The process of legally obliterating and destroying of records and the information in each file is called expungement. This also includes the files kept in computer databases. Juvenile criminal records that have been ordered for expungement are to be destroyed. If this is not possible the records are to be maintained but are not permitted to be disclosed. The court may also maintain a confidential record--such as a minute entry--of the adjudication. This information can be released only when there has been written consent as motioned to the court under Louisiana Children's Code 920-921.
If an adult was arrested but was not found guilty, he or she may apply for expungement to have the arrest records destroyed. In the state of Louisiana expungement in the case of felony orders means the removal of records from public access but not the complete destruction of it. The record is confidential but can be made available to any law enforcement agency, the Louisiana Board of Medical Examiners, criminal justice agencies, the Louisiana State Board of Nursing, the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Psychology, the Louisiana State Board of Dentistry, the Emergency Medical Services Certification Commission, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board, or the Louisiana Supreme Court Committee on Bar Admissions.The Department of Public Safety and Corrections may maintain a confidential, non-public record of the disposition and arrest for investigative purposes only under Louisiana Criminal Code 44:9.
All records in relation to the conditions or conduct referred in the motion of expungement can include exhibits, pleadings, reports, correspondence, minute entries, and all other documents in juvenile cases. Microfilm, tape, photographs, fingerprints, computer memory devices, and any other information relating to the juvenile can be obtained through expungement.
All law enforcement records and all agencies must return any microfilm, photographs, tapes, computer cards, electronic data, mechanical data, fingerprints, and any other information in relation to an individual upon adult misdemeanor cases. In felony cases all records of the proceedings, judgment, order, or other action under Code of Criminal Procedure Article 893 can be expunged upon order.
Louisiana Expungement Eligibility
Only a few individuals are eligible for expungement in Louisiana. Juveniles over the age of seventeen who have criminal charges that did not result in adjudication may apply for expungement petitioning. A juvenile's misdemeanor adjudication records may be erased if two or more years have passed since he or she satisfied all judgments against him and her. Juvenile records in relation to felony adjudication can be expunged if the adjudication was not for manslaughter, murder, any sex crime, armed robbery, or kidnapping. Five or more years must have passed since he or she satisfied all conditions in relation to the judgment before he or she can petition. The individual can also not have any criminal court felony convictions or convictions for misdemeanors involving a deadly weapon and cannot have any outstanding bill of information or indictment against him or her.
Adult misdemeanor charges may be expunged if the time limit for prosecution has expired and for felony charges if the prosecutor declines to prosecute. No offenses in relation to drug crimes may be expunged. See also:
Louisiana Felony External link (opens in new window)
Louisiana Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Louisiana Gun Laws External link (opens in new window)