Seth: I think one thing that we do for new clients and for old clients that are most important is expungements, and this is a mechanism of getting…it’s the only mechanism or vehicle of getting a prior arrest or conviction off of your record. So David, maybe we can talk about it. We get that call all of the time “Can I expunge my DWI?”, “Can I expunge my arrest from 5 years ago?” Tell us a little bit about that.
David: Absolutely, and expungement law in Louisiana is very nuanced and intricate. There’s different ways that you can get expungements. In Louisiana, there’s Criminal Code of Procedure Articles 893 and 894. 893 is for felony and 894 is for misdemeanors, respectively. Those are code articles that when you’re sentenced if you’re convicted of a crime, you can be sentenced under those code articles which defers your sentence and allows you to get your conviction expunged earlier upon completion of probation. So, that’s something that we definitely need to know if that was what happened when you were sentenced.
Seth: Well let me ask you this David, there’s certain crimes out there that you can’t expunge. Maybe talk about that a little bit.
David: Absolutely. Domestic abuse, if you’re convicted of that, as the law is written now you can not get expunged. Certain violent crimes and sexual, you know, crimes cannot be expunged at this time in Louisiana. However, you can give us a call and we can explain all your options and if it is…the crime that you were convicted of is something that can be expunged and your record sealed.
Seth: I think one thing in over 13 years of practices, people always call me and they say, “Can’t I just do an expungement myself?”, and I’ve always explained to them, you know, these are kind of things where you need a professional. So why is…why wouldn’t they do an expungement themselves?
David: Sure, and the forms are very complicated, even as an attorney. That’s why you need an attorney to handle these because the layperson looking at these forms might now know what they need to fill out and all these different, you know, blanks that you have to turn in to the clerk of court and to the judge, and if you don’t fill it in properly they’re immediately going to kick it out, and it’s usually around $500 to even file for an expungement. So then you lose your money and you have to file over.
Seth: And I think it’s important to show too that, you know, there is a hearing once you do get this paperwork filed. There’s a conflict hearing, and often especially on felony expungements, the prosecutor may object to it, so then you may have a hearing in front of a judge, and you don’t know exactly if that hearing is going to go or if the prosecutor is just going to sign it. So I think, you know, most people don’t want to have a hearing in front of a state judge without a council.
David: For sure. For sure, and that’s something that can definitely happen. Now the state usually has 60 days to object if they’re going to object to an expungement. So, if they do object within that time, regardless if they object or not you still have to appear in front of a judge and the judge has to sign that expungement at a hearing. So, it’s something that you need a competent council for, for sure.
Seth: Absolutely. So if you need anything expunged, an arrest, a conviction, or you’re not sure if you can get it expunged, give us a call. I’m Seth Bloom, Bloom Legal. 504-599-9997. We’ll be glad to evaluate your case, and whether this happened a month ago, or it happened a decade ago, we can look at it. We expunge things for people from 20 years ago all the time. So we’re happy to take a look at it, we’re happy to help you with expungements. Thanks so much.