when it was decriminalized.