If you’ve been following the news in the Louisiana Legislature, you might have heard about House Bill 604, which would have created a law to expunge certain convictions automatically after a certain amount of time.
Surprisingly, the Bill passed the La-House, but failed to pass in the La-Senate because of Louisiana State Police, Louisiana Sheriff’s Association, and Louisiana Supreme Court. These agencies publicly supported the new policy, but said that they were uncertain if they could afford to implement the new program.
Luckily, there are other options for people looking for expungements in Louisiana — including asking a knowledgeable attorney to help guide you through the process.
Here’s Crescent City Law lead attorney John Radziewicz’s take on the bill and how to get an expungement now that this method is no longer on the table.
What is an expungement?
An expungement is the removal of a record of arrest or conviction as well as photographs, fingerprints or other documents from the public record.
The record is not accessible by the general public, but it is still able to be viewed by law enforcement and state agencies who license certain professionals.
How would Automatic Expungements have worked?
If House Bill 604 had passed in a vote by the legislature, it would have permitted the automatic expungement of many non-violent misdemeanors.
Like most states, Louisiana allows residents of Louisiana to hide their criminal record of certain misdemeanor convictions, but this can be a costly and complicated process that almost always requires the services of an experienced attorney.
In Louisiana, criminal records are stored and maintained by the State Police and the Louisiana Supreme Court.
Both of these organizations balked at the responsibilities that would have been placed on them by the bill because, unlike many other states, Louisiana does not have a uniform electronic criminal record system. This means that modifying the records of thousands of Louisianans would have been a cumbersome, expensive process.
In an effort to limit the cost of implementation, the authors of the bill did not include expungements of city, municipal and traffic court records. Furthermore, the automatic expungements would only extend back to 1975.
Despite these compromises included in the final version of the bill, the State Police and Louisiana Supreme Court still blocked passage.
The process proposed by the legislature simply did not have the systems in place to support the needs of those it would help.
Hiring an Attorney to Expunge Your Record Is Still an Option!
We are a long way from being able to expunge records automatically.
If you would like to hide your criminal record now, allow Crescent City Law to help you.
Only about 20 percent of eligible Louisianans actually have their records expunged. This is unfortunate because an expungement can produce the following benefits:
- Getting a job more easily—You can legally say you have never been arrested or convicted following an expungement.
- Passing a background check—A history without an arrest or criminal conviction can facilitate many processes including getting a loan, obtaining credit or qualify for insurance.
- Obtaining a state license—A criminal record could bar you from obtaining a license from many state agencies or boards which could inhibit or prevent you from finding desired employment.
- Expediting legal issues—An expungement may help you in a variety of legal issues like child custody, adoption or executive authority over estates.
Get Your Record Expunged with Crescent City Law today
The last thing you want is a misdemeanor conviction to get in the way of finding a job, qualifying for a mortgage, or getting custody of your children. That is why you need to hire Crescent City Law to help you hide your criminal record. Contact us today for a consultation.