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eraserMany individuals who are arrested for a misdemeanor violation of the law wish to have the record of such arrest expunged.  Under subsection G of LA. R.S. 44:9, “Expungement means removal of a record from public access but does not mean destruction of the record.”  Any individual interested in expungement should read that statute carefully to determine if they are eligible for expungement, and, if so, how it can be accomplished.

One of the most frequent occasions which results in an individual seeking an expungement arises from the application of LA.C.CrP. 894 by the judge.  Under that article, when a defendant is convicted of a misdemeanor, other than criminal neglect of family or stalking, the judge may suspend the imposition of sentence and place the defendant on probation under such conditions as the court may fix.  If at the end of the period of deferral the court finds that defendant has not been convicted of any other offense during that period and that no criminal charge is pending, the court may set aside the conviction and dismiss the prosecution.  “The dismissal of the prosecution shall have the same effect as an acquittal”.  LA. C.Cr.P. 894 B(2)  Under LA. R.S. 44:9, the defendant may make a motion for expungement of the arrest record since “prosecution has been instituted, and such proceedings have been finally disposed of by * * * acquittal.”

An individual seeking an expungement should be aware of the limitations found in LA. R.S. 44:9 which make expungement unavailable in certain situations.  For example under LA. R.S. 44:9 A(5)(a) “an expungement shall occur only once with respect to any person during a five-year period, except in the case of a misdemeanor offense of operating a vehicle while intoxicated which may occur only once during a ten-year period.”  Another example under LA. R.S. 44:9 A(5)(c) is that “no person shall be entitled to an expungement if the misdemeanor conviction arose from circumstances involving a sexual act or act of domestic violence.”

The court has drafted a sample motion for expungement which may be used as a guideline for filing a motion for expungement.  Of course any individual may draft their own motion as long as it complies with legal requirements.

The fee for filing a motion for expungement is Two Hundred Sixty ($260) Dollars.  These fees are set forth in LA. R.S. 44:9 A(3)(a) & (b).  However, LA. R.S. 44:9 K provides for waiver of fees for filing of the motion for expungement in certain situations by producing a certificate obtained from the district attorney that the applicant has no felony convictions and no pending felony charges.  Waiver of fee is only available when the charges against the defendant were dismissed by the prosecutor or the defendant was acquitted after trial.  If a defendant entered a guilty plea or was found guilty at trial, no waiver of fee is available.

Steps to file for an expungement:




4. Bring your motion, order, information sheet and the $260 filing fee to the Intake Division of Shreveport City Court.

Things to know about expungement:

1. Once paid, the fees for filing an expungement, both state and local, cannot be refunded!

2. The state uses the date a defendant is fingerprinted as the date of arrest.  If this date is not used, the state will not grant the expungement.

3. If the charges resulting from the arrest were amended, the amended charges must be listed.

4. The state uses the address set forth in the Expungement Motion, and this address must be correct.

5. A motion for expungement can only deal with one (1) arrest date!

6. To apply for a waiver of the expungement filing fee, defendant should apply to the Caddo Parish District Attorney at their office at 525 Marshall Street for a certificate under LA. R.S. 44:9 K.  To determine if defendant is eligible for this fee waiver, the provisions of LA. R.S. 44:9 K should be reviewed.  As a convenience, a copy of that statute is attached.  A defendant can only have one waiver of fee for any one arrest date.

7. If a defendant was arrested on a bench warrant in connection with a charge, all arrest dates on that charge can be set forth in one Motion for Expungement.

8. Once a defendant has applied for an expungement, the process normally takes approximately ninety (90) days.

City of Shreveport, Louisiana