- A pardon does not vacate a conviction.
- People with multiple marijuana misdemeanor convictions are eligible.
- The date of the conviction doesn’t matter.
- The new law applies to violations of municipal ordinances, not just state law.
If you’re looking to get a conviction vacated, and none of the above limitations apply to you, the process is relatively simple:
- Find the court where your conviction occurred. If you’ve been convicted in multiple courts, you’ll need to apply in each court separately.
- Fill out the proper paperwork. The form you’ll submit is called a Motion and Declaration for Order Vacating Marijuana Conviction.
- File your motion with the court clerk’s office and ask to schedule a hearing. Follow their instructions from there.
Once a court vacates a conviction, the person is clear of all penalties that resulted from it, and it can’t be considered during sentencing for any subsequent conviction, according to a legislative analysis of the bill. Further, a person who has a conviction vacated can state that they have never been convicted of the crime when applying for housing or employment.
My opinion? This is excellent, progressive step toward decriminalizing low-level drug crimes. Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with a drug crime. Although Washington State passed initiatives which legalized marijuana possession, it’s comforting that our politicians are moving forward with legislation that gives defendants opportunities to vacate low-level marijuana convictions.