For release on April 29, 2020
Assistant District Attorney
Santa Clara County Expunges Thousands of Low-Level Marijuana Convictions
Today the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and its justice partners expunged or reduced more than 13,000 marijuana convictions going back to 1973.
The process effectively cleared or reduced convictions for the use and low-level sales of the now-legal drug for more than 9,000 people – one of the largest marijuana record expungements in the state.
The mass expungement was legally formalized during a court hearing this afternoon presided over by the Hon. Eric Geffon at the Hall of Justice in San Jose.
DA Jeff Rosen attended the hearing. He said: “Too many people who have committed low-level offenses and paid their debt to society, remain hampered by old criminal records in their efforts to get back on track. The justice system must always evolve toward fairness and equality.”
Proposition 64 was passed in California in 2016. The law effectively legalized the use of marijuana in the state. Previous to today’s expungement, those in the county convicted of cannabis-related charges had to petition the court to have their records expunged, sealed, or reduced. The complex task of how to change tens of thousands of remaining low-level criminal records, was left to the counties.
Santa Clara County DA Rosen entrusted the head of his Conviction Integrity and Narcotics units to accomplish the expungements. The DA’s Office was assisted in its expungement efforts by the Santa Clara County Office of the Public Defender, the Santa Clara County Technology Services and Solutions, and the Superior Court Information Services Bureau.