Gilmer & Giglio

Blog

What is an 893 or 894 and why do I want one?

Articles 893 and 894 of the Louisiana Code of Criminal Procedure in their broadest sense allow for the suspension and deferral of a sentence (and probation) in a criminal case. More specifically, under certain circumstances, they allow a conviction to be set aside after the defendant serves a period of probation satisfactorily. This opens up the charge for expungement.

Article 893:

Article 893 applies to felony convictions and allows for a conviction to be “set aside and dismissed” after a term of probation if the sentencing court defers the imposition of a sentence “after a conviction for a first offense noncapital felony.” At the conclusion of the probationary period, if the defendant has completed his probation satisfactorily, he will be able to have his conviction set aside and the prosecution dismissed.

A defendant may only receive the benefits of Article 893 once and there are several exceptions to eligibility for deferral including certain violations of the Controlled Dangerous Substances Laws, sex offenses, and violent crimes.

Article 894:

Article 894 applies to misdemeanor convictions and allows for a conviction to be “set aside and dismissed” after a term of probation if the sentencing court defers the imposition of the sentence. At the conclusion of the probationary period, if the defendant has completed his probation satisfactorily, he will be able to have his conviction set aside and the prosecution dismissed.

A defendant may only receive the benefits of Article 894 once during a 5-year period (or a 10-year period for Driving While Intoxicated convictions). 

Okay, so why do I want one?

The dismissal and set aside of the conviction under either Article 893 or 894 allows the defendant to seek an expungement of the arrest record immediately and will also allow him to say that he has never had a criminal conviction (assuming an otherwise clean record) for most purposes.

If he goes through with expungement, he will be able to say he has never been arrested (assuming an otherwise clean record, and with some exceptions).

The benefit of an Article 893 or 894 allows an individual to maintain, for most purposes, a clean record once she has served her term of probation and to minimize the impact of a sole criminal offense on her life.

If you have been arrested, and are unsure whether you will be eligible for an 893 or 894, call us at (318) 459-9111 to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.