If you have a DUI conviction, the consequences can affect various parts of your life even years later. Whether your criminal record is related to a DUI arrest or conviction, both are likely to complicate processes such as finding employment or housing. Most employers and landlords ask job and rental applicants whether they have ever been convicted—or in some cases, just arrested—for a criminal offense. Both landlords and employers commonly deny people who answer “yes” to these questions. This is why many people with criminal records look to have an arrest or conviction expunged from their record.
Expungement entails removing something from your criminal record. However, in Louisiana, DUI convictions are not always eligible for expungement proceedings. In some cases, it’s possible to have a DUI case dismissed under a specific legal provision under Article 894. If you are facing DUI charges or have recently been convicted of a DUI-related offense, seek legal counsel from a skilled DUI criminal defense attorney. An experienced lawyer can review all the factors surrounding your case and determine the best strategy for ensuring your future isn’t permanently affected.
What Is Expungement?
Expungement involves the permanent removal of an offense from your criminal record. Many individuals who fear their criminal records or convictions may inhibit their ability to get a job or professional license pursue expungement as a means for starting fresh. If expungement is granted, it makes a conviction permanently inaccessible to outside parties.
Usually, you must meet certain requirements to qualify for expungement and only certain crimes are eligible. In Louisiana, DUI convictions are eligible for expungement in extremely limited circumstances.
How DUI Convictions Affect Criminal Records in Louisiana
DUI convictions can affect several areas of a person’s life. For example, they may increase your insurance rates or any future legal proceedings, should you find yourself in court again. Additionally, guilty verdicts may inform judges to enact harsh penalties such as jail time, fines, or required community service.
Unfortunately, this information is public, meaning employers, landlords, and even financial institutions can have access to your criminal record. Hiring a knowledgeable DUI defense lawyer is the best way to pursue other options and avoid permanent marks on your criminal record.
You May Preserve Your Record Under Article 894
If your DUI is not eligible for expungement, it may still be possible to be convicted and keep your record secure. In Louisiana, your lawyer can motion for your DUI conviction to be dismissed and set aside under Article 894. The Article 894 plea is typically only available to individuals with a clean driving record who did not have any past offenses prior to their DUI conviction.
Under this provision, you can have your conviction temporarily suspended. After the suspension period is completed, you will be placed on probation. If your probation is completed successfully, you can file a petition to have your DUI conviction officially dismissed and treated as an acquittal.
Contact a Louisiana DUI Lawyer
DUI convictions can have a lasting impact on a person’s ability to successfully find work and housing. If you are facing DUI charges or have recently been convicted of a DUI, it’s essential to seek legal counsel.
At the John D. & Eric G. Johnson Law Firm, we have the expertise and experience to best represent your case in court. Attorney Eric Johnson knows how to devise a winning defense strategy. With over 25 years of experience, he is a problem solver who is committed to thoroughly investigating your case. To schedule a free consultation, call (318) 377-1555 or complete our online contact form.