New Yorkers who had their low-level marijuana convictions expunged from their record, per the passage of the Marijuana and Decriminalization and Expungements Bill in July of 2019, can now go a step further by requesting that the physical documentation of these arrests be destroyed.
Although the history of these charges have now been sealed from the view in nearly all circumstances under the bill, they can still seen by agencies granting pistol permits or by law enforcement agencies during the hiring process for a job as a police or peace officer, until they are fully destroyed, according to information issued by the New York State Unified Court System.
“If you decide to apply for destruction, the arrest, prosecution and criminal history records related to your expunged marihuana conviction are destroyed, and there will be no record of your arrest or conviction for these charges. In other words, it will be like it never happened,” said an explanatory page on the destruction process, which was announced on Friday, Sept. 18.
Per the bill, the charge of fifth-degree criminal possession of marijuana under penal law 221.05, which was a misdemeanor was reduced to the new violation of first-degree unlawful possession of marijuana, and what used to be known as just unlawful possession of marijuana under penal law 221.10 became second-degree unlawful possession of marijuana, also a violation. [Read more at Yorktown Daily Voice]