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California Health & Safety Code § 11361.8 - Petition For Recall Or Dismissal Of Sentence


Los Angeles Criminal Defense LawyerIn California, the law recognizes that rehabilitation and the opportunity for a fresh start is crucial for individuals who have been convicted of certain drug offenses. California Health And Safety Code § 11361.8 HS provides a pathway for individuals to petition for the recall or dismissal of their sentence, thereby allowing them to rebuild their lives free from the burden of past convictions. This blog post aims to shed light on this important statute and the process involved in petitioning for a recall or dismissal of a sentence.

Understanding Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11361.8

Cal. Health & Safety Code § 11361.8 specifically applies to individuals who were convicted of offenses related to the possession, sale, transportation, or cultivation of cannabis (marijuana) that would now be legal under California law. This law acknowledges the changing landscape of marijuana legislation and aims to rectify the consequences faced by individuals who were convicted under previous laws that have since been amended.

Who is Eligible to Petition?

To be eligible for a recall or dismissal of a sentence under § 11361.8, individuals must meet certain criteria. They must have been convicted of an offense covered by the statute and served their sentence, completed probation, or been discharged from parole. It’s crucial to consult with an attorney or seek legal advice to determine eligibility and understand the specific requirements for filing a petition. To facilitate the filing of petitions and applications under this section, the Judicial Council is responsible for promulgating and making available all necessary forms.


References and Resources

For more detailed information and specific references related to California Health & Safety Code § 11361.8, please refer to the following sources:

Key Features of § 11361.8

  • Individuals serving a sentence for a conviction related to marijuana, which would now be considered a lesser offense or not an offense at all, can petition for a recall or dismissal of their sentence​​.
  • Courts presume eligibility unless proven otherwise by clear and convincing evidence​​.
  • The legislation defines criteria for what constitutes an “unreasonable risk of danger to public safety” when considering these petitions​​.
  • Resentenced individuals receive credit for time already served, with supervision subject to specific conditions​​.
  • Resentencing under this section cannot result in a longer term than the original sentence​​.
  • Those who have completed their sentences can apply to have their conviction dismissed and sealed, as these are now considered legally invalid​​.
  • In certain cases, no hearing is necessary to grant or deny an application filed under subdivision (e)​​.
  • The provisions apply equally to juvenile delinquency adjudications and dispositions​​.

The Petition Process

Individuals currently serving a sentence for a marijuana-related offense, which would not have been an offense or would have been a lesser offense under the Act, can petition for recall or dismissal of their sentence. It is important to provide all necessary documentation, including proof of completion or discharge from parole, to support the petition. The court will then review the submitted petition and supporting evidence to determine whether the individual meets the criteria for relief. If the court grants a request to redesignate an offense, it is treated as a misdemeanor or infraction for all purposes​​.


Court Evaluation and Decision

During the evaluation process, the court will consider various factors, including the nature and severity of the offense, the petitioner’s criminal history, and any subsequent rehabilitation efforts. It is essential to present convincing arguments and evidence supporting the request for recall or dismissal of the sentence in order to increase the chances of a favorable decision.

Benefits of Recall or Dismissal

If the petition is granted, the court may recall the previous sentence or dismiss the conviction altogether. This provides individuals with the opportunity to move forward with a clean slate, without the limitations and stigma associated with a criminal conviction. It allows them to regain certain rights and privileges, such as the ability to pursue employment, housing, and education, which may have been affected by their past convictions.

Proposition 64: Broader Context and Implications

  • Proposition 64 legalized the personal use and cultivation of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over, reducing criminal penalties for specified marijuana-related offenses for both adults and juveniles​​​​.
  • The act significantly reduces the punishment for many marijuana-related offenses​​.
  • Juvenile Offenses Classified as Infractions: Most marijuana-related offenses for minors are now infractions, except in certain cases like manufacture of concentrated cannabis​​.
  • Proposition 64 mandates the destruction of records for most juvenile marijuana offenses after a specified period​​.
  • Assembly Bill 1793, effective from January 1, 2019, initiates an automatic review process for marijuana-related convictions eligible for relief under Proposition 64​​.

Seek Legal Guidance

Navigating the legal process can be complex, and it is highly recommended to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney when petitioning for a recall or dismissal of a sentence under Cal. Health & Saf. Code § 11361.8. A knowledgeable attorney can provide invaluable assistance, ensuring that all necessary documentation is properly prepared and presented, increasing the likelihood of a successful outcome.



Cal. Health & Saf. Code § 11361.8 represents a transformative approach to marijuana-related offenses, aligning legal practices with changing societal perspectives on marijuana use. By offering avenues for sentence recall, dismissal, and sealing of convictions, it opens doors for many to move past convictions that no longer align with current legal standards. This shift not only impacts those directly affected by previous harsher marijuana laws but also reflects broader changes in societal attitudes towards marijuana use and criminal justice reform. By understanding the eligibility requirements, petition process, and benefits of recall or dismissal, individuals can take the necessary steps towards rebuilding their lives and embracing new opportunities. Seeking legal guidance throughout this process is essential for a smooth and successful journey towards a brighter future.

If you or someone you know is currently serving a sentence for a cannabis-related conviction in California, the process of petitioning for the recall or dismissal of a sentence can be complex. You should seek legal assistance to navigate through it successfully.

Tabibnia Law Firm is a trusted and experienced law firm that specializes in criminal defense and can provide the necessary guidance and support throughout the petitioning process. The top rated attorney Mr. Cyrus Tabibnia is knowledgeable about California Health & Safety Code § 11361.8 and can help determine your eligibility and guide you through the steps to achieve the best possible outcome.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to Tabibnia Law Firm today for a consultation and get the legal help you need to explore your options under this section of the law. Remember, time is of the essence, so take the first step towards a brighter future now by contacting Tabibnia Law Firm  at 866-713-2159.

Please note that this blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Individuals seeking assistance should consult with qualified legal professionals.

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia

Cyrus Tabibnia, also known as Shahrooz Tabibnia, is a criminal defense lawyer in Los Angeles, California. With a law degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, he has been practicing law since 2005 and holds license #237348. With over 18 years of experience, Cyrus specializes in various misdemeanor and felony criminal Law including Domestic Violence, Theft Crime, Sex crime, DUI & DWI, Personal Injury, Employment Law, and Cannabis & Marijuana Drugs Law. Being bilingual in English, Persian, and Spanish enables him to effectively communicate with a diverse range of clients. From 2014 to 2018, he served as a board member of the Iranian American Bar Association. An expungement attorney in Los Angeles who can assist you in clearing your criminal record in the state of California.

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