The following steps outline the record change (reclassification) process.
If you have a prior marijuana conviction in California for one or more of the following marijuana offenses – no matter how old the conviction – you may be eligible to have the offense(s) designated as a misdemeanor or infraction, or have it completely dismissed.
Note: If you are currently serving a sentence for one of the above offenses, you may quality for resentencing, which is a different process. Learn more about resentencing.
You will need a copy of your “RAP Sheet” (criminal record) to determine if you are eligible. If your prior conviction(s) only occurred in one county, visit the Superior Court where you were convicted and obtain your record. If your conviction(s) are from multiple counties, you must visit the Superior Court in each county where you received a conviction.
You can also request a copy of your RAP sheet from the Department of Justice through Live Scan, which will list your entire criminal history. You will need to visit a Live Scan location near you to get fingerprinted.
Make sure to follow the directions for requesting your record carefully. There is a fee, but you may qualify for a waiver (if you provide written proof that your income is under a certain level). It may take several weeks for your record to arrive in the mail.
In most counties, you will need to complete two documents:
Your completed reclassification forms plus your criminal record are your reclassification packet. You will need to submit a separate reclassification packet for each marijuana conviction you would like to have reclassified to a misdemeanor, infraction or dismissed.
Make three copies of each reclassification packet:
Some counties may require you to complete additional paperwork.
After submitting your forms, the court may proceed without a hearing. The court will presume that you are eligible for reclassification, unless the prosecution presents some evidence that you are not eligible. In most counties, you will be notified by mail once the Superior Court has ordered and then recorded the reclassification. Some counties may require that you return to Court to learn the status of your application.
Typically, a hearing is not needed to process your record change. However, if there is a dispute and your application is denied, you will be entitled to a hearing. In some instances, it may be that your forms were completed incorrectly, which is why working with an attorney or legal clinic is so important. If you qualify, a public defender will represent you at this hearing.