New law will make expungements cheaper, less difficult in Louisiana

Still photo of handcuffs.
Still photo of handcuffs.(MGN)
Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 10:58 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - Louisiana lawmakers passed a new bill to reform the expungement process and potentially help millions across the state.

The New Endings and Opportunities Act, led by Sen. Royce Duplessis, eliminates the cost that comes with an expungement.

The current cost is $550 per charge. Duplessis says this will effectively remove the most significant barrier to people who are trying to complete the process.

“The people we are talking about are looking to get a job, people who are looking to get housing, people who are applying for education. That’s all positive and we don’t want additional roadblocks in their way,” said Duplessis.

Duplessis said the goal is to help people who are eligible get a clean slate, so they can seek employment and housing.

Duplessis explained that the eligibility requirements for expungement will not change.

“We all know someone that’s had a brush with the system, but that doesn’t mean they should wear a scarlet letter for their lives. So, this is just one step and one tool to help them along the way,” Duplessis said.

Sherie Thomas from the Louisiana Justice and Accountability Center has helped over 1000 people get their records expunged.

She said the impact of this bill could reach every taxpayer in the state.

“This isn’t going to just help individuals; it’s going to help the state of Louisiana in getting individuals back to work and it’s going to boost our economy,” said Thomas.

Duplessis said the bill will also help state agencies upgrade their computer systems and streamline the process.

He said this will help the expungements get done quicker, and in a timely fashion.

The bill will go into effect in 2025.

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