Expungement of Criminal Records

“Expungement” means removal of a record from public access but does not mean destruction of the record. An expunged record is confidential, but remains available for use by law enforcement agencies, criminal justice agencies, the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry, the Louisiana State Board of Psychologists, the Emergency Medical Services Certification Commission, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board, Office of Disciplinary Counsel, or the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions.

Under specific circumstances, individuals who have been arrested and/or convicted of certain crimes can apply for an expungement of the record of that arrest and/or conviction. Not all individuals are eligible for expungement.   Additionally, not all records are expungeable. Further, expungement does not mean destruction of a record, and even expunged records may be disclosed to certain authorized entities.  It is always advisable to consult a private attorney to determine one’s eligibility, as well as to file the actual application(s).

The law regarding expungements, effective August 1, 2014, can be found in Articles 971-995 of the Louisiana Code for Criminal Procedure. These articles specify the eligibility for expungement, the process to apply for an expungement, and the fees required for an expungement.   The previous law, La. R.S. 44:9 has been repealed.

The mandatory, standardized forms to be utilized to apply for an expungement can be found on the Louisiana Clerks of Court website, here.