What happens if a law is changed after you have been charged?

UPDATED: Nov 10, 2014

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What happens if a law is changed after you have been charged?

About 1 1/2 years ago, I received a citation for possession of less than 1 oz of marijuana. I went to court and only did the diversion program because at the time, the punishment included an automatic 6 month license suspension. I did not complete the evaluation but I paid my fines. The diversion period ended 6 months ago. I just received a letter that if I do not complete my diversion requirements in 30 days my license will be suspended. That law has since changed, they no longer suspend a license for a marijuana possession of less than an ounce. I am wondering if they sentence me based on when the initial offense occurred and not on the present law and thats why they are threatening to suspend my license?

Asked on November 10, 2014 under Criminal Law, Oregon


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You are being sentenced under the old law.  The new statute has an effective date and prior citations would be subject to the prior law. 

An ex post facto law is a law that has a retroactive or retrospective effect and is unconstitutional.  Therefore, if a law has been changed, it is not retroactive and you are subject to the sentence under the prior law which was in effect when your citation was issued.

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