Why Should I Apply for Expungement if I Have a Criminal Record?

Louisiana Expungement

When someone accesses your “criminal history”, whether they are an employer, police officer, or anyone doing a background check on you, it will reflect not only your convictions, but also your arrests, even if you were arrested but the charges were dismissed.

Even worse – the record may or may not reflect that the charges were dismissed. If your county has records available for public access, your name will appear in the index of criminal matters, and it may be hard to tell exactly what happened, especially if the reader is not knowledgeable of the workings of the legal system.

An expungement is necessary to remove your arrest and conviction records from public access.

In Louisiana, “’expunge a record” means to remove a record of arrest or conviction, photographs, disposition, or other information of any kind from public access pursuant to the provisions of Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure. It does not mean destruction of the record.

Your criminal history can have life-altering and long-lasting consequences. For example, a criminal record can:

  • Prevent you from renting a home;
  • Affect your access to public housing or “Section 8” allowances;
  • Make it hard for you to get a job;
  • Prevent you from being able to volunteer at community events or with your children’s school;
  • Affect family matters, such as child custody, adoption, curatorship, tutorship, executive powers over estates, etc.;
  • Affect your gun rights;
  • Affect your federal student loans and grants;
  • Contribute to the determination of your acceptance to a college or university;
  • Generally tarnishes your reputation;
  • Harm your peace of mind.

The following people might run background checks on you:

  • Employers and potential employers;
  • Banks and mortgage companies run a background check on you when you apply for a loan;
  • Insurance companies when you apply for certain types of insurance;
  • State licensing and credentialing boards will review your criminal history when deciding whether or not to issue you a license or certificate;
  • Colleges and Universities when you apply for admission;
  • Professional Organizations when you apply for membership;
  • Volunteer Organizations for charitable, sports, coaching, intramural or volunteer work.

In order to qualify for expungement in Louisiana, certain factors must be met, and these factors differ depending on whether the crime was a misdemeanor or felony, along with other factors. In order to determine if your specific situation qualifies for expungement, it is necessary to speak with an experienced expungement attorney, but the below is a general guideline:

  1. Your conviction was in Louisiana State Court;
  2. Your conviction was a non-violent felony or misdemeanor;
  3. You successfully completed your sentence;
  4. You have waited the required period of time.

Expungement is a legal proceeding that requires court approval and an order from the Court. The criminal defense and expungement attorneys at The Scott Law Firm can help you to both determine if you qualify to expunge your record and assist you through the entire process!

If you have a criminal record that you want to go away, contact the expungement attorneys at the Scott Law Firm today!