Expungement of Criminal Records

What is Expungement? LSA-R.S. 44:9 (G)

“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.

Louisiana laws allow a person to “expunge’ or “clear” his or her record of arrests, criminal charges or criminal convictions in certain limited situations. What can or cannot be expunged is set out in various statutes and case law. It is highly advisable for anyone interested in seeking an expungement of a criminal record to consult with an attorney.

Basically, the following type of matters can be expunged:

A. An arrest record where the time limitation to institute prosecution has expired and no prosecution has been instituted; or

B. If prosecution has been instituted and such proceedings have been finally disposed of by dismissal, sustaining a motion to quash, or acquittal; or

C. When a plea of guilty was under Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure Article 893 (for felonies) or 894 (for misdemeanors), and the defendant satisfactory completed the terms of his sentence.

D. Misdemeanor offenses may utilize expungement only once during a five (5) year period. DWI’s may utilize Art. 894 only once during a ten (10) year period.

E. A Motion to Set Aside under Art. 893 can occur only once in applicants lifetime.

F. A Motion to Expunge under La.R.S. 44:9 is filed as a civil proceeding.

The following matters cannot be set aside:

A. Any offense for which the sentence is incarceration; or

B. Certain felony offenses defined as a crime of violence under La.R.S. 14:2(B)

The fees associated with expungement are as follows:

  • There is a $200.00 filing fee payable to the Clerk of Court’s Office in cash, check or money order; this applies to both felonies & misdemeanors.
  • It is required that a $250.00 money order or certified cashiers check be made payable to the Louisiana Department of Public Safety attached to the original Motion for Expungement, $50.00 money order made payable to the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office, and $50.00 money order made payable to Plaquemines Parish District Attorney’s Office.
  • Money Orders for the Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office and Plaquemines Parish District Attorney’s Office must be paid and a receipt attached to original Motion for Expungement.
  • All fees are per Bill of Information (per arrest), except the fee for Louisiana Department of Public Safety.

Have investigator run rap sheet locally and through Plaquemines Parish Sheriff’s Office.

A) If prior charges are indicated and there are convictions:

i. Did defendant use 893 / 894 before?

- If used 893 before – object

- If used 894  before within 5 years – object

ii. If a conviction took place during pendency of deferred sentence-object.

iii. If there is a pending criminal case that has been accepted by the District Attorney’s Office – we can object (see 894(B)(1).

B) If have a felony conviction and/or pending felony case – we collect $50.00 fee to District Attorney’s Office.

i. If  defendant participated in Diversion – we collect fee even if this is his only offense.

Automatic first offender pardons do not erase or act as dismissals of convictions for purposes of expungement.

No fees are due if there is a certification letter from the District Attorney’s Office that the applicant has NO felony convictions and NO pending felony charges and one of the following exists:

  1. The applicant was acquitted, after trial , of all charges derived from the arrest;
  2. The applicant was arrested and was never prosecuted within the proper time limits and was not enrolled in the District Attorney’s Diversion Program.

*EXPUNGEMENT PAGE UPDATED MARCH 8, 2012
*DOCUMENTS UPDATED AS OF MAY 6, 2010

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