- Help (but not guarantee) you to “pass” a federal background check to purchase a weapon, or, if you have been denied permission to purchase a weapon, an expungement can be considered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives when deciding whether to lift a “disability” to purchase firearms arising from the expunged charge. This is a developing area of law, and new changes, effective August 2016, are designed to allow certain prior felons who have had their records expunged, to obtain a federal consent to purchase a weapon. See our information page about What an Expungement in Louisiana WILL NOT Do and the updated section on Federal Prohibitions to Gun Possession After a Louisiana Conviction.
- Help minimize the risk (but not guarantee prevention) that insurance companies will raise your insurance rates for certain types of convictions on your driving record. The Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles is not obligated to expunge your driving record (which is technically different from your criminal record), but an expungement can, in some limited circumstances, prevent an insurance company from being informed of your driving convictions.
- Prevent some state license boards from accessing your criminal history when you apply for a license or professional credential. This is very limited. There are some boards which will always have access to your criminal history. These include those regulating doctors, EMTs, lawyers, bankers, nurses, psychologists, dentists, pharmacists, counselors, and teachers. While these boards will have access to your criminal history, the fact that a court ordered an expungement is a factor they can consider when reviewing your application. Only these boards listed in the statute can get your expunged record. No other boards will have access to your expunged criminal record. See our Louisiana expungement law page for a more detailed description of the boards that will still have access to your records.
- Lift (or expedite lifting) of a ban for you or your household to receive government housing assistance. Some sex crimes and narcotics distribution crimes can render you permanently ineligible for “Section 8” housing subsidies. All other felonies may temporarily suspend your eligibility, and are reviewed on a case-by-case. Many agencies will allow you into the program if the felony was not committed in the past 5-10 years, or if it has been expunged. The period of disqualification may often be substantially diminished by evidence that you have addressed the problem by completing such programs as drug or alcohol rehab, expunging the record, engaging in community activities, etc. Importantly, even if you are accepted into the Section 8 program, potential landlords can (and usually do) also require their own background check and may not rent to you if you have any convictions on your record. An expungement may shield this information from a potential Section 8 landlord.
- Lift (or expedite lifting) a disqualification for federal student loans or grants. Most, but not all, federal student aid is suspended from a felony criminal conviction. You are likely to be eligible to get that reinstated, even without an expungement. Where the reinstatement is discretionary, an expungement may be considered as evidence that the court found you sufficiently rehabilitated to qualify and is a positive factor to consider for eligibility for student aid. In those circumstances where the expungement occurs before you apply for student aid, you may not be required to disclose it.
- Influence a college admission decision favorably, if the admissions board already has knowledge of your conviction.
The Louisiana Expungement Assistance & Advocacy Center (LEAAC), a division of the law practice of S. Christie Smith IV, has extensive experience in obtaining expungements for convictions throughout the state of Louisiana, as well as in the development and application of the newly-reformed Louisiana expungement laws. If you have any questions about getting a Louisiana expungement, please call LEAAC at 318.308.7667. A Louisiana expungement lawyer will review your case, offer suggestions on the best course of action for your circumstances, and answer your questions—often on the same day.
Last Updated September 2016