Restore Your Good Name

A criminal record in the state of Louisiana, or anywhere else in the United States, can be a serious impediment to quality of life and can cause a myriad of problems.  Difficulty securing employment and enrolling in school can result from a criminal record that is not addressed.

Fortunately, in Louisiana an individual’s criminal record can be sealed and/or destroyed in a number of situations to help rightfully restore his or her good name and keep past arrests and convictions from affecting his/her life any further.

A New Orleans criminal defense attorney at Bloom Legal can help both local residents and individuals from out-of-state who have a criminal record in Louisiana get their record cleared.  Expungement is the legal process of “clearing” a record of a particular crime.  In a successful expungement case, law enforcement, witnesses and all involved parties are ordered to destroy any record (digital, paper or tangible records) of the case.

Expungement in Louisiana

When the court orders your record to be expunged, agencies and law enforcement offices with information on your arrest and/or conviction must destroy all records.  This includes all computer, paper, digital and photographic records.  The benefit of expungement is a clean record.  When employers conduct a background check your criminal history related to the expunged charges will not appear.

Expungement covers three main categories of records:

  1. Violations of parish and municipal ordinances, and other misdemeanors
  2. Felonies and violations including some misdemeanors
  3. Crimes and persons who cannot move for expunging records

Expungement is not possible in all situations and generally you can have your record cleared only by petitioning the court where the violation was prosecuted.  This means you may seek expungement from a traffic, state, municipal or district court.

During the process you will have to demonstrate that you are eligible for expungement, which may mean showing that your conviction was set aside or dismissed, the prosecutor did not press charges, or you were found not guilty.

In expungement cases, you need to only petition the proper court and take all required steps, but you also have the burden of demonstrating that you are actually eligible for expungement.  An experienced New Orleans criminal defense attorney can help to guide you through the process and ensure you meet the strict legal requirements.

Expungement Basics

Throughout the country, and in the state of Louisiana, the process of expunging criminal convictions from one’s record is a civil action.  The civil actions related to expunging Louisiana criminal convictions, investigations, or proceedings seek to destroy or seal records pertaining to a previous judicial action or criminal court proceeding, thus rightfully restoring an individual’s good name.  Each state possesses very unique and complex procedures and policies regarding the expunging of criminal records, and the state of Louisiana and Orleans Parish criminal expungements are no different when it comes to expunging Louisiana criminal records.

In the state of Louisiana, the laws pertaining to expunging records, whether paper or electronic files, are covered in LSA-R.S. 44:9.  The Louisiana expungement  laws are complex and oftentimes, very ambiguous, but as such, a great level of maneuverability is offered to clients and their attorneys when seeking the removal of criminal proceedings from their records. The three main categories of records that fall under expunge Louisiana law, include:

  • Violations of parish and municipal ordinances, and other misdemeanors
  • Felonies and violations including some misdemeanors
  • Crimes and persons who cannot move for expunging records

Expunging Louisiana Misdemeanors

Any person arrested in the state of Louisiana for a violation of misdemeanor state, parish, or municipal law can file a motion for expunging their records. This is generally done under the provisions of Article 894 for all misdemeanor charges and municipal criminal violations in the state of Louisiana. A written claim from individuals seeking to expunge their records must be filed at the location of the jurisdiction where the arrest and violation originally occurred or was prosecuted.  A sufficient time period must have elapsed, based on the original arrest crime or crimes, before a motion to expunge Louisiana arrests can be made. Typically, motions to expunge in Louisiana, if granted by a judge, will include destruction of all documents related to the investigation, arrest, and trial including:

  • Photographs
  • Fingerprints
  • Electronic files
  • Films
  • Paper documents
  • Any references of inferential documents to infer an arrest

As an attorney focusing on catering to the clients of Orleans Parish, as well as Jefferson Parish and the entire New Orleans area, expunging criminal misdemeanors and municipal criminal charges covers a large area of Bloom Legal’s experience. Given the high number of tourist, party, and festival related charges involving disputes and alcohol found throughout the year in New Orleans, Bloom Legal regularly assists clients in expunging records under the provisions of Article 894 and Article 893. Some of the misdemeanor charges and Orleans and Jefferson Parish municipal violations Bloom Legal will expunge, under the provisions of Article 894, for all clients include:

  • DUI/DWI
  • Public intoxications
  • Open container ordinance violations
  • Underage drinking
  • Lewd Conduct
  • Solicitation
  • Resisting arrest
  • Disturbing the peace
  • Domestic violence
  • Simple battery
  • Truancy
  • Assault

All of the aforementioned charges, as well virtually any other misdemeanor charge, can be expunged through the provisions of Article 894 and the counsel of Bloom Legal.  Almost any individual can recognize the immediate and long term benefits of expunging criminal convictions, even simple misdemeanors and municipal offenses.  Especially for DUI/DWI offenders, the provisions of Article 894 are essential for not expunging charges, but also, a feasible means of returning their unabated driving and license privileges. At Bloom Legal, we maintain a high reputation for counseling and representing clients seeking expungements of records under the provisions of Article 894 in Louisiana state law.

Expunging Louisiana Felonies

In the state of Louisiana, certain misdemeanors must undergo the expunging process used for felony arrests.  These misdemeanor charges include:

  • Aggravated assault; 14:37
  • Battery of School Teacher; 14:34.3
  • Battery of a Police Officer; 14:34.2

These offenses, coupled with all other felonies, can be subject to expunging after a period of time lapses between the arrest and request for expunge Louisiana arrest records.  Additionally, felonies and the aforementioned misdemeanor arrests require a hearing with the state of Louisiana District Attorney, as well as the presentation of contradictory statements to the expunging motions from arresting law organizations.  With expunging of felonies and these misdemeanors, the records will be restricted from public access; however, law enforcement is not expressly required to destroy all records relating to the arrest.

Louisiana state laws provide for the expunging of felonies, whether occurring in Orleans Parish, Jefferson Parish, or anywhere in the state of Louisiana, under the provisions of Article 893.  Article 893 of Louisiana law pertains to the ability of individuals to acquire expungement of their criminal convictions with the counsel and representation of an attorney.  Bloom Legal regularly assists clients in removing felony convictions, investigations, and proceedings from their records, which is essential in maintaining any form of employment and reputability in the legal system.  When filing for an Article 893 expungement, individuals must file in the parish of their arrest, which may include Orleans Parish, Jefferson Parish, or any one of the other 64 parishes in the state of Louisiana.

Crimes and Individuals Not Permissible to Expunge in Louisiana

According to Louisiana expungement crime laws, which is found at subsection 44:9(E)(2), any individual convicted of sex offenses involving a person under the age of seventeen cannot expunge any or all related documents and records to their arrest and conviction.  The definition of sex offense used by the state of Louisiana regarding expunging records is detailed in R.S. 15:542(E).  Additionally, persons currently under incarceration have no right to motion to expunge any felony charges according to Louisiana expunge laws.

Employer Disclosures Regarding Expunged Arrest Accords

For individuals looking to expunge Louisiana arrest records for the purposes of future employment and other times requesting disclosure, subsection I of 44:9 notes no individual will have to make note of the arrests expunged in a civil action through Article 893 or Article 894. Bloom Legal can assist clients in ensuring this is the case with all of their criminal convictions and investigations.  The only hindrances to these events of disclosure would be for persons applying for employment at the following state employment entities including:

  • Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychologists
  • Louisiana State Board of Dentistry
  • Louisiana State Board of Nursing
  • Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners
  • Any and all state of Louisiana law enforcement agencies

Getting Help from a New Orleans Criminal Defense Law Firm

At Bloom Legal, our New Orleans criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience assisting clients with the expungement process and are well-equipped to handle a wide range of expungement cases.

For more information on the expungement process, please visit the links provided below.

Let us help you clear your criminal record and restore your good name. Call Bloom Legal at 504.599.9997 or fill out the form on the left side of the website to determine whether you qualify for expungement.

Hear What Our Clients Have To Say

I contacted Bloom Legal out of the blue with a strange question for a fiction series I’m writing that takes place in New Orleans. Being from Maryland I was in the dark and needed assistance and they jumped at the chance to help me (they were the only law firm that responded to my e-mail). His team worked quickly and carefully to find the information I needed. Because of the help they provided it changed a large aspect of my novel and for that I am very grateful.



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