Yesterday, the Assembly Appropriations Committee advanced A-5981, legislation to revise the laws for those seeking expungement of marijuana and other minor crimes. The bill reflects the major provisions of a similar bill that was sent to the Governor but was conditionally vetoed. The new legislation includes many of the Governor’s recommendations. The provisions of this legislation include:
• The waiting period before being able to seek an expungement for certain minor crimes is reduced from 6 to 5 years; and, lowers from 5 years to 4 years the waiting period for a public interest expungement;
• The possession or distribution of 5 pounds or less of marijuana or 1 pound or less of hashish would be changed from a crime to a disorderly persons offense; and
• Eliminate the existing $75 filing fee for all expungement applications; the bill includes a $15 million appropriation for, among other things, the Administrative Office of the Courts to develop a web-based system for all expungement filings.
The Senate companion legislation, S-4154, bypassed a committee reference and went immediately to 2nd reading in the Senate. Both bills are scheduled for final votes on Monday.
Contact: Michael F. Cerra, Assistant Executive Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x120.