- Automatically make you eligible for a TWIC© card. An expungement is a factor that the Transportation Security Administration may use in considering a “waiver” or finding “no threat to security.” See our information page about qualifying for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential for more information about the TWIC© card and what your options may be, if you have been denied one.
- Automatically clear a “Brady Denial” for federal clearance to purchase a firearm. An expungement is a factor that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives may consider when evaluating whether a prior conviction actually “counts” as a disqualifying offense. Recent changes to the law in 2016 have greatly improved what an expungement can do for your federal gun rights. See our information page about gun possession and ownership after a Louisiana conviction and our updated Federal Prohibitions to Gun Ownwership After a Louisiana Conviction for more information regarding what you can do, if you are denied a weapons purchase after a background check.
- Clear your disability to obtain a “concealed carry” weapons permit, if you have expunged the conviction (not arrest for) of one of the “disqualifying offenses.” See our information page on “concealed carry” of weapons after a Louisiana conviction for further information and resources, if you are interested in applying for a concealed weapons permit.
- Restore your voting rights. Individuals convicted of a felony are ineligible to vote in Louisiana while incarcerated, on parole, or on probation; their voting rights are automatically restored, however, upon completion of all supervised release. Ex-offenders should simply re-register to vote after the completion of their sentences/parole/probation. An expungement is not necessary to restore this constitutional right. See our voting rights after Louisiana felony conviction information page for a more detailed explanation.
- Restore your Second Amendment right to possess firearms. In Louisiana, this is controlled by Louisiana Revised Statutes 9:95.1, which generally requires those convicted of certain, but not all, felonies to refrain from possessing a firearm for ten years from the date of completion of sentence, probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. See our information page on gun possession and ownership after a Louisiana conviction to learn more about restoring your hunting and weapons rights in Louisiana or to determine if your conviction affects those Louisiana rights at all.
- Physically destroy the documents relating to your arrest and/or conviction. Under the Louisiana rules, “expungement” means to make it confidential and to remove a record of arrest or conviction, photographs, fingerprints, disposition, or any other information of any kind from public access and to restrict access to law enforcement or criminal justice agencies, who shall request that information in writing, certifying that the request is for the purpose of investigating, prosecuting, or enforcing criminal law. See our information page regarding the Louisiana expungement law for a more specific explanation.
- Automatically restore your driving and operators’ licensing privileges, if your license was suspended related to the expunged charge. There are limited effects on the administrative record-keeping function of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety, Office of Motor Vehicles. While certain traffic and DWI charges may be expunged, the department may still require compliance with administrative rules, fees, and requirements for reinstatement of a suspended license, even if the conviction is expunged.
- Discharge your responsibility to register with the sheriff/local authorities as a sex offender, if that obligation arose from the expunged charge. The Louisiana expungement law generally does not apply to sex crimes and explicitly does not dispense with the requirement for registration. See our information page regarding the text of the Louisiana expungement law for a more specific explanation.
- Hide your record from all government agencies under all circumstances. The state may use your conviction as a “prior offense” in some future prosecutions against you, and may seek to obtain an expunged record through the court system to use when investigating you. Importantly, the federal government is not bound by Louisiana rules and may seek to use your expunged record for security clearances or other investigations. See our information page regarding the text of the Louisiana expungement law for a more specific explanation.
- Automatically prevent deportation in federal immigration proceedings. Expungement is usually irrelevant in immigration proceedings. The U. S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement can bring removal proceedings through the Executive Office for Immigration Review for most crimes, most notably an aggravated felony; domestic violence; or a “crime of moral turpitude” committed within five years after being admitted to the U.S. or getting a green card. These proceedings usually result in deportation. An expungement may be of limited use in some circumstances, such as after a simple first-time drug possession offense. In some circumstances, this can help an immigrant avoid otherwise-mandatory removal and loss of immigration benefits. The Louisiana Expungement Assistance & Advocacy Center does not handle any immigration matter and offers no advice on immigration matters, the collateral consequences of conviction, or the effect of expungement on any of those circumstances. You should contact an experienced immigration attorney for that assistance.
- Affect any federal criminal record. Generally, there is no expungement permitted for a criminal conviction in federal court.
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 attorney 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