Expungement

Posted on Mar 31, 2014 in Criminal Defense

A criminal record means that you can be disqualified from certain jobs and other opportunities.  Avoiding problems with background checks and clearing your record is often a top priority after an interaction with the criminal justice system, and a New Orleans criminal defense lawyer at Bloom Legal may be able to help.

As we explain in our video on expungement, the ability to have your record expunged is going to depend upon the jurisdiction, the crime you were accused of, and whether the charges were dismissed.  Since every case is different, you should contact a New Orleans criminal defense law firm to have your situation evaluated and learn whether you can have your charges expunged.

Opportunities for Expunging Criminal Charges in Louisiana

Expungement is a court order to remove an arrest or conviction from the criminal record seen by the public.  Typically, even if you have your record expunged, law enforcement officers can still see the history of the criminal charges you faced. However, when employers or other members of the public do a background check on you, expungement would mean that your record was clean.

Expungement is different from sealing your records, and once you get a court order to expunge the records you will need to alert the individual jurisdictions where the criminal cases took place.

Are You Eligible for Expungement

Our video on expungement provides more information on when it is possible to have records expunged.  In general, you can have a record expunged if you were arrested for state misdemeanors and felonies that did not lead to a conviction.  If you were arrested for a federal crime, you cannot have the arrest record expunged except in limited cases such as a simple drug possession crime that occurred when you were under the age of 21.

For state misdemeanors and felonies, your request to expunge your criminal records will likely be successful if you were charged but the time limit for prosecuting the case has run out without the prosecutor moving forward to trial.

You can also have records expunged if you were tried but you were acquitted, the charges were dismissed or a motion to quash has been granted.  If the criminal charges were felony charges, the record will be expunged only if the record of arrest and prosecution does not have substantial value as a prior criminal act for any type of future prosecution.

For those who were accused of criminal acts when underage, the rules differ because a youthful mistake should not affect the rest of your life. Juvenile arrests can be expunged for misdemeanors in some cases as long as two years have passed since you satisfied the most recent criminal judgment against you.

When you petition to have your case expunged, the judge will make a decision on whether it is appropriate to strike the past charges from your record. An experienced New Orleans criminal defense lawyer at Bloom Legal can help you to make a compelling argument for why you should have the charges removed from public view.  Watch our video on expungement to learn more and call today to schedule a consultation with an experienced legal professional who can help you restore your clean criminal record.

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