Delaware Governor John Carney has signed into law legislation that provides mandatory expungement eligibility to those convicted of a marijuana offense that is now decriminalized.
Senate Bill 197 passed the House of Representatives in July by a unanimous 40 to 0 vote, just a few weeks after passing the Senate, also unanimously (20 to 0). Now, Governor Carney has signed the measure into law; it takes effect immediately.
According to the official synopsis of Senate Bill 197, “This Act provides mandatory expungement eligibility to individuals who were convicted of the possession, use or consumption of marijuana prior to Delaware’s decriminalization of these offenses.” To be eligible for the mandatory expungement, “the marijuana conviction must be the applicant’s only criminal conviction.”
The legislation was introduced by Senate Minority Whip Greg Lavelle (R), and House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst (D).
According to date collected by the Delaware Criminal Justice Information System, Senate Bill 197 would effect around 1,200 individuals charges with possession of up to an ounce of marijuana prior to 2015 when it was decriminalized.