There is an arrest made every three seconds in the United States. Louisiana arrest records can impact your ability to get or maintain work, your ability to find housing, establish credit, and more. If you are arrested, you will want to contact a Baton Rouge Defense Attorney.
You may not be aware, but even if the charges against you result in a dismissal, the arrest remains on your record. This may come up in background checks for the remainder of your life. Arrest records are also on file at the courthouse and available for public access.
If you are trying to deal with a Louisiana arrest record negatively impacting your life, read on to see what you can do to eliminate the problem.
Louisiana Arrest Records
Many aspects of your life will feel the impact of a criminal record, even something as simple as a misdemeanor. It doesn’t matter how many years it has been or how honorable a person you are; if you have a criminal record it will hang over your head for the rest of your life.
The most common use of arrest records is background checks.
Background checks are a way potential employers, landlords, and financial institutions check to see if you are trustworthy and of good moral character.
The problem with background checks is that they are non-discriminatory. They do not reveal only your convictions. They also list your arrests regardless of whether or not you were found guilty.
Your criminal background will impact your life in numerous ways, including:
- School acceptance
- Parental rights
- Right to vote
- Finding housing
- Government benefits
- Job opportunities
There are also many other privileges you may lose because of your record.
Loss of Privileges
While the above can be inconvenient, you may also lose privileges because of your conviction or arrest record. These include:
- You may be denied occupational or professional licensing if you have a conviction for a sex crime, violent crime, or a felony that directly relates to that particular profession or occupation
- The right to vote if you have a felony conviction and are on probation or parole; you may apply for restoration of voting rights if no incarcerations within five years
- Unable to serve on a jury if the conviction is for a felony and the right is only restored by pardon
- Unable to possess a firearm when the conviction is for sexual offenses, violent felonies, and weapons offenses; right is restored automatically after 10 years following completion of sentence or earlier by pardon
- Federal restrictions and/or limits for receipt of disaster relief, student loans, federal employment, and business licenses
To restore your privileges you need to speak with Baton Rouge attorney about filing for an expungement.
Having Your Conviction and/or Arrest Record Expunged
A successful expungement results in the removal of your criminal and/or arrest record from public viewing. With a successful expungement, the arrest will not show up in public background checks. It will remain visible on police records if you have a subsequent arrest.
Expungements in Louisiana begin by obtaining the court documents that provide the details of your case. To make sure the preparation of paperwork and filing is proper, you will want a Baton Rouge attorney. Expungement cases normally take about 3-4 months to complete and are not cheap.
The filing fee for an expungement runs about $550. This does not include attorney fees. The only way to avoid filing fees is to request a waiver, which may be granted if you:
- Have no felony charges pending
- Have no prior felony convictions within the country
- The offense on which you were arrested ended in an acquittal
Though you may be able to receive a waiver on your court fees, to make sure all paperwork is prepared in accordance with legal requirements, you need to have an attorney familiar with the expungement process handle the preparation and filing of documents.
The Expungement Process
Your lawyer will prepare the paperwork, and the motion could easily contain up to 15 pages, along with all required forms and documents, including a background check performed within 30 days of the filing date.
The court will schedule a hearing and a judge will determine whether you have met the requirements to have your conviction or arrest expunged. Once the judge awards the expungement, an order enters instructing the court and the police to remove those charges from your record.
Watch the video prepared by Carl Barkemeyer, Attorney at Law, for information on the expungement process.
Louisiana Expungement Law
Louisiana Expungement Law CCRP 978 sets forth the steps for filing an expungement.
A person may file a motion requesting expungement of a record for felony arrest and conviction if any of the following applies:
- Dismissal of the prosecution and conviction was set aside pursuant to Article 893(E)
- It has been over 10 years since the person completed any deferred adjudication, sentence, probation, or parole, there are no further convictions during that 10 year period and there are no pending charges
- If the petitioner’s offense is not a crime of violence or sexual offense the person is entitled to a first offender pardon
The law excludes certain persons from receiving an expungement for the following charges:
- A crime of violence pursuant to R.S. 14:2(B) unless authorized under paragraph E
- Sex offenses or criminal offense against a minor
- Persons with convictions for carnal knowledge of a juvenile depending on the specifics of the crime and date of conviction
- A domestic abuse battery conviction
Some violations of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law may be expunged. There are various particulars regarding who does and does not qualify.
Louisiana also has additional laws that authorize the sealing and expungement of a misdemeanor, first, youthful, decriminalized, felony, and pardoned offenses as wrongful arrests. One basis for an expungement motion is Louisiana’s entitlement to first offender pardons.
Louisiana also allows you to pay only one filing fee if you are filing a motion for several offenses resulting from one arrest.
Following the expungement of your arrest or criminal convictions you no longer need to disclose that information to anyone. You also do not need to reveal that you had records expunged.
The expunged records are not available to the public when conducting background checks. They are available to prosecutors., law enforcement officers, and licensing boards for medical, social work, and insurance.
Clear the Crime
If you have Louisiana arrest records or convictions you need to speak with attorney Carl Barkemeyer to discuss the possibility of receiving an expungement.
Taking appropriate steps to protect your future includes having your criminal history as clear as possible. Call us anytime from 7 am to 7 pm, including weekends at (225) 964-6720. You can also complete our online form.
We look forward to discussing your case.