What You Need to Know About Louisiana Arrest Records
If you have been arrested or convicted of a crime in Louisiana, you probably know that record follows you for the rest of your life, and you may be thinking about seeking an expungement of your criminal history. It is important to understand that in the state of Louisiana your “criminal record” or “criminal history” includes information about your arrests, convictions or other dispositions of suspected criminal activities that occurred in the state. Even if you were arrested and the charges were dismissed, your criminal arrest will still appear on your record.
Where is My Arrest Record Kept?
Both hard copies and digital versions of the arrest record are maintained by the various agencies that arrest, detain and house individuals who have come into contact with the law enforcement system. This means that if you have been arrested or convicted of a crime in Louisiana, the record of your arrest or conviction is likely to be kept in multiple locations, including files maintained by the clerks of court, judges, probation and parole officers, arresting agencies, jails, and the district attorney’s office.
On the state level, your criminal history will also be included in the Louisiana Computerized Criminal History system (LACCH) maintained by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information. The LACCH system includes comprehensive arrest, disposition and incarceration information on individuals who have been arrested in Louisiana and is made available to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. Your record will also be included in the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). The NCIC is a federal computerized index of criminal justice information maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Criminal record histories included in the NCIC are available to federal, state and local law enforcement and criminal justice agencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Who Has Access to My Arrest Record?
Every time a law enforcement agency or private background check company searches your criminal history, your arrest or conviction will be disclosed unless you have had it expunged. In order to make your criminal history confidential, you need to have your arrest record expunged. It is important to understand that in Louisiana expungement of a record does not mean that your record will be destroyed. Expungement of a criminal record involves removing the record of your arrest, conviction or other criminal disposition and all related documents from any kind of public access, including access by private investigators, the media, private citizens and private background check companies.
When an individual is granted an expungement, the Louisiana expungement law requires governmental agencies that have records on the criminal activity to segregate this information from public access. All court files that include information about the expunged arrest or conviction must be placed in a controlled area, and no one will have access to the files without a court order. Similarly, the state police must segregate the criminal records from the regular systems, including LACCH, which are accessible to law enforcement and criminal justice agencies. While the NCIC does not have to honor the expungement request, a designation will typically be placed on the record noting that the individual’s criminal record has been expunged.
The Louisiana Expungement Assistance & Advocacy Center is Here to Help
If you have questions about an arrest record or criminal history or would like to expunge your Louisiana criminal record, we are here to help. The Louisiana Expungement Assistance & Advocacy Center (LEAAC) provides guidance and legal representation to clients throughout the state of Louisiana seeking to expunge their criminal records. You can contact LEAAC today by calling 318-308-7667 or completing our intake form. For shorter inquiries, you may complete our email contact form. You will be contacted promptly by a LEAAC staff member to collect the pertinent information, and will also have the opportunity to discuss your situation with an experienced Louisiana expungement lawyer—often on the same day.