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THE EXPUNGEMENT PROCESS
by Craig Smith, Attorney at Law (Licensed to practice in the State of Louisiana)
Do you want to know how to get your record expunged in Louisiana? You can take charge of your future by filing to have your Louisiana arrest and conviction history expunged. An expungement is the process of removing a conviction and/or arrest from public access and viewing, at both the courthouse where the matter was prosecuted and at the State Police where the criminal history, also known as the "rap sheet" or LACH (Louisiana Criminal History"), is maintained.
Arrests and convictions are separate entries on a rap sheet and not all arrests and convictions are eligible for expungement. You may be eligible to have a misdemeanor conviction expunged if it were set-aside and dismissed pursuant to Article 894 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure or if 5 years have passed since the completion of sentence and probation and there has been no felony conviction during the 5 year period. You may be eligible to have a felony conviction expunged if it were set-aside and dismissed pursuant to Article 893 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure or if 10 years have passed since the completion of sentence, parole, and probation and there has been no conviction of any kind during the 10 year period. Some misdemeanor and felony convictions are not eligible for expungement. See Article 978 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure that outlines which felonies may be expunged and Article 977 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure that outlines which misdemeanors may be expunged.
You may also be eligible to have arrests expunged from your record. Arrests that may be expunged are in matters where the prosecutor has rejected the prosecution of the charges, the time to prosecute the charges has elapsed, the charges were dismissed, or you were found not guilty.
The expungement process starts with researching the court records to see if you are eligible. You may want to submit a request to the Louisiana State Police to see what is shown on your rap sheet. The criminal history will show what the State of Louisiana has on file concerning your dates of arrests and convictions, as well as the arresting agencies and prosecuting authorities. We can help you with that request.
Once it has been established that you are eligible for an expungement, the first step is drafting the Motion for Judgment of Expungement and attaching the necessary court documents confirming your eligibility. The motion will be filed with the court. The expungment will then be scheduled for a hearing on a date ordered by a judge. Generally, your presence at the hearing is not required.
After the Judgment of Expungement is granted and signed by the judge, the Clerk of Court is responsible for serving a copy of the judgment upon the Louisiana State Police and the arresting agency. While there is no specific time line for the completion of the expungement process, it usually takes three to four months, beginning with discussing your eligibility with you through obtaining verification of final processing with the Louisiana State Police. As a result, instead of waiting to the last minute when you want it done, it is advisable to start the process sooner, rather than later, due to the inherent processing time of three to four months.
We handle expungements throughout North Louisiana in the following cities and parishes: Shreveport, Bossier City, Minden, Arcadia, Ruston, Monroe, Coushatta, Springhill, Vivian, Homer, Mansfield, Many, Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Bienville, Ouachita, DeSoto, Red River, Lincoln, Claiborne, Jackson, Sabine, plus most other cities and parishes in North Louisiana.
You will need to call to find out if your particular matter is eligible for expungement. The following are some commonly expunged matters: assault, battery, theft, DWI, DUI, driving while intoxicated, driving under the influence, hit and run, reckless operation, careless operation, possession of marijuana, possession of drugs, trespassing, unauthorized use of an access card, unauthorized use of a movable, bank fraud, flight from an officer, resisting arrest, property damage, computer fraud, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile, criminal mischief, disturbing the peace, domestic abuse battery arrests, stalking arrests, prostitution, obscenity, false report, illegal carrying of weapons, concealed weapon, false imprisonment, gambling, home improvement fraud, identity theft, illegal possession of stolen things, drug paraphernalia, issuing worthless checks, obstruction of justice, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, food stamp fraud, driving under suspension, DUS, and vagrancy.
Expungements are filed by Craig Smith, Attorney at Law, at Smith & John, 3646 Youree Drive, Shreveport, LA 71105, who is licensed to practice in the State of Louisiana. Craig Smith is a Louisiana lawyer who prepares and files the expungement forms for both misdemeanors and felonies. He can also prepare and file motions to finalize dismissals of convictions pursuant to the Code of Criminal Procedure Article 893 for felonies and Article 894 for misdemeanors. Call today and ask to speak with either Dee or Gary at (888) 484-5333. Click here to find out more on the law on expungements.