Mr. Eastman serves as the firm’s managing partner, and is licensed to practice law in California, Oregon, and Texas.
Sam has helped thousands of clients expunge, seal, and set-aside records across the country, and has a passion for criminal justice reform. Previously, Mr. Eastman represented a number of corporate clients, focusing on tax law, mergers and acquisitions, and a variety of corporate transactions.
Mr. Eastman earned his JD and LLM from the University of San Diego School of Law, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Oregon.
HOW TO EXPUNGE A LOUISIANA FELONY CONVICTION RECORD
You Don’t Always Need to Be Looked at as Guilty
Having a criminal record in Louisiana makes life more difficult. A criminal record can restrict you from getting the job you want, obtaining housing, getting professional licenses, legally owning a firearm, qualifying for government programs, receiving student loans, and many other opportunities which would otherwise be available to you.
When charged with a crime in the State of Louisiana, a criminal record is created and then maintained by the Louisiana State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information. Any person with an internet connection can potentially see your record, and subsequently discriminate you because of it.
After enacting substantial changes to the Code of Criminal Procedure (CCRP) in 2014, Louisiana state law allows for the expungement of felony convictions in a few different situations. There are several requirements including a conviction-free, ten-year waiting period, not being convicted of certain ineligible offenses, and so on, but this is discussed in detail below.
Those with expunged convictions may deny the fact that they have expunged a record, and even deny the existence of the offense, with certain limitations. Once an expungement order is granted, the records will no longer be available to the general public, excluding law enforcement and certain government agencies.
This Information is for You
Since the majority of people reading this aren’t lawyers, we’ve tried to simplify the legal jargon on our website, so regular people may follow along and get the information needed to understand their rights. However, before we get started, we should be clear that some of this information can get complicated, and, in many cases, it’s best to seek the assistance of an experienced lawyer.
To help you understand your rights, our lawyers have developed a tool that can be helpful in figuring out your options. This tool can’t be perfectly accurate in every situation, but our lawyers have invested substantial time and resources working to make it as accurate as possible.
You can get started by using our Secure Eligibility Test, or you can give us a call at (844) 947-3732 to see if our legal staff is available for a free consultation. Be aware that our staff is often busy with current clients and a high volume of calls and appointments. If you’re serious about getting rid of your record, your best bet is to take our Secure Eligibility Test and then schedule an appointment to discuss your results and options.
Do You Qualify to Expunge Your Conviction?
Louisiana State law provides for the expungement of arrest and conviction records of a felony offense under Article 978 of the CCRP.
In order to petition for expungement, the person must either:
- Have had the felony conviction set aside and dismissed under Article 893(E)
- Have had at least 10 years pass since completion of any sentence, in which the person remained conviction-free, and the person has no pending criminal charges
These are the basic requirements surrounding the expungement process for felony convictions, but there are a number of other conditions that must be considered.
Article 978 additionally provides certain offenses that are not eligible for expungement. If convicted of any of the following offenses, or of the attempt to commit any of these offenses, you may not petition for expungement.
- A crime of violence (R.S. 14:2(B))*
- A conviction for domestic abuse battery
- Any violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law, excluding the following drug-related offenses:
- A conviction for possession of a controlled dangerous substance (R.S. 40:966(C), 968(C), 968(C), 969(C), or 970(C)
- A conviction for possession with the intent to distribute
- A conviction for a violation of the substances law punishable by a term of imprisonment of five years or less
- A conviction for a violation of the substances law which may be expunged under Article 893(E)
*However, regarding crimes of violence, Louisiana courts may order the expungement of a conviction for aggravated battery, second-degree battery, aggravated criminal damage to property, simple robbery, purse snatching, or illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities, only if they follow the same basic requirements above and have been employed for ten consecutive years (Paragraph E of Art. 978).
If the above applies to you, then you will need to obtain certification from the District Attorney of the parish of conviction.
Frequency of Expungements
Under Louisiana State law, a person may only have a felony conviction expunged once in a 15-year period.
Legal Effects of Expunging Your Louisiana Felony Conviction Records
The two biggest issues our law firm’s clients encounter relate to obtaining employment and restoring firearm rights, so we’re going to discuss each.
How will expunging my felony conviction help me get a job?arrow_drop_down
Expunging your conviction in Louisiana is currently one of the best ways to improve your chances at obtaining employment. With an expungement, most employers will not be able to see any records related to the expunged conviction, and more job and occupational licensing opportunities should be available.
When an expungement order is granted, the clerk of the court shall notify the district attorney of the parish of conviction, the arresting agency and the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information that the related records have been expunged.
Under Article 973 of the Louisiana CCRP, anyone with an expunged record is not required to disclose the contents of the expunged record, or even that they have expunged a record. The records are not destroyed – and may be available to law enforcement, prosecutors, and certain licensing boards – but the records are not available to the general public.
A conviction may only be expunged once every fifteen years, except for deferred adjudication cases, but a granted order results in the arrest and conviction records held by state and local criminal record databases being fully sealed.
Will expunging my felony conviction restore my Second Amendment right to own and possess a firearm?arrow_drop_down
If (1) the offense was not a crime of violence, (2) it’s been ten years since completion of the sentence, and (3) the offense has been expunged – then yes. Louisiana state law restricts the possession of firearms to anyone convicted of a crime of violence, felony weapons or drug offense, or sex offense. However, this does not apply if ten years have passed since the completion of your sentence – although you will still be prohibited from firearm possession and ownership under federal law.
In order for your rights to be fully restored under federal law, Louisiana must remove all restrictions on each one of your civil rights. This includes the right to obtain a concealed handgun permit, which is restricted upon being convicted of a felony. If the ten year automatic restoration timeframe has not passed, or in order to fully restore your rights, you must obtain an expungement.
LA. R.S. 40:1379.3(C) lists the requirements to be eligible for a concealed handgun permit in Louisiana. A person convicted of a felony offense becomes eligible for a concealed handgun permit if (a) 10 years have passed since the completion of the sentence, and (b) the conviction is expunged. A person is never eligible if convicted of a crime of violence listed in R.S. 14:2(B), regardless of whether the offense is expunged or not.
What You Need to Do to Get Rid of Your Record
If you are tired of having a criminal record hold you back, reach out to us by taking our Secure Eligibility Test or by giving us a call at (844) 947-3732. Our law firm has helped thousands of people with criminal records move on in life, leaving many of the negative effects of a criminal record behind. Our experienced attorneys and legal staff are here to help you figure out what criminal record clearing services best fit your needs, and then help you accomplish your goals. Using our secure, confidential Eligibility Test is the best way to get the process started.
Some of the Potential Benefits of Expunging a Felony in Louisiana Include:
- Removing a finding of guilt from your criminal record to help you get a better job
- Becoming eligible for professional licenses you previously did not qualify for
- No longer being treated as a felon
- Possible restoration of Second Amendment rights to possess a firearm
- Increased eligibility for student loans, housing assistance, and government programs
- Improving your ability to obtain higher-paying job opportunities
- Improving access and admission to college and other educational resources
Each of Louisiana’s methods for dealing with your criminal record have different requirements and are meant for different circumstances. To move forward, it’s important to determine which Louisiana criminal record services are available to you, and then select the services that will provide the greatest benefit. Eastman Meyler, PC is here to help you navigate this very specific area of Louisiana criminal law, fight to protect your rights, and assist you in moving forward in life without the effects of a Louisiana criminal record.