Louisiana Court Records
Louisiana Arrest Records
In Louisiana, an arrest occurs when a person is suspected of committing a crime or has broken the state's laws. Depending on the circumstances, arrests can be made with or without a warrant. Following an arrest, the individual is taken to the nearest jail for booking (CCRP 228). During the booking process, the arresting officer compiles the information that constitutes a Louisiana arrest record. This includes:
- The arrestee's legal name (if known).
- The charge(s) against the arrestee and the arresting officer's name.
- A simple recitation of the facts or events which caused the person to be arrested.
- The names of other people arrested due to similar events or facts.
Further activities associated with the arrest, like court hearings, custody details, dismissal, disposition, bond amount, and sentences, are included in the record. Summarily, a Louisiana arrest record is a legal document containing information about a person taken into custody and the incidents that led to the arrest. These records are typically open to the public except exempted by law.
In 2021, Louisiana law enforcement agencies reported 72,339 arrests in the state. There were 51,932 male arrestees compared to 20,407 female arrestees. Most people were arrested for crimes like drug abuse violations (16,284), other offenses except traffic (12,849), simple assault (11,599), larceny (9,346), aggravated assault (5,076), and disorderly conduct (3,248).
Are Arrest Records Public in Louisiana?
Yes, arrest records are public according to the Louisiana Public Records Law. Therefore, anyone can inspect or copy arrest records maintained by law enforcement agencies in Louisiana. However, per the Public Records Law (RS §44:3), some arrest records are exempted from public disclosure. Examples of such documents are:
- Juvenile arrest records
- Investigatory records
- Arrest records that reveal the identity of sexual offense victims
- Arrest records of pending criminal litigation
- Arrest records of status offenders as defined in the Children's Code
- Arrest records whose disclosure would reveal the identity of an undercover police officer.
- Arrest records containing information or whose disclosure would reveal the identity of a confidential source.
- Arrest records of individuals who have not pled guilty or final judgment of conviction have not been made by a court.
- Arrest video or audio recordings generated by a police officer's body-worn cameras that can violate a person's privacy
What is Included in Louisiana Arrest Records?
Requesters may find the following information in a Louisiana arrest record:
- Arrest ID
- Arrest date and time
- Address/block or arrest location
- Name, race, and sex of the arrestee
- Age and date of birth
- Probable cause statement
- Booking date
- Booking number
- Release date
- Bond amount
- Case number
- Arresting agency
Find Public Arrest Records in Louisiana
Different law enforcement agencies in Louisiana maintain arrest records. These agencies provide unique methods for accessing the records in their custody. Therefore, there is no statewide method of requesting arrest records. However, following the step-by-step guide below can help navigate the process:
- Step 1: Identify the records custodian - Depending on the jurisdiction, arrest records may be held by the arresting agency, the sheriff or district attorney of the parish of conviction, or the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information. Inquirers may contact any of the aforementioned law enforcement agencies by phone, email, or in person to inquire if the desired record is in their custody. If the agency does not have the desired record, they will direct the request to the relevant custodian.
- Step 2: Determine the records request procedures - Most law enforcement agencies have arrest records procedures on their websites to aid requesters find a desired record. Inquirers may also contact the custodial agency to inquire about retrieving an arrest record.
- Step 3: Submit the request: Individuals can submit an arrest record request at city police departments, sheriff's offices, or Louisiana State Police (LSP). Arrest record requests can be submitted online, by mail, by phone, or in person. Online requests require entering a name or arrest date in a search box provided by the agency. Mail requests require completing a form provided by the law enforcement agency. These forms are always available on the agency's website and are named Criminal History or Background Check. Agencies who prefer arrest record requests to be submitted by phone usually have a phone number on their websites for such services. Requesters must call within the business hours of the agency. An in-person request involves visiting the agency during business hours. The record staff would need specific details about the record to process the request. Alternatively, individuals can submit a public records request form to access arrest records in Louisiana. The form can be submitted online, by mail, or in person at the custodian's office.
- Step 4: Pay the necessary fees: Record custodians charge a fee for processing arrest record requests. This fee must be paid before submitting a request. Some agencies have online portals where individuals can access records without charges.
Although the Louisiana Public Records Law permits access to arrest records, some arrest records or information are not discloseable to the public. However, individuals can obtain non-confidential arrest records through subpoenas. The subpoena can be served by domiciliary service, personal service, or United States mail on the record custodian. A subpoena typically orders record custodians to produce confidential arrest records in their possession.
How to Lookup Arrest Records Online in Louisiana
Record seekers can find arrest records online in Louisiana through official or third-party resources. Most law enforcement agencies in the state have online portals on their websites where individuals can conduct an arrest records search. This service is mostly available at no charge. These online resources are often termed 'inmate locator', 'inmate roster', 'jail roster', 'inmate search tool', 'booking log', or criminal history systems. However, some online portal links can lead to a third-party website. Requesters can use third-party databases to find arrest records online. The search criteria are usually by a first name and a last name or city. A basic search can be conducted at no cost, but a small fee may be required to complete a comprehensive search.
How Long Do Arrests Stay on Your Record in Louisiana
In Louisiana, an arrest remains on a person's record forever unless they are expunged. However, an expungement does not destroy arrest records but makes it confidential.
Expunge an Arrest Record in Louisiana
Individuals arrested for misdemeanor and some felony violations can have the record of such arrest expunged in Louisiana. Per LA. C.Cr.P. 972, expungement refers to the removal of arrest records from public access. Expunged arrest records are only open to law enforcement or criminal justice officers, prosecutors, judges, or a person with a court order (CCRP 973). The eligibility criteria for expungement in Louisiana are:
- The arrest did not result in a conviction (CCRP 976)
- It is a misdemeanor offense according to (CCRP 977):
- The individual was arrested for a misdemeanor offense, but the charges were dismissed.
- It has been over five years since the person completed their sentence and fulfilled any court requirements.
- The person has not been found guilty of any felony offense during the five years and has no pending felony charge.
- It is a felony offense according to (CCRP 978):
- The charges against the individuals were dismissed.
- It has been over ten years since the person completed their sentence and fulfilled any court requirements.
- The person has not been found guilty of any other criminal offense during the ten years and has no pending criminal charge.
- The individual is entitled to a first-offender pardon for the offense per the Constitution of Louisiana Article IV, Section 5(E)(1), provided that the offense is not a crime of violence (as defined in R.S. 14:2(B)) or a sex offense (as defined in R.S. 15:541).
Individuals who want to expunge their arrest records must visit the Clerk of Court for the parish where the arrest occurred. The clerk will provide them with the necessary forms required to file a motion for expungement (CCRP 986). Per CCRP 983, obtaining a court order to expunge a record costs at most $550. The processing fees for expungement differ by agency. For example:
- The sheriff's office charges $50
- The district attorney charges $50
- The clerk of the court may charge fees that do not exceed $200
- The Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information charges $250
Note that arrest records expungement fees are nonrefundable. Individuals whose charges were dismissed can apply for a fee waiver. Applicants are required to submit an original criminal history record alongside their expungement paperwork and fees. The criminal history record must be obtained from the Louisiana State Police within 60 days before filing the expungement request. Per CCRP 979, the court clerk would serve notice of the expungement to the arresting agency, the district attorney of the parish of conviction, and the Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information. These parties have 60 days to file an objection to the motion (LA. C.Cr.P. 980). A hearing will be held if a complaint is filed. If the request for expungement is granted, the court will pass a judgment. The court clerk will serve the order and judgment of expungement of arrest records on the aforementioned parties, including the sheriff of the parish of conviction (CCRP 982). The processing time for an expungement is about six (6) months or longer.
How Do I Find Recent Arrests in Louisiana?
Individuals can find recent arrests at Parish Sherrif Offices or City Police Departments. These law enforcement agencies often publish current arrest information on their websites daily, weekly, or monthly. For example, the City of Shreveport Police Department publishes daily arrest records on its website. Individuals can also visit the arresting agency to retrieve current arrest records in their custody. A name, ID, or arrest date would be required to process the request.
Are Louisiana Arrest Records Free?
Yes, individuals can view arrest records for free on some local law enforcement agencies' websites. Some agencies list arrest information by name on their website, while others provide search criteria to retrieve such information. Note that anyone requesting copies of arrest records must pay a small fee. The fee typically covers the printing of the record and the search. Similarly, third-party websites provide essential arrest record searches at no cost. Sometimes, extensive services are possible with a fee, but requesters must pay when requesting a copy of arrest records. Generally, the subject of records can contact the relevant law enforcement agency to inquire if they are eligible for a fee waiver when requesting their arrest records.