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.
EXPUNGEMENT OF LOUISIANA MISDEMEANOR CONVICTION RECORDS
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.
Louisiana’s Code of Criminal Procedure outlines the process of expunging records resulting from a misdemeanor conviction. The requirements are discussed in detail below, and they are fairly straightforward.
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 misdemeanor conviction under Article 977 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
In order to petition for expungement, the person must either:
- Have had the misdemeanor conviction set aside and dismissed under Article 894(B)
- Have had at least five years pass since completion of any sentence, in which the person has not been convicted of any felony during the period, and the person has no pending felony charges
These are the basic requirements surrounding the expungement process for misdemeanor convictions, but there are a number of other conditions that must be considered.
If the second category applies to you, then you will additionally need to obtain certification from the district attorney verifying that you have followed the conditions (La. Code Crim. Proc. art. 977).
Article 977 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 sex offense as defined in R.S. 15:54[KVK1] , unless
- You are petitioning for an interim expungement under Article 985.1, which details how a petitioner may expunge the arrest records only, not conviction records, of a felony arrest resulting in a misdemeanor conviction
- A conviction for misdemeanor domestic abuse battery
- A conviction for misdemeanor stalking as defined in R.S. 14:40.2[KVK2]
Frequency of Expungements
Under Louisiana State law, a person may only have a misdemeanor conviction expunged once in a five-year period. However, there are a couple exceptions.
For any sentencing given pursuant to Article 894(B) of the CCRP – deferred adjudication – and completed successfully, the court may set aside and dismiss the conviction, making it not apply to the five-year rule.
On the other hand, a petitioner attempting to expunge records of a misdemeanor conviction for operating a vehicle while intoxicated may only do so once in a ten-year period (Art. 977(D)(2)).
Legal Effects of Expunging Your Louisiana Misdemeanor 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 misdemeanor 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.
The process of obtaining an expungement takes at least six months, so don’t wait until it’s too late and you need the expungement immediately. Starting the process as soon as possible is vital to ensuring that you do not miss out on opportunities in life due to your past mistakes.
Will expunging my misdemeanor conviction restore my Second Amendment right to own and possess a firearm?arrow_drop_down
For convictions where Louisiana took away your rights, they may be restored after (1) ten years have passed upon the completion of your sentence, and (2) the offense has been expunged. Generally, Louisiana state law does not restrict firearm rights based upon a misdemeanor conviction. However, RS 14:95.10 does make it unlawful for any person convicted of domestic battery to possess a firearm or carry a concealed weapon. 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.
Under the Lautenberg Amendment, federal law restricts firearm rights for individuals convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. 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. If the ten-year automatic restoration timeframe has not passed, or in order to fully restore your rights, you must obtain an expungement.
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 your criminal record 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.
You can trust that you will get exceptional service from our law firm, as we have an A Rating from the Better Business Bureau, and prestigious attorney rating services such as Thompson Reuters and Avvo list our attorneys as Super Lawyers and Superb Attorneys. Our law firm has attorneys licensed to practice law in all Louisiana state courts, provides low price guarantees, and is here to fight for you and put your criminal record behind you!