A misdemeanor or a felony conviction is a stressful event that could affect your future employment, your education, and even your housing opportunities. It can often seem overwhelming.
But there is some good news: If you meet certain criteria, you might be eligible for an expungement! An expungement will remove your arrest, conviction, or citation from the public view, meaning insurance companies, credit reporting agencies, and potential employers won’t be able to access it.
Unfortunately, expungements do cost money. The price will vary based on your individual case, but you’ll definitely need to be ready to pay to have your record cleared.
Here’s a breakdown of all the costs associated with an expungement, and how much you’ll likely have to pay.
1. Background Check
The first thing you’ll need to pay for is a background check. In order to file for an expungement, you need to gather up information required by the court. A background check is one of those documents.
In Jefferson Parish, a background check costs about $50. In all other parishes, it’s about $26.
In addition to the cost of the background check itself, you’ll need to pay for the money order– that’s $1.25, plus the postage to mail it to the Louisiana State Police, which is about $1.50.
2. Court Costs
After obtaining your background check and other documents, we’ll need to file two motions:
(1) A Motion to Set Aside your Plea of Guilty and Dismiss your Conviction for Purposes of Expungement
(2) A Motion for Expungement
The motion to set aside your conviction is usually free, but there are court costs associated with filing your Motion for Expungement. In most cases, the court costs add up to $550, in addition to the two money orders ($2.50), as well as the postage (about $5.00).
If you’re dealing with a DWI conviction (driving while intoxicated), there are a couple of extra steps. These will increase your court costs by $100, plus two more money orders ($2.50) and associated postage (about $5.00)
3. Attorney Fees
What you’ll end up paying for your expungement largely depends upon how much your attorney charges, and this can range greatly.
Some attorneys charge by the hour ($250..00 per hour is a fairly typical in Louisiana), while others provide a flat rate for certain services, including expungements.
At Crescent City Law, we offer a flat rate of $2,000.00 in attorneys’ fees for most expungements, which includes $550.00 in court costs listed above.
We request that clients pay $500 up front.
However, we understand that attorney fees are often an unplanned expense, so we offer a variety of payment plans with the ability to spread the payment out over the life of your case (typically 4-6 months).
4. Other Costs
There could be other costs you should consider when preparing for an expungement, which may include:
- Parking: Don’t forget that every time you go to court, you’ll have to pay to park somewhere. Parking meters at the courthouse are $3/hour
- Postage: You may have to mail certain documents either to your attorney or to the Court itself (i.e., fingerprint copies, expungement forms). Costs for these types of mailings:
- District Attorney for Certificates of Eligibility $00.55 per stamp
- Clerk of Court for Expungement Packet, $00.55 per stamp
- In our experience, there are usually some surprise costs, too
We want to Help you Hide your Criminal Record
Getting an expungement is a huge step towards taking your life back. Now that you have an idea of what to expect for the cost of the process, we’d love to help you. Contact our office at Crescent City Law for a consultation with an experienced expungement lawyer today.