Is expungement an option in Louisiana?

On Behalf of Longman Jakuback

In the state of Louisiana, individuals who have criminal charges may have the opportunity to clear their records through a process known as expungement.

Expungement allows a person to erase their criminal history from public view, offering a fresh start and a chance to move forward without the burden of past mistakes.

Criminal records

Before delving into the expungement process, it is important to grasp what a criminal record entails. A criminal record is a detailed documentation of an individual’s run-ins with the law, including arrests, charges and convictions. Approximately 80 million American adults have a criminal record. Employers, landlords and other entities can access these records, often leading to various hurdles in one’s life.

Eligibility requirements

Not all criminal charges are eligible for expungement in Louisiana. Generally, only certain non-violent offenses are eligible for expungement. However, for individuals facing assault charges, the eligibility criteria can vary depending on the specific circumstances of the case.

Individuals must have completed their sentence, including probation and parole, for the charge in question. Moreover, they must have maintained a clean record for a specified waiting period, typically ranging from five to 10 years, after completing their sentence. Applicants must not have any pending charges or open cases.

Expungement process

The expungement process involves several steps. First, applicants must obtain a copy of their criminal history and review it to ensure they meet the eligibility requirements for expungement. Eligible applicants must file a petition with the court, specifying the charges they wish to expunge. If accepted, a judge will review the petition and ask questions at a court hearing to make a decision. Once approved, the court seals the record to make it publicly inaccessible.

While the process has complexities and can be time-consuming, securing an expungement can offer numerous benefits.

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