Expungement in Louisiana
The process of legally erasing and destroying records and the information contained in each file is known as expungement. This includes files stored in computer databases. Juvenile criminal records that have been ordered expunged must be destroyed. If this is not possible, the records must be kept but are not to be disclosed. The court may also keep a confidential record of the adjudication, such as a minute entry. This information can only be released with written consent, as requested by the court under Louisiana Children’s Code 920-921.
If an adult is arrested but not convicted, he or she may apply for expungement to have the arrest records erased. In the case of felony orders, expungement in Louisiana means removing records from public view but not completely destroying them. The record is confidential, but it can be accessed by any law enforcement agency, the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners, criminal justice agencies, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychology, the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry, the Emergency Medical Services Certification Commission, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board, or the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissibility. Under Louisiana Criminal Code 44:9, the Department of Public Safety and Corrections may keep a confidential, non-public record of the disposition and arrest for investigative purposes only.
In juvenile cases, all records pertaining to the conditions or conduct referred to in the motion for expungement may include exhibits, pleadings, reports, correspondence, minute entries, and all other documents. Expungement allows you to obtain microfilm, tape, photographs, fingerprints, computer memory devices, and any other information pertaining to the juvenile.
On adult misdemeanor cases, all law enforcement records and agencies must return any microfilm, photographs, tapes, computer cards, electronic data, mechanical data, fingerprints, and any other information in relation to an individual. In felony cases, all records of the proceedings, judgment, order, or other action can be expunged upon order under Code of Criminal Procedure Article 893.
Eligibility for Louisiana Expungement
In Louisiana, only a few people are eligible for expungement. Juveniles over the age of seventeen who have been charged with a crime but have not been convicted may file an expungement petition. If a juvenile has not satisfied all judgments against him or her for two years, his or her misdemeanor adjudication records may be erased. If the felony adjudication was not for manslaughter, murder, any sex crime, armed robbery, or kidnapping, the juvenile record can be expunged. Before he or she can petition, five years must have passed since he or she satisfied all conditions related to the judgment. The individual must also be free of any felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving a deadly weapon, as well as any outstanding bill of information or indictment.
Adult misdemeanor charges may be dismissed if the time limit for prosecution has passed, and felony charges may be dismissed if the prosecutor declines to prosecute. No offenses related to drug offenses may be expunged.