Louisiana Makes the Expungement Process More User Friendly

July 27, 2023

Due to Louisiana’s costly expungement process, the state’s lawmakers have passed legislation to make it more manageable. Before the changes, individuals had to pay $550 per charge. This price is too high for many people. 

The passed legislation is the New Endings and Opportunities Act, which Senator Royce Duplessis led. This legislation would remove the cost of expungement, easing the struggle to seal eligible offenses. Lawmakers have reduced the obstacles many eligible individuals face through the newly passed legislation. 

For example, this law would eliminate application fees. It would also help facilitate communication between the agencies involved in the expungement process. As such, New Orleans will soon upgrade their computer systems to improve the process further.

According to the previous law, you had to hire a lawyer to expunge an eligible offense. The attorney would file the petition with the court for you. However, the new law allows you to expunge your eligible records without assistance, allowing you to start the process immediately. Should you have eligible offenses, you should find this cheaper and more accessible.

The new law will not alter the requirements to obtain an expungement. Instead, it only makes the process more accessible for eligible offenses, which could benefit approximately 1.3 million people in Louisiana. However, the new procedure could take a while to put into effect. 

Despite the expected delay, Sen. Royce Duplessis believes it could go into effect within a year and a half. Should you have an eligible offense, consider staying updated with the Act’s implementation. Following and using it soon as it becomes available could significantly improve your employment and housing opportunities.

Remember that Louisiana’s law will not expunge or seal many offenses. Therefore, you should determine the eligibility of your records. Furthermore, you must adhere to the offense’s waiting period before expunging it. For example, eligible misdemeanor offenses have a five-year waiting period. Non-violent felony arrests and conviction records require ten years. 

Anyone with eligible records will benefit from sealing the information despite the wait. Removing it from the public’s view, such as employers or landlords, allows you to apply for greater opportunities. Once the process is complete, running a self-background check would be a good idea to ensure your record no longer appears in your background check. Reviewing your background report also allows you to correct any mistakes, such as sealed records still appearing.

Click here to run a self background check