NJ Judiciary vacates or dismisses more than 88,000 marijuana cases

NEW JERSEY (WABC) -- New Jersey courts have dismissed or vacated 88,000 marijuana convictions since July 1 -- and more are coming.

A state Supreme Court order was issued earlier this month to start the process following the Garden State's decriminalization of specific pot offenses.

This is the first cycle of an estimated 360,000 cases identified that qualify for expungement.

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Eligible cases include distribution of certain quantities of the drugs, possession of certain quantities of the drugs, possession of paraphernalia, use or being under the influence of the drugs, and operating a motor vehicle while in possession of the drugs.

After vacating convictions or dismissing cases, the Judiciary will automatically expunge those cases in the coming months.

Related violations of probation or pretrial monitoring also will be vacated, and driver's license suspensions or revocations for failure to appear will be rescinded.

The order also directs the cases of eligible defendants that are pending sentencing or have completed sentencing to be vacated and dismissed.

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The Judiciary also is creating an electronic system to allow staff to provide a certification of expungement to members of the public seeking to determine whether their case has been expunged.

Cases with charges that are not eligible for dismissal under the new law will not be expunged.

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