Published in Criminal Law by Chris Eskew on October 25, 2019.
On September 30th, 2019, CBS 4 Indianapolis reported that, in an effort to prioritize more serious offenses, the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will no longer prosecute minor marijuana possession charges.
There are currently 393 simple marijuana possession cases pending in Marion County—which will be reviewed, and, if appropriate, dismissed in accordance with the updated policy.
Further, simple marijuana offenses may be eligible or considered for early expungement in Marion County.
Notably, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears also stated that his office will be “partnering with agencies to help identify people with previous convictions and guilty pleas for simple marijuana possession to get their record expunged.”
Marijuana Convictions in Marion County: You May Be Eligible for Expungement
What is Expungement?
In Indiana, expungement is a civil remedy whereby criminal records, depending on the level of offense, are either sealed and removed from public access or marked as expunged. In other words, the records—potentially including a criminal conviction —may not be found or available to the general public.
Expungement offers some very important benefits. Among other things, an expungement of a criminal record can make it easier to get a job, easier to rent an apartment, and it can result in a person regaining their eligibility for certain state licenses.
How to Get Your Criminal Records Expunged in Indiana
The Marion County Prosecutor’s office stated that it will be working with other state agencies to help facilitate expungement for those who were previously convicted of possession of marijuana. Of course, navigating the expungement process can be complex and confusing.
Our Marion County, IN expungement attorneys, can help you get your records sealed in an efficient and cost-effective manner. If you have any questions about getting possession of marijuana conviction expunged or any related criminal record expungement, our top-rated Indianapolis expungement lawyers are standing by, ready to help.
Understanding the Limitations of the New Policy
It should be made clear that the new guidance from the Marion County Prosecutor’s office applies to marijuana possession under one ounce. Further, Marion County is the only county in Indiana that has adopted this policy.
Other marijuana violations will still be prosecuted. As an example, the new policy does not apply to the public consumption of marijuana. Additionally, other offenses, including driving while under the influence of marijuana and trafficking of marijuana, will still be prosecuted.
Also, it’s important to note that while the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office intends to not prosecute marijuana possession under an ounce, possession of marijuana, in any amount, is STILL against the law in all Indiana counties, including Marion County. Police officers still have the discretion to arrest people for having less than an ounce.
CBS 4 reports, “this would not preclude officers from enforcing minor marijuana possession law or conducting searches or filing of other charges based on the suspicion of misdemeanor pot possession, but rather his office would most likely choose not to prosecute the minor charge.”
If you are interested in getting a marijuana-related offense besides a possession charge expunged, we can help you understand your options.
Discuss Your Case with Our Marion County Expungement Attorneys Today
At Eskew Law, our Indiana criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience handling the full range of expungement cases. If you have questions about obtaining an early marijuana expungement in Marion County, we are here to help.
To arrange a fully confidential consultation with an experienced expungement attorney, please contact our legal team right away. With an office in Indianapolis, we serve communities throughout Marion County, including in Lawrence, Beech Grove, Speedway, Southport, and Cumberland.
To learn more, please reach out to us today for a consultation by calling us directly or sending us a message requesting more information.