The state of Louisiana states that a person must be charged within forty-five days of an arrest to be held in custody for a misdemeanor. Those that are not held in custody must be charged with a misdemeanor within ninety days.
Louisiana Driving Under the Influence
Driving under the influence is considered a misdemeanor and can lead to the revoking of an individual’s license. The possibility of a fine, jail time, and community service will most likely follow. The third offense of a DUI in a ten-year period of time will increase the seriousness of the charges. Louisiana law states that a third DUI offense is no longer a misdemeanor offense but will instead advance to a felony offense. This law is in place to help the offender to not repeat the DUI offense again — if possible.
The first offense of marijuana possession in Louisiana is classified as a Class A Misdemeanor and can include up to six months in jail or a five hundred-dollar fine. A fine and a jail sentence may be administered together depending on the circumstances.
Since Louisiana does not have laws governing the trafficking of marijuana, there are highly enforced laws regarding the sale and possession of marijuana paraphernalia. A first offense of the sale or the possession of paraphernalia is a Class A Misdemeanor and can include up to six months in jail with or without a fine of five hundred dollars.
The second offense of paraphernalia sale or possession is also a Class A Misdemeanor but can have jail time of up to one year with or without a fine of one thousand dollars. The third offense of the possession or sale of paraphernalia can be classified as either a Class A Misdemeanor or a felony. This depends on the circumstances. The sentences for a third offense include up to five years in jail with or without a five thousand-dollar fine.
Louisiana Misdemeanor Expungement
The Louisiana State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Information handles the process of expungement. This is the department that decides whether a criminal record is completely destroyed or whether or not it is simply sealed.
Those that have been charged with misdemeanors for the first time are eligible to petition for expungement according to Louisiana law. This petition can be filed to expunge a criminal record that is five-years-old but only after the completion of probation and sentencing requirements. Unlike other states, Louisiana allows some felonies to be expunged. These are also petitioned to the court. DUIs can be expunged in Louisiana if all the expungement requirements are met.
Expungement limits the availability of a criminal records to be viewed by the general public. This in turn allows an individual the ability to apply for jobs and specific licensing without having to comment on a past record. A written petition is filed to the district court in which the violation was handled. Expungement may be denied if the paperwork was not filled out correctly or the expungement is not found in the favor of the court.