Expungements

If you meet any of the following criteria, you should qualify for an expungement in Louisiana:

  • The prosecutor refused or did not accept the charges
  • Your case was dismissed
  • You were acquitted of all charges
  • You plead guilty to a misdemeanor and were sentenced under C.Cr.P. 894
    • *You must have successfully completed 894 probation
  • You plead guilty to a felony and were sentenced under C.Cr.P. 893
    • *You must have successfully completed 893 probation
  • The time limitations to institute prosecution or bring your case to trial have run and your case was dismissed or a motion to quash was granted. This time period is commonly referred to as statute of limitations.

There are a few other instances which will allow you to obtain an expungement. It is also possible to reopen your case if you don’t qualify for an expungement and ask for relief from the court.

Ben LaBranche has experience helping clients expunge their arrest records and has also educated other lawyers on the expungement process. He has successfully expunged many felonies and misdemeanors arrest for clients in Louisiana. Exupungments can be very helpful to people who have prior arrests on their record, but expungments are often over looked by people who are eligible. Many people don’t get their arrest records expunged because they are not aware they are eligible, or they don’t realize they need to. People often do not realize that something on their record will affect their lives until they are denied employment or housing because of something on their record. The expungement law has changed many times and some people who were not eligible for expungements in the past may be eligible now.

An expungement can make it easier to pass an employment or residential background check. Many employers and landlords are now performing background checks on potential employees and tenants. When a matter is expunged, it is taken out of the public record and not available to the general public, many state agencies, and most private companies. However, law enforcement, medical/nursing board, Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board, and some other agencies are able to view expunged records. Also, an expunged record may be used by the State to enhance a penalty or sentence against an offender. Therefore, an expunged guilty plea to a DWI can be used against someone to charge them with second offense DWI. Also, an expunged felony guilty plea can be used to enhance a sentence of an offender who is convicted of a subsequent felony.

Expunging DWI/DUI Arrest

Most of the same rules apply for expunging DWI/DUI arrest. However, if someone participates in a pretrial diversion program for a DWI/DUI arrest in Louisiana, they will not qualify for an expungement until 5 years after the program has been completed. Also, a defendant can only be sentenced under C.Cr.P. 894 once every 10 years for a DWI/DUI cases. An 894 sentence allows you to plead guilty and get an expungement if probation is completed satisfactorily. For other misdemeanor offenses, the law allows people to receive an 894 sentence once every 5 years. If you have been offered to participate in a pretrial diversion program for a DWI, you should understand the consequences of not being able to have it expunged for 5 years.

If you need to get something expunged from your record, call Ben LaBranche at (225) 927-5495.