A House of Representatives subcommittee in Virginia has given approval to a proposal that would allow marijuana charges to be expunged (removed) from criminal records.
A subcommittee for Virginia’s House Courts of Justice Committee passed House Bill 1065 today by a vote of 7 to 1, sending it towards a vote by the full committee. The proposal would allow “a person convicted of possession of marijuana, or charged with such offense which charge was deferred and dismissed, who has successfully completed all terms of probation to file a petition for expungement after at least five years have passed since the date of conviction.” Any conviction that is expunged would be considered “a prior conviction for purposes of prosecution of any subsequent offense for which the prior conviction statutorily enhances punishment.”
In order to qualify for an expungement, the petitioner “shall have no pending charges, shall have no outstanding fines, costs, or restitution, and shall have completed all terms of sentencing and probation, including successful completion of any drug or alcohol program, and shall be dependency free.” The measure states that the Department of State Police “shall maintain a record of any expungement granted pursuant to this subsection. Any conviction that is expunged under this subsection shall be considered a prior conviction for purposes of prosecution of any subsequent offense for which such prior conviction statutorily enhances punishment.”
The bill – filed by Delegate Steve Heretick (D) and cosponsored by Delegate Mark Levine (D) – can be found by clicking here.