Louisiana Legislature Passes Clean Slate Bill
July 5, 2023
The Louisiana legislature recently passed a bill that would automatically seal certain convictions. It applies to those without disqualifying convictions during the waiting period. This timeframe includes the period after completing their sentence, probation, parole, or their deferred adjudication. If the governor signs it into law, it will increase employment and housing opportunities for many people.
Senate Bill 111 would allow individuals to seal eligible, non-violent records automatically. These convictions include those where arrests did not occur. You must complete the required waiting period before automatically sealing your records. Should SB 111 become law, the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information would identify all qualifying records in its criminal repository database.
The current law would allow you to seal a misdemeanor conviction five years after completing your sentence. However, this eligibility does not include convictions like sex offenses, domestic abuse, battery, or stalking. Non-violent felony arrests or conviction records would become eligible after waiting ten years. Like misdemeanor exceptions, this law disqualifies sex offenses against a minor, domestic abuse, and battery. It also refuses to seal violations of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law.
The new law has established the process for requesting an automatic expungement. You must file with the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information. Remember to include your name, birth date, last four digits of your Social Security Number, arrest date, and case number.
The Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information will have thirty (30) days from receiving your request to seal your eligible records. Afterward, the Bureau will send the records to the Louisiana Supreme Court Case Management Information System. Once the State Supreme Court receives the notice, they must send notice to the district court’s clerks within 30 days to expunge the records.
Once done, the general public will no longer access the sealed records. As such, you could avoid mentioning these records in future employment or housing opportunities. Most employers and landlords cannot access this information. In addition, sealing these records could restore several civil rights you may want, such as obtaining professional licenses and voting.
You should consider running a self-background check if the bill becomes law before and after the waiting period ends. Reviewing your records lets you review your eligible arrests and convictions and ensure the courts seal them. It also brings peace of mind before applying for a new job, promotion, or housing.
Background checks don’t have to be complicated. Try running a self background check today and give yourself a head start.