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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Frest Start?

  • Fresh Start is a program started by John F. DeRosier, Calcasieu Parish District Attorney, that can help you get of professionals and at a reduced cost.




What kinds of crimes can be expunged?

  • All arrest records, where there is no conviction,  IF one of the following applies to you:
    • Time expired for prosecution
    • Not prosecuted for any offense arising out of this charge
    • Pre-trial Diversion Program completed
    • DWI Pre-Trial Diversion Program and 5 years has elapsed since the date of arrest
    • Charge has been dismissed
    • Found not guilty/judgment of acquittal
  • Most misdemeanor arrests and convictions (except stalking, domestic violence battery or a misdemeanor conviction that arose from a sex offense)
  • Non-violent felony arrests and convictions, IF
    • Conviction was set aside/dismissed pursuant to C.Cr.P. article 893(E) OR
    • More than 10 years have passed since completion of sentence.



What other kinds of requirements will be needed for an expungement?

  • No prior convictions in the allotted time periods
  • Cannot have any pending felony charges
  • Cannot be charged with a crime under a bill of information or indictment.
  • Arrest was for an offense in Calcasieu Parish
  • Conviction was for an offense that was committed in Calcasieu Parish
  • All restitution, fees, fines and costs pursuant to your plea are paid.
  • If you are in jail, you cannot file a motion to expunge.



What kinds of convictions cannot be expunged?

  • Designated crimes of violence, in R.S. 14:2(B)
  • The following shall be designated as crimes of violence:
    • Solicitation for murder
    • First degree murder
    • Second degree murder
    • Manslaughter
    • Aggravated battery
    • Second degree battery
    • Aggravated Assault
    • Mingling harmful substance
    • Aggravated or first degree rape
    • Forcible or second degree rape
    • Simple or third degree rape
    • Sexual battery
    • Second degree sexual battery
    • Intentional exposure to AIDS virus
    • Aggravated kidnapping
    • Second degree kidnapping
    • Simple kidnapping
    • Aggravated arson
    • Aggravated criminal damage to property
    • Aggravated burglary
    • Armed robbery
    • 1st degree robbery
    • Simple robbery
    • Purse snatching
    • Extortion
    • Assault by drive-by shooting
    • Aggravated crime against nature
    • Carjacking
    • Illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities
    • Aggravated assault upon a peace officer
    • Aggravated second degree battery
    • Terrorism
    • Aggravated assault with a firearm
    • Armed robbery; use of a firearm; additional penalty
    • Disarming of a peace officer
    • Second degree robbery
    • Stalking 
    • Battery of a police officer 
    • Aggravated flight from an officer
    • Second degree cruelty to juveniles
    • Trafficking of children for sexual purposes
    • Human trafficking
    • Home invasion 
    • Domestic abuse
    • Aggravated assault
    • Vehicular homicide when blood alcohol exceeds .20
  • Sexual offenses
  • Crimes where the victim is a minor
  • Major drug offenses
  • Domestic Abuse Battery




Are there exceptions to having a crime of violence expunged?

  • Yes. AFTER a contradictory hearing, the court may order the expungement of the arrest and conviction of aggravated battery, second degree battery, aggravated criminal damage to property, simple robbery, purse snatching, or illegal use of weapons or dangerous instrumentalities IF you can prove: 
  1. 10 years after completion of any sentence
  2. No convictions of any crime during the 10 year period
  3. No criminal charge pending
  4. Employed for 10 consecutive years
  • Requires a certification from the DA which verifies that, to his knowledge, the applicant has no convictions during the 10 year period and no pending charges under a bill of information or indictment. 




What drug offenses can be expunged?

  • Possession of a controlled dangerous substance
  • Possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute – by the passage of time only which is 10 years from the date you completed your sentence (also, no 893’s).
  • Drug offense punishable by a term of not more than 5 years
  • Drug offenses which may be expunged pursuant to C.Cr.P. art. 893(E)  (1st offense - deferred imposition of a drug crime that carries less than 5 years in jail)




What kind of paperwork will I need?

  • If you pled guilty under C.Cr.P. article 893 or 894, you will need the minutes from the Clerk of Court's office showing that you pled under those code articles.  If you did, you will first need to obtain an acquittal or a dismissal.  We can show you how to apply for this.
  • If you completed a pre-trial diversion program, you will need a letter from the District Attorney's office showing completion of the program.
  • If you are asking for an expungement due to the passage of time, you will need a letter from the District Attorney's office certifying that to his knowledge you have had no felony convictions during the 10 year period and you have no pending felony charges under a bill of information or indictment.
  • Other forms of proof needed, if applicable:
    • Criminal background check from the LSP or sheriff within the past 30 days (required for all)
    • Bill(s) of Information (if any).
    • Minute entry showing final disposition of case (if any).
    • Certification letter from the District Attorney for fee waiver (if eligible).
    • Certification letter from the District Attorney verifying that you have no convictions or pending applicable criminal charge in the requisite time periods
    • Certification letter from the District Attorney verifying  that the charges were refused.
    • Certification letter from the District Attorney verifying that you did not participate in a pretrial diversion program.
    • A copy of the order waiving the sex offender registration and notification requirements.
    • Documentation verifying that you have been employed for 10 consecutive years.
    • A copy of the court order showing factual innocence and order of compensation.



How many times can I get a criminal charge expunged?

  • Arrests - No limit
  • Misdemeanors - One per 5 years, unless 894 or DWI
  • Misdemeanor DWI's - One per 10 years; for the 2nd expungement, certain conditions must be met
  • 894 Misdemeanors
  • Felonies - One per 10 years, then one per 15 years, without 893
  • 893 Felonies - One per life




What else is needed for a DWI conviction?

  • Clerk ordered to send to DMV: 
    • a certified copy of the record of the plea
    • fingerprints of the defendant and 
    • proof the requirements in C.Cr.P. art. 556.1 are followed, which include: 
      • waiver of Constitutional rights
      • defendant's date of birth
      • social security number
      • drivers license number 
  • Requires an additional $50 fee to the DPSC-DMV




How much will this cost?

  • You may be entitled to a fee waiver. If you have NO felony convictions, and NO pending felony charges under a bill of information or indictment, AND one of the following circumstances applies to you, you can file for an expungement at NO cost to you:
  1. You were acquitted of all charges from an arrest and any lesser offenses from that arrest.
  2. You were not prosecuted within the time limits and you did not. participate in pre-trial diversion.
  3. The District Attorney dismissed or declined to prosecute and you did not participate in pre-trial diversion.
  4. You were determined to be factually innocent and entitled to compensation.
  5. You were a juvenile and successfully finished a juvenile drug court 

Normally the following fees are required:

  • Louisiana State Police Right of Review ........ $26.00
  • Fingerprinting ............................................... $10.00
  • Louisiana State Police .................................. $250.00
  • Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office .................. $50.00
  • Calcasieu Parish District Attorney ............... $50.00
  • Calcasieu Clerk of Court .............................. $200.00

Total of .............................................. $586.00

  • If your conviction was for a DWI - an additional $50.00 to the DMV Additionally, you may have to pay attorney's fees.



Thank You To Our Sponsors

Calcasieu Parish District Attorney’s Office


SWLA Law Center


City of Lake Charles


Calcasieu Clerk of Courts Office


Louisiana State Police


Lake Charles Police Department


Calcasieu Parish Sheriffs Department

Executive Committee

John DeRosier

Calcasieu Parish District Attorney

Cynthia Killingsworth

First Assistant District Attorney

Gene Thibodeaux

Chief Judge, Third Circuit Court of Appeal

Mark Judson 

Executive Director, SWLA Law Center

Sam Tolbert 

President, National Baptist Convention of America, International

H. Lynn Jones II

Calcasieu Parish Clerk of Court

Elmore Garner 

Pastor, Mt. Calvary Baptist Church

Paul Pettefer

Sale Street Baptist Church

If you have further questions regarding the Calcasieu Parish Fresh Start Initiative Program,

please contact the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office at (337) 437-3400 or

the Southwest Louisiana Law Center at (337) 436-3308.