The following sections of the expungement statutes were amended to avoid confusion by making them consistent with the quantities of drugs referenced in the related criminal charges. For example, the distribution of one ounce or more of marijuana under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(11) is a third-degree offense. Distribution of a lesser amount of marijuana is a fourth-degree offense under N.J.S.A. 2C:35-5b(12). Fourth degree marijuana distribution or possession with intent to distribute is an expungable conviction where a third distribution or possession with intent to distribute is not. The text of the statute used to reference “25 grams or less”, whereas an ounce is approximately 28.5 grams. This created an ambiguity, along with unnecessary delays and litigation. Similarly, the language regarding hashish was changed from “five grams or less” to “less than five grams”, thus avoiding ambiguities in cases involving exactly five grams of hash.
c. In the case of conviction for the sale or distribution of a controlled dangerous substance or possession thereof with intent to sell, expungement shall be denied except where the crimes involve:
(1) Marijuana, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was less than one ounce;
(2) Hashish, where the total quantity sold, distributed or possessed with intent to sell was less than five grams; or
(3) Any controlled dangerous substance provided that the conviction is of the third or fourth degree, where the court finds that expungement is consistent with the public interest, giving due consideration to the nature of the offense and the petitioner’s character and conduct since conviction.
d. In the case of a State licensed physician or podiatrist convicted of an offense involving drugs or alcohol or pursuant to section 14 or 15 of P.L.1989, c.300 (C.2C:21-20 or 2C:21-4.1), the court shall notify the State Board of Medical Examiners upon receipt of a petition for expungement of the conviction and records and information pertaining thereto.