Are you looking for the better opportunities that come along without having a conviction on your record? You may be eligible to get your record cleared with an expungement. Expungements help people move past their convictions and start with a clean slate. Read on to learn whether your situation qualifies you for the expungement process and how a dedicated expungement attorney can help you get started today.
What is expungement?
Expungement is the legal term for having a conviction removed from your public record. While law enforcement agencies will still have access to the information, people of the general public and all future employers will never know if happened. So how is this helpful?
As you may know, some people with convictions on their records may encounter barriers to some basic necessities in their lives:
- Employment opportunities
- Education opportunities
- Government benefits and assistance (i.e., Social Security, welfare, financial aid)
- Parental rights
Clearing your conviction from your record allows you to remove these barriers and make your way towards a better future.
How to know if you qualify for an expungement in Louisiana?
Many types of convictions qualify for expungement, even if the people convicted often don’t realize it. Some of these crimes in Louisiana include:
- Theft or shoplifting
- Possession of drugs OR possession with intent to distribute drugs
- Resisting arrest
- Disturbing the peace
- Illegal carrying of weapons
- Driving under suspension
It’s not just the conviction that determines your eligibility for expungement. There are certain qualifications that your situation should meet, as well.
For example, some of the situations that allow you to seek expungement include:
- You were found innocent;
- Your case was dismissed;
- You were arrested, but the charges were dropped;
- You plead guilty under Article 893 or 894 (for First Time Offenders);
- You completed your sentence for a minor crime you plead guilty to; or
- You were under 18 when you were convicted.
If these qualifications apply to you (or if they don’t and you would like to know whether it’s still possible to seek expungement), you should contact an expungement attorney as soon as possible.
What else is involved in the expungement process?
The entire expungement process in Louisiana typically takes between 4 to 6 months, and there are many important steps that you must do in order. Hiring an expungement attorney can help the process go much more smoothly.
If you’ve been acquitted, Louisiana law allows you to file your application for expungement immediately. Other situations have varying timelines. Speak to your lawyer to learn when you can start your application.
The Court requires certain forms to be filled out, along with a background check acquired within 30 days of your expungement application. The Court may schedule a hearing regarding your application, which your attorney will help you prepare for.
Court costs for expungements in Louisiana are typically $550.00, and you’ll need to take into account attorney fees, as well. At Crescent City Law, we understand that attorney fees are often an unplanned expense, so we offer a variety of payment plans.