Marijuana conviction records to be sealed in NY

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The marijuana decriminalization bill that passed the New York State legislature hasn’t been signed into law yet.

The Division of Criminal Justice Services is preparing to seal convictions once it’s in place.

According to DCJS, 202,189 pot convictions will be sealed as a result of the marijuana decriminalization legislation.

In a statement the agency says it, “uses automated processes to seal or suppress criminal history records as required by law. To implement the recent statutory changes, the agency is reviewing the specific record requirements and existing processes to determine the technology modifications that will be necessary.”

Possession of small amounts of marijuana will not appear on a criminal record under the bill.

Excluding New York City, DCJS says 57,206 convictions are poised to be sealed. When it comes to removing criminal records from the New York State Unified Court System database, a spokesperson says,

“What is laid out in the legislation is a very involved legal process. Currently we do not have a method for expunging of criminal records. That would have to be developed in conjunction with DCJS…We are in the process of reviewing the bill and have begun to address what new infrastructure will be necessary to comply with the statute, when enacted.”

Statewide, 24,409 people are expected to have no New York State criminal record after the DCJS sealing takes place.

Under the legislation, possession of under 2 ounces of marijuana will be a fine of no more than $200. 

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