3 Legal Effect of Expungement

In Louisiana, “expungement” means that the record has been removed from public view, but the records are not destroyed. Under La. C.Cr.P. art. 973, law enforcement, a “criminal justice agency,” prosecutors, and courts can still see records. The same article also contains a list of state licensing boards and agencies who can see expunged records, so it is in the best interest of applicants to disclose an expunged record if it would be visible to an agency.1  However, when answering a question from a private employer or a licensing agency not listed in Article 973, an individual is entitled to answer “no” on applications with criminal records questions if the arrests or convictions have been expunged.2

Because you have an ethical obligation to explain the effects of an expungement to a client or to an individual that you are advising, it is important to understand why that person wants an expungement. For instance, if a client who is seeking entry to a licensed profession might need to answer the question differently when posed by the licensing board than when posed by an employer.

  • 1La. C.Cr.P. art. 973(B).
  • 2La. C.Cr.P. art. 973(C).

Disclaimer: The articles in the Gillis Long Desk Manual do not contain any legal advice.