Criminal convictions on your record can have significant impact on your life, especially if you’re applying for a job, housing, or benefits. Everyone makes mistakes, and those mistakes shouldn’t have to follow you forever. Louisiana provides the opportunity for some people convicted of crimes to have their record expunged under Article 893 or Article 894 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure.
Article 893 covers felony pleas. By entering a felony plea under Article 893, the conviction may be set aside or dismissed if you follow all of the conditions of your sentence. This set aside or dismissal will grant you the opportunity to expunge your record. Article 893 may only be used on first time convictions. Additionally, in order to qualify under Article 893, the felony must be a non-capital felony and must not be a violent felony.
If you have been charged with felon in possession of a firearm in Louisiana, then an attorney can review whether or not your prior felony conviction triggered this ban under Louisiana law. An attorney can also help you consider defenses to possession since that possession must be knowing or intentional.
Article 894 covers misdemeanor pleas. Just like Article 893, when sentenced under Article 894, the misdemeanor conviction may be set aside or dismissed if you follow all of the conditions of your sentence granting you the opportunity to expunge your record. Unlike Article 893 which may only be used on first time convictions, Article 894 may be used for misdemeanor convictions once every 5 years.
The ability to set aside or dismiss the felony or misdemeanor conviction gives you the opportunity to expunge your record. That means, it can be removed from public record clearing up background checks run by potential employers or landlords. However, it does not mean it is completely removed from your record. Law enforcement and some other government entities may still be able to access this conviction and may be able to use it against you to enhance future penalties if you are convicted of an additional felony within a certain timeframe.
In the end, sentencing under Article 893 or Article 894 can help you to keep this mistake from following you for the rest of your life. If you’ve been arrested and would like to know if you’re eligible for Article 893 or Article 894, call The Berg Law Firm at 318-946-8962.