Legal Question in Criminal Law in Louisiana

Article 893 vs. expungement

what is the difference? if you receive an article 893 on a felony charge is an expungement really necessary?

Asked on 11/28/05, 8:24 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Hardy Parkerson Retired Attorney; now Law Professor
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Re: Article 893 vs. expungement

Dear LawGuru Friend,

You ask whether or not if one receives an 893 is an "expungement" necessary. The easy answer is no, it is not "necessary"; but it might well be possible, depending on what the Louisiana Expungement Statute says about expungements. It appears you may not fully understand what an 893 is. In case you do not, an 893 is a probation following a felony plea of guilty whereby sentence is deferred (postponed) by the sentencing judge and the defendant is placed on probation; and, assuming he or she successfully completes his or her probation, then the defendant (probationer) can later in court withdraw his or her former plea of guilty, and the State of Louisiana will dismiss the charge, just the same as if the defendant/probationer had never pled guilty to it. If an 893 probatoner does not successfully complete his or her probation, then such probation can be revoked; at which time the defendant will then be sentenced to jail on the said conviction (plea of guilty). In some cases, probations can be terminated "unsatisfactorily", but not formally "revoked"; and my guess is that in such cases, although the defendant may not necessarily be sentenced to a jail term, nevertheless, he loses the beneift of article 893 when it comes to his or her being allowed to withdraw the former plea of guilty and having the formal charge dismissed by the State of Louisiana (by the D.A.)

Expungement is the cleaning up one's police arrest record in cases where the original charge by the State (by the D.A.) is dismissed. Whether or not a felony handled under Article 893 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure is capable of being expunged just depends on what the Louisiana Expungement Statute says. I suggest you go to the Louisiana Legislature Website, click on Louisiana Laws and search for Expungements under the Louisiana Revised Statutes and/or the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure. If it is in the Louisiana Revised Statutes, it will be in Title Fifteen thereof. If not, it will be somewhere in the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure. It could be that Expungements are discussed and treated in both. Even we lawyers do not know exactly where every provision of the law is, and we have to consult our own law books and other sources of law frequenty. Best of luck!

Sincerely,

Hardy Parkerson, Atty.

Lake Charles

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11/28/05, 11:26 pm
Andrew Casanave Andrew M. Casanave
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Re: Article 893 vs. expungement

Article 893 (and 894 in misdemeanor cases) creates the eligibility for expungement only. The probation must be successfully completed (after all, there are always people who violate probation) and the expungement must be specifically granted by the court. Generally it must be requested by the former defendant.

Quite simply, the judge probably will not keep track of who sucessfully completes probation. (S)he has better things to do with the time. The defendant, however, has only one life, and one probation, to keep track of.

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11/28/05, 8:33 am

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