Expungements

How to Get an Expungement while New Orleans Recovers from the Cyberattack

By March 11, 2020No Comments

As you may be aware, the City of New Orleans suffered a Cyber-Attack in December 2019, which resulted in widespread loss of services and on-going loss of data maintained by the City.  One of the areas affected was a system used by the New Orleans Police Department as internal storage of police information like arrests, police reports, and secure communication between police officers. Read on to learn how these system failures can affect your expungement and how the Crescent City Law Firm can help you through your next steps.

How do expungements in New Orleans normally work?

Expungements allow you to have a clean slate after an arrest or conviction by sealing your criminal record from the general public. While law enforcement officials and certain state agencies may still be able to view your record, the benefits of erasing your criminal record are numerous, eliminating barriers to:

  • Housing
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Social life

Legally, you can even tell people you have not been convicted of a crime! 

While not every crime is eligible for expungement, the list of applicable convictions and arrests is lengthy. 

Typically, you begin the process of an expungement by obtaining a background check and filling out various forms for the court. As a criminal defense attorney, I help clients get their records expunged by filling out a form for a client and getting their background check from NOPD Headquarters in a matter of minutes. 

The process was easy, using a system called “CASTNET” to gather the necessary information.

But the cyber attack cut CASTNET to shreds so NOPD is incapable of running background checks for anyone at this time.

What should I do instead?

The clerk of New Orleans Municipal and Traffic Court, Christopher Sens, and I have been trying to come up with a solution that would appease the powers that be. The final decision between those in power is to use a Louisiana State Police Background Check/Right of Review.  

Unfortunately, this process is much more complicated than simply walking across the street to get a background check, as I have done for the last 8 years!  

You now need to go through some extra steps in order to file your expungement in New Orleans.

Step One: Paperwork

In order to start your expungement process, you need to download and print out these forms from the Louisiana State Police website:

Once you’ve printed the forms, fill them out completely and sign them in BLUE ink.

Step Two: Fingerprints

You need to have your fingers printed by a local law enforcement agency where you live. In my experience, the cost to have your fingers printed is between $10.00 to $25.00. The Louisiana State Police requires the use of a Form FD-258 for fingerprints submitted as part of their background check process. You will need to submit two (2) sets of fingerprint cards to the Louisiana State Police

Step Three: Send it all in

Send both sets of fingerprints on Form FD-258s, a $26.00 money order for the background check costs, and the application packet to the Louisiana State Police at:

Louisiana State Police Headquarters
7919 Independence Boulevard
Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70806

I strongly recommend sending the packet with a tracking number.

Step Four: A response

The Louisiana State Police will mail a copy of your background check back to you within 3-4 weeks (estimated). The more people who apply for background checks at the Louisiana State, the longer it will take for their response.

Step Five: Send me your background check

The Louisiana State Police will mail a copy of your background check back to you within 3-4 weeks (estimated). The more people who apply for background checks at the Louisiana State, the longer it will take for their response.

Contact me to get started today

It’s unfortunate that the process has become longer because of the cyberattack. But, in reality, the benefits of having your record expunged highly outweighs the annoyance of these extra steps. Let me help you through the process so that we can get you on the road to expunction and taking back your future. Contact Crescent City Law today to get started.