Louisiana Criminal Records
What is a Criminal Record in Louisiana?
Criminal records contain an official summary of a subject’s criminal history. Also known as a rap sheet, they list previous criminal convictions recorded by local, parish or state jurisdictions. The information contained in a criminal record is assembled from city courts and district courts as well as correctional facilities within the state. While the standard for criminal record collection and storage varies across parishes, a large percentage of Louisiana criminal records are organized in online record depositories that are available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report. In compliance with Louisiana’s Public Records Law, criminal records in Louisiana are open to the public.
What’s Contained in a Criminal Record?
Most criminal records provide details of the subject as well as specific information related to the criminal charge. Some of these include:
- The Subject’s full name and any known aliases
- Date of birth
- Physical descriptions (race, sex, tattoos, etc)
- Details of any past arrests
- Pending charges
- Past or current warrants
The amount of criminal records information presented on StateRecords.org varies from person to person. This is because sources often have non-standardized state level protocols, storage classifications, requirements, organization and digitization processes for data collection. Criminal records in the state of Louisiana generally include the following subjects:
What is an Arrest Record?
An arrest record in Louisiana provides summarized information about individuals who have been taken into custody or placed in detention by city, parish or state law enforcement officer. Some of the information contained in an arrest record includes:
- Name of the person held for investigation
- Details of the charge
What is an Arrest Warrant?
An arrest warrant is an official document that gives a police officer the authority to arrest or detain the person or people named in the warrant. Warrants are signed by a judge or magistrate. To obtain a warrant, police officers will need to make a valid persuasive argument backed by objective evidence justifying the need for a warrant (show probable cause).
Can Arrests be made without a Warrant?
In the state of Louisiana, warrantless arrests can be made in specific instances, such as when a police officer witnesses a crime, or if a police officer has credible reason to believe an individual committed a crime.
What is a Misdemeanor?
Misdemeanors are a category of non-indictable offenses that are generally less severe than felonies. Under Louisiana’s laws, misdemeanors are crimes that are punishable with fines or incarceration or incarceration in the parish or local jail for up to 1 year. Unlike felonies, they are not punishable with hard labor. In Louisiana, lawmakers designate crimes as misdemeanors and fix sentences on a crime-by-crime basis.
What Crimes are Misdemeanors in Louisiana?
Some examples of misdemeanors in the state of Louisiana include:
- Simple assault
- DUI (depending on the number of offenses)
- Theft (value less than $500)
- Possession of a controlled substance
What is a Felony in Lousiana?
Felony offenses are the most severe type of crimes with a maximum sentence of more than 1 year. In some cases, a felony conviction can even be punished by death. Lawmakers designate each crime by class (such as “Class A felonies” or “level 1 felony”). Each class has its own sentence or range of sentences. Louisiana does things differently and fixes sentences on a crime-by-crime basis. Example of crimes that qualify as felony offenses in the state of Louisiana include:
- Aggravated assault
- Three DWI convictions
- Sexual Assault
- Theft of item or property more than $500
- Armed Robbery
What is a Sex Offender Listing?
A sex offender listing is a compilation of records that provide information on offenders who were convicted of committing a sex crime. In the state of Louisiana, the official sex offender registry is maintained by the Louisiana State Police and accessible to most members of the public.
Do Registered Sex Offenders Have to Notify Neighbors?
The laws of the state of Louisiana require every sex offender to register upon a specific time sequence after his/her release. The state of Louisiana also divides rape into the following categories: aggravated rape, forcible rape, and simple rape. Each offender is judged by the degree of rape and its category. Registration is required for the following offenders:
- Any adult residing in the state who has pled guilty to, or has been convicted of, or where adjudication has been deferred or withheld for the perpetration or attempted perpetration, or any conspiracy to commit a sex offense
- Any juvenile, who has attained the age of fourteen years at the time of committing the offense, who has been adjudicated delinquent based upon the perpetration, attempted perpetration, or conspiracy to commit any sex offense.
- Any person required to register must update their registration annually on the anniversary of the initial registration.
What is Megan’s Law?
Megan's Law is the term for state laws that create and maintain a sex offender registry, which provides information on registered sex offenders to the public. The first Megan's Law appeared after the rape and murder of 7-year-old New Jersey resident Megan Kanka by a sex offender who lived in the girl's own neighborhood. Soon after passage of this first Megan's Law, the federal government implemented a requirement that all states establish sex offender registries and provide the public with information about those registered.
What is a Serious Traffic Violation?
A serious traffic violation tends to involve willful disregard for public safety, death, serious bodily injury, damage to property and multiple minor traffic violations. In Louisiana, traffic ticket fines vary by violation and parish you were ticketed in. In addition to having to pay a fine, you may also: have points added to the driving record, which can result in losing the driving license, and have to appear in court. Examples of serious traffic violations in Louisiana include:
- Hit and run
- Failing to obey a police officer’s signal
- Exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour
- Driving without a registration
What is a Conviction Record?
A conviction record is an official document providing information that a person was found guilty, pleaded guilty or pleaded nolo contendere against criminal charges in a civilian or military court. The criminal charges can be classified as a felony, misdemeanor or other offense. Conviction records may also include when a person has been judged delinquent, has been less than honorably discharged or has been placed on probation, fined, imprisoned or paroled. A criminal conviction is rendered by either a jury of peers or a judge in a court of law. A conviction does not include a final judgment that was deleted by a pardon, set aside, reversed or otherwise rendered inoperative.
What are Jail and Inmate Records?
Jail and inmate records are official documents of information about a person’s current and sometimes past inmate status. A person who is in jail or considered an inmate is someone deprived of his/her civil liberties while on trial for a crime, or a person serving a sentence after being convicted of a crime.
How do I Look Up a Prisoner?
The Louisiana Department of Correction maintains a 24-hour offender locator system that can be accessed by calling 225-383-4580.
Louisiana Parole Information
Parole records are an official document that includes information regarding the release of a prisoner who agreed to certain conditions prior to the completion of their maximum sentence. While the prisoner is on supervised parole, the board shall require as a condition of parole that he/she pays a monthly supervision fee of not less than $30, unless the board agrees to accept a lower fee after determining the inability of the prisoner to pay. The board may also impose any conditions of parole it deems appropriate in order to ensure the best interests of the prisoner and the citizens of Louisiana are served.
Louisiana Probation Records
Probation records are official documents that show when a person receives probation as an alternative to prison. Probation allows people convicted of a crime in Louisiana to serve their sentences out of custody, as long as they comply with probation conditions imposed by the judge and probation officer. Probation is issued in proportion to the crime, so the length and nature of probation differ (sometimes drastically) from case to case.
Louisiana Juvenile Criminal Records
A juvenile criminal record is an official record of information regarding criminal activity committed by children or adolescents who are not yet of legal adult age. Juveniles are not considered to be convicted of a crime like an adult but instead, are found to be “adjudicated delinquent”. These criminal records are often mistakenly thought to be erased or expunged once a person becomes of legal adult age, but in fact, the record remains unless the person petitions to have it expunged. If a person was found adjudicated delinquent to a criminal offense, they do not have to respond “yes” if asked whether they have ever been convicted of a crime, unless the question specifically asks if they were ever adjudicated delinquent as well.
Louisiana History and Accuracy of Criminal Records
The accuracy of criminal records data largely depends on the recordkeeping and technological capabilities of the jurisdiction where the record was assembled and later digitized. Louisiana criminal records archives usually tend to go back as far as the early 1970s—which is when different institutions began to compile criminal and arrest data into an organized, centralized database, much like we use today. Accuracy was more commonly affected by human error in the past. However, in the 1990s the quality and accuracy of recordkeeping improved exponentially due to the advent of the computer. As a result, the information provided on StateRecords.org will vary from person to person.