TITLE XXXIV. Expungement of Records
Art 971. Legislative Findings
The legislature hereby finds and declares the following:
(1) Louisiana law provides for the expungement of certain arrest and conviction records under limited circumstances. Obtaining an expungement of these records allows for the removal of a record from public access but does not result in the destruction of the record.
(2) An expunged record is confidential, but remains availble for use by law enforcement agencies, criminal justice agencies, and other statuorily defined agencies.
(3) Following the passage of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, all individuals who wish to work at ports or on vessels regulated by this act are required to obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). Obtaining a TWIC card requires a criminal history check and clearance which cannot be obtained without either a clean record or an expunged record with respect to certain offenses.
(4) The inability to obtain an expungement can prevent certain individuals from obtaining gainful employment.
(5) The need for employment must be balanced appropriately against the desire for public safety. Nothing in this title can be construed to limit or impair in any the subsequent use of any expunged record of arrest or conviction in any lawful manner by law enforcement, law enforcement agencies, prosecutors, or judges, including its use as a predicate offense or for the provisions of the Habitual Offender Law.
(6) It is the intent of this legislature that this Title will provide opportunities to break the cycle of criminal recidivisim, increase public safety and assist the growing population of criminal offenders reentering the community to establish a self-sustaining life through opportunities in employment.
(7) In balancing the legitimate needs of law enforcement agencies and the desire to afford employement opportunities to all Louisiana citizens, Louisiana enacts the provisions of this Title within the Code of Criminal Procedure. Acts 2014, No. 145 S1
What record(s) can be Expunged according to Louisiana law?
Arrests that do not lead to convictions usually can be expunged;
Most local ordinance violations;
State misdemeanors and felonies which do not lead to a conviction;
Juvenile criminal records according to Article 917 to 922 of the Louisiana Children's Code that have not been adjucated; has been more than 2 years since you satisfied most recent judgement; those crimes other than murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, armed robbery, and sex crimes; might be expunged if more than 5 years since satisfaction of your judgement;
Adult convictions if you were specifically placed on probation under Article 893 or 894 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure, successfully satisfied your probation, and had the sentence vacated;
For Federal arrest record(s), you had a federal conviction for simple drug possession and you were under 21 years old at the time
When misdemeanor arrest records can generally be expunged in Louisiana:
A "misdemeanor" is any crime other than a felony. A misdemeanor arrest record generally can be expunged if there was no conviction and either (1) the time limit for beginning prosecution of the offense has run out, or (2) a prosecution was begun, but the case was ended by dismissal, acquittal or motion to quash.
When felony arrest records can generally be expunged in Louisiana:
A "felony" is a crime that can have a sentence of hard labor or death. In Louisiana, state felony arrest records may be expunged if there was no conviction and (1) prosecution was begun and the case has been ended by acquittal, dismissal or a motion to quash and the record of arrest and prosecution for the offense has no substantial value as a prior act for any future prosecution, OR (2) the time limit for prosecution of the offense has run out and no prosecution was begun.