A. To “expunge a record” means to remove the records of an arrest or conviction, photographs, fingerprints, dispositions, or any other information of any kind from public access pursuant to the provisions of this Title. An “expungement by redaction” permits the expungement of records of a person who is arrested or convicted with other persons who are not entitled to expungement. It involves the removal of the name or any other identifying information of the person entitled to the expungement and otherwise retains public access to the records of the incident as they relate to the other persons. Finally, an “interim expungement” allows for the expungement of a felony arrest from the criminal history of a person who was convicted of a misdemeanor offense arising out of the original felony arrest. Only the original felony arrest may be expunged in an interim expungement.
When considering an expungement, it is also important to identify the records subject to expungement. For purposes of an expungement, “records” is defined to include “any incident reports, photographs, fingerprints, disposition, or any other such information of any kind in relation to a single arrest event in the possession of the clerk of court, any criminal justice agency, and local and state law enforcement agencies but shall not include DNA records.”(emphasis added).
Under limited circumstances, Louisiana law allows for the expungement of certain arrest and conviction records. Obtaining an expungement of arrest and conviction records allows for the removal of the record from public access. However, contrary to what many people mistakenly believe, it does not result in the destruction of the records. Once a record is expunged, it is confidential but the records remains accessible to and available for use by law enforcement agencies, criminal justice agencies, and other statutorily defined agencies such as those who issue professional licenses.
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