Felony convictions can lead to heavy fines and lengthy prison sentences. Unfortunately, the consequences of a felony conviction do not stop there. Your conviction will show up on background checks for the rest of your life, affecting your ability to get a job, a loan, or even to stay in the country. A felony conviction can render you ineligible for certain professional licenses, to live in certain areas, or to attend certain schools. You may have paid your debt to society, but society continues to hold your past mistakes against you. A criminal record can follow you for life.
Luckily, there are certain legal options that can help you out. The trusted and effective lawyers at Whiddon Criminal Defense can help you explore your options for relief, including expungement. If our expungement legal team determines that your case may be eligible for expungement, we’ll make sure to dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s so that you can get the clean slate you deserve. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, we believe in second chances, and we’ll fight for your right to get yours.
What Happens When Criminal Records Are Expunged?
If you have your criminal record expunged, then all records of your arrest, conviction, court proceeding, etc., disappear from the public record. There will be a nonpublic record maintained by the state, but those records will only be accessible to certain government agencies such as state licensing boards and law enforcement agencies (upon special request).
For all other aspects of your life–applying for jobs, loans, apartments, credit cards, etc.–it will be as if you were never arrested or convicted of a crime. Expungement allows you to truly move on, rather than letting a criminal conviction forever taint your personal and professional life.
Can Felonies Be Expunged in Louisiana?
Louisiana law allows certain felony convictions to be expunged. To qualify for expungement, the defendant must satisfy certain strict requirements. Felony convictions can be expunged under the following circumstances:
The conviction was set aside pursuant to a deferred prosecution arrangement under Article 893(E). Louisiana’s Code of Criminal Procedure allows for a court to set aside and dismiss a conviction after a term of probation if the court defers imposition of a sentence after conviction for a “first offense noncapital felony.” Prosecutors or courts may offer such a deferred prosecution agreement for first-time offenders, where the defendant completes probation and certain other requirements and, at the end of the probation period, the court sets aside the conviction and dismisses the case. The defendant can then petition for the whole record of the arrest and conviction to be expunged.
Even outside of a deferred prosecution agreement, a defendant can seek to have a felony conviction expunged if the following is true:
- It’s been more than ten years since the defendant completed their sentence, deferred adjudication, probation, and/or parole
- The defendant had no criminal convictions during those ten years
- The defendant has no pending criminal charges
Defendants can typically expunge one conviction every 15 years. Call a knowledgeable felony expungement attorney at Whiddon Criminal Defense to find out if your conviction may be eligible for expungement.
Certain Crimes Are Excluded from Expungement
Not all crimes can be expunged. Certain misdemeanors and felonies are not eligible for expungement, even if all other requirements are met. Convictions for the following crimes cannot be expunged under Louisiana law:
- Violent crimes
- Sex offenses
- Distribution or possession of controlled dangerous substances
- Domestic abuse
- Crimes against a minor
Contact a Knowledgeable Monroe Expungement Attorney Today to Find Out if Your Felony Arrest Can be Expunged
If you’ve are facing felony charges in Louisiana, it’s important to explore all of your options. With the right representation, you may be able to get your criminal record erased from public view. We’re ready to review your case and determine whether you are eligible for deferred prosecution, expungement, and other relief. If there’s a way to clear your name, we’ll find it so that you can truly move on with your life. The Louisiana felony defense and expungement legal team at the Monroe offices of Whiddon Criminal Defense are ready to help you fight for your rights, your freedom, and your future. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.