To be held in custody for a misdemeanor in Louisiana, a person must be charged within 45 days of being arrested. Those who are not detained must face a misdemeanor charge within ninety days.
Louisiana Driving While Intoxicated
Driving under the influence is a misdemeanor that can result in the loss of one’s license. A fine, jail time, and community service are all likely consequences. A third DUI offense within ten years will increase the seriousness of the charges. According to Louisiana law, a third DUI offense is no longer a misdemeanor but instead becomes a felony. This law is in place to assist the offender in avoiding a repeat DUI offense if at all possible.
Possession of Marijuana
In Louisiana, the first offense of marijuana possession is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail or a $500 fine. Depending on the circumstances, a fine and a jail sentence may be administered concurrently.
Possession of Paraphernalia
Although there are no laws governing marijuana trafficking in Louisiana, there are strict laws governing the sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. A first offense of selling or possessing paraphernalia is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a $500 fine.
The second offense of paraphernalia sale or possession is also a Class A misdemeanor, but it carries a one-year jail sentence and a $1,000 fine. Possession or sale of paraphernalia as a third offense is either a Class A misdemeanor or a felony. This is determined by the circumstances. A third offense carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, with or without a $5,000 fine.
Misdemeanor Expungement in Louisiana
The Louisiana State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Information is in charge of the expungement process. This is the department that determines whether a criminal record is completely destroyed or simply sealed.
According to Louisiana law, those charged with misdemeanors for the first time are eligible to petition for expungement. This petition can be filed to expunge a five-year-old criminal record, but only after probation and sentencing requirements have been met. Unlike other states, Louisiana allows for the expungement of certain felonies. These are also filed with the court. DUIs in Louisiana can be expunged if all of the expungement requirements are met.
Expungement restricts the general public’s ability to view a criminal record. As a result, an individual can apply for jobs and specific licensing without having to comment on a previous record. A written petition is filed with the district court where the violation occurred. Expungement may be denied if the paperwork was not completed correctly or if the court does not rule in favor of the expungement.