Criminal convictions can haunt you for life. You might have completed your sentence, fulfilled all conditions of your probation and parole, paid any restitution, and behaved as a model citizen since, but in the eyes of many people you are still a former convict. A criminal conviction can make it difficult to get a job, a professional license, a loan, or a credit card, and it can have other consequences for your personal and professional life as well. Recognizing the harmful after-effects of criminal convictions, Louisiana law allows certain convictions to be expunged from the public record.
If you were convicted of a nonviolent misdemeanor or felony, the experienced and dedicated lawyer at Whiddon Criminal Defense may be able to help you break free from the mistakes of your past. We’ll conduct an evaluation to determine whether you may be eligible for expungement and, if so, we’ll help you get your clean slate.
What is Expungement?
Expungement deletes your criminal history from the public record. Once a court has granted expungement, the record of your arrest, conviction, and court proceedings will no longer be publicly viewable. All that remains will be a confidential record available only to certain government and state licensing agencies. Employers, landlords, banks, and curious neighbors will not find any record of the criminal arrest or conviction.
Misdemeanor Expungement in Louisiana
Louisiana criminal procedure allows for certain convictions to be expunged. Not every criminal conviction can be expunged–some are excluded, some may be ineligible due to the conduct of the defendant or other circumstances. But, many misdemeanor convictions are eligible for expungement. There are two main routes for expungement of criminal records in Louisiana.
First, if you enter into a deferred prosecution agreement as part of your criminal case and you successfully complete the requirements set by the court, then the court can set aside and dismiss your conviction. Convictions dismissed following deferred prosecution can be expunged.
For convictions not subject to deferred prosecution dismissal, if it’s been at least five years since you completed all parts of your sentence (parole, probation, etc.), and you haven’t been convicted of a crime in the meantime, you could be eligible for expungement. Certain additional limitations apply, and certain types of convictions are excluded (violent crimes, sex crimes, etc.), but a savvy misdemeanor expungement lawyer at Whiddon Criminal Defense can evaluate your case and determine whether you’re eligible.
Felony Expungement in Louisiana
As surprising as it may seem, even felonies may be eligible for expungement under Louisiana criminal law. Felony convictions can be especially harmful to your career, your personal life, your finances, and your immigration status. It’s hard to shake the stigma of being an “ex-con” or a “felon,” even if you’ve done everything to repay society since your convictions.
If it’s been more than ten years since you completed your sentence and any parole or probation, you haven’t been convicted of any crimes in the meantime, and you haven’t already had another felony conviction expunged, your felony criminal records may be eligible for expungement. You might also be able to have your records expunged if your conviction was set aside pursuant to a deferred prosecution agreement. The felony conviction expungement lawyer at Whiddon Criminal Defense can walk you through your options and help you get relief from your felony conviction.
DWI/DUI Expungement in Louisiana
DWIs are among the most common crimes that we see clients hoping to expunge in Monroe, Louisiana. If you have a DWI/OWI/DUI conviction on your record, it can affect your personal and professional life. You are not alone.
DWI convictions are subject to the same rules as other convictions, with a few additional caveats. Certain additional evidence must be provided to obtain expungement, and certain additional limitations apply. DWI misdemeanor convictions can only be obtained once every ten years. Deferred prosecution for a felony DWI is available, but with certain additional limitations as well.
If you’ve been convicted of DWI in Monroe, the seasoned expungement lawyer at Whiddon Criminal Defense can review your case to determine if you might be eligible for expungement or other relief.
Call a Monroe Expungement Lawyer for Help Clearing Your Criminal Record
If you have a felony or misdemeanor conviction, your record could be eligible for expungement. We’re prepared to review your case and evaluate whether you are eligible for expungement or other relief. If there’s a way to clear your name, we’ll find it. Our aim is to let you truly move on with your life. The Louisiana criminal defense and record expungement legal team at the Monroe offices of Whiddon Criminal Defense is ready to help you fight for your rights, your freedom, and your future. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.