Criminal record clean up may have a new tool available soon. New legislation pending in Sacramento will help drug offenders clean up their records and allow them to reduce felony drug charges to misdemeanors. Some possession for personal use of drugs like heroin and cocaine have been non-reducible felony drug charges. This meant they could never be reduced to a misdemeanor if you were convicted. You could expunge them, but that does not do away with all the issues of a felony conviction, it is like a good behavior dismissal if you successfully completed probation. You could not possess a firearm, and still had the stigma of a felony record. If passed, record clean up for drugs like heroin and cocaine could include reduction to misdemeanors.
Some simple possession for personal use drug charges like methamphetamine can be initially filed as misdemeanors or even reduced later if you suffered a conviction. Now there is common sense legislation which would allow other personal use drug possession charges for cocaine and heroin to also be charged or reduced to misdemeanors. There really is no basis to treat illegal drugs differently. The argument that meth is not as bad as coke or heroin is pretty weak. Punishing the individual user for life with a felony conviction does not help someone who no longer uses and will have great difficulty getting a good job or education, or facing deportation. It would give more incentive to get clean yet still leave discretion with the District Attorneys and Judges to be able to file or later reduce simple possession cases to misdemeanors to help clean up a record.
The legislation has not passed yet, but it is being considered. There are thousands of people with felony convictions that may be given a new tool to for record clean up and achieve a better life. Keep watching for the legislation and contact your legislator encouraging them to have all illegal drugs treated the same and have the same ability to reward those that remain clean and strive for a better life. Contact Attorneys Nicholas and William Christoph for a free consultation at 760-941-5720 at Christoph Law Offfices across from the Vista Courts. They have been cleaning up criminal records for over 30 years.