DWI Expungement in Louisiana & Article 894
It depends on many circumstances surrounding the DWI. I am going to focus on DWI first offense. There are basically three scenarios regarding DWI and expungements. First, the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty at trial. If the judge elects to sentence the defendant under article 894 and the defendant successfully completes probation, the defendant can then file a motion to expunge the record. There are many details with this but that is the gist of it. Second, if the defendant is convicted but not sentenced under 894, he or she may file an expungement if more than five years have elapsed since the he or she completed any sentence, deferred adjudication, or period of probation or parole, and he or she has not been convicted of any felony offense during the five-year period, and has no felony charge pending against him or her. Third, if the defendant completed a pretrial program that resulted in a dismissal, he may file an expungement of the arrest only after 5 years have passed since completing the program. In this case, it is just the arrest that would be on the defendant’s record during the five-year waiting period, as opposed to an arrest and conviction. I hope that this information helps. These laws change quite a bit. So, if you have a DWI in Louisiana, then you may need a DWI lawyer. Feel free to give me a call. I am a Louisiana DWI lawyer who defends clients charged with DWI every day.
Article 894 and DWI Expungement in Louisiana
There is a lot of bad information out there about DWI in Louisiana, article 894 and expungements. So, I’ll clear it up here. I’ve been handling these types of cases for over 18 years and it is the type of law I’ve done every day my entire career. DWI is a misdemeanor upon the first or second conviction. In the discretion of the judge, the defendant may be sentenced under article 894 upon conviction by either pleading guilty or guilty verdict at trial. The judge has full authority as to whether or not he or she will sentence the defendant this way. Usually, the defendant must have no prior misdemeanor convictions. However, for DWI, the defendant can get an 894 once every 10 years. Also, 894 may be allowed for sobriety court participants. When the judge defers a sentence under article 894, he must place the defendant on probation. After the defendant successfully completes probation with no new arrests, the conviction may be set aside and dismissed. But, you have to make sure the judge grants the 894 at the end. It is not automatic. After completion of the probation, the DWI does not automatically come off the criminal record. I’ve even heard judges tell defendants that the DWI is expunged after probation. This is false. The defendant must file a motion to expunge the DWI arrest and conviction to get the record removed from public view. Keep in mind, even if an expungement of a DWI is filed, the prior conviction can be used against the defendant for the next 10 years. So, if you get another DWI arrest during that time, the new DWI is a DWI second offense. The most common misunderstanding about article 894, DWI and expungements is that everything is automatic. In reality, none of the necessary steps are automatic. Many judges and court personnel do not even know the required procedures to getting the end result, which is a cleaned-up record. You must be proactive. We are Louisiana DWI lawyers who help our clients every day keep their records clean. If you have a DWI in Louisiana, feel free to give us a call.
How long does expungement take in Louisiana?
The expungement process in Louisiana can vary depending on your situation. First, we have to make sure that you are eligible for an expungement. You can file expungements all day, but if you are not eligible, it won’t go through. You will have wasted time and money. Many times, a court hearing or filed motion may be required after you have finished probation. This makes it so you can be eligible for the expungement after an 893 or 894. Once it is determined that you are eligible, we must draft and file the expungement. However, your criminal background check must be attached to the expungement. Only the defendant can obtain this check since he or she will need to be fingerprinted. Be aware that the background check is only good for sixty days. After the motion for expungement is drafted and filed, it may take a few months up to a year for the state agencies to remove the record. I advise everyone to file expungements if they are eligible and to do it sooner than later because you never know when that job you want becomes available or a certification you need requires a background check. Get the ball rolling now so you are set for the future. For help with cleaning up your criminal record, feel free to give me a call at 225-964-6720.
DWI Lawyer for Expungement of DWI in Louisiana
DWI and expungements is a very precise are of law in Louisiana. I have learned all the intricacies on DWI expungements simply by doing it day in and day out for over 18 years. So, if you need a DWI lawyer for your expungement in Louisiana, contact us.