§ Art. 894. Suspension and deferral of sentence; probation in misdemeanor cases
Art. 894. Suspension and deferral of sentence; probation in misdemeanor cases
A. (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Article to the contrary, when a defendant has been convicted of a misdemeanor, except criminal neglect of family, or stalking, the court may suspend the imposition or the execution of the whole or any part of the sentence imposed, provided suspension is not prohibited by law, and place the defendant on unsupervised probation or probation supervised by a probation office, agency, or officer designated by the court, other than the division of probation and parole of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, upon such conditions as the court may fix. Such suspension of sentence and probation shall be for a period of two years or such shorter period as the court may specify.
(2) When a suspended sentence in excess of six months is imposed, the court may place the defendant on probation under the supervision of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, division of probation and parole, for a period of not more than two years and under such conditions as the court may specify.
(3) When a defendant has been convicted of the misdemeanor offense of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, second offense, the court may suspend the imposition or the execution of the whole or any part of the sentence imposed and place the defendant on unsupervised or supervised probation upon such conditions as the court may fix, where suspension is not prohibited under the law. Such suspension of sentence and probation shall be for a period of two years or such shorter period as the court may specify.
(4) The court may suspend, reduce, or amend a misdemeanor sentence after the defendant has begun to serve the sentence.
(5) At the time that any defendant petitions the court to set aside any plea for operating a vehicle while intoxicated pursuant to this Article, the court shall order the clerk of court to mail to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, a certified copy of the record of the plea, fingerprints of the defendant, and proof of the requirements as set forth in Code of Criminal Procedure Article 556.1 which shall include the defendant's date of birth, social security number, and driver's license number. An additional fifty dollar court cost shall be assessed at this time against the defendant and paid to the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, for the costs of storage and retrieval of the records.
(6) When a case is assigned to the drug division probation program pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 13:5304, with the consent of the district attorney, the court may place the defendant on probation for a period of not more than four years if the court determines that successful completion of the program may require that the period of probation exceed the two year limit. If necessary to assure successful completion of the drug division probation program, the court may extend the duration of the probation period. The period of probation as initially fixed or as extended shall not exceed four years.
B. (1) When the imposition of sentence has been deferred by the court, as authorized by this Article, and the court finds at the conclusion of the period of deferral that the defendant has not been convicted of any other offense during the period of the deferred sentence, and that no criminal charge is pending against him, the court may set the conviction aside and dismiss the prosecution. However, prior to setting aside any conviction and dismissing the prosecution for any charge for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, the court shall require proof in the form of a certified letter from the Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, that the requirements of Paragraph A(5) of this Article have been complied with.
(2) The dismissal of the prosecution shall have the same effect as an acquittal, except that the conviction may be considered as a first offense and provide the basis for subsequent prosecution of the party as a multiple offender. Discharge and dismissal under this provision may occur only once with respect to any person during a five-year period. However, discharge and dismissal under this provision for the offense of operating a vehicle while intoxicated may occur only once with respect to any person during a ten-year period.
C. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as being a basis for destruction of records of the arrest and prosecution of any person convicted of a misdemeanor.
D. (1) The Department of Public Safety and Corrections, office of motor vehicles, shall serve as a repository for the records referred to in Paragraph A(5) of this Article for any plea for operating a vehicle while intoxicated entered pursuant to the provisions of this Article. The department shall maintain records for a period of ten years. The department shall respond by certified mail to a request by any court, prosecuting agency, or defendant seeking certified copies of the records or verification that the records are in the possession of the department.
(2) The records maintained by the department pursuant to this Article shall be confidential, except as otherwise provided in this Article. Certified copies of the records maintained by the department shall be admissible only in a subsequent prosecution for operating a vehicle while intoxicated and shall not be used for any other purpose.
(3)(a) The Department of Insurance is hereby authorized to expend from any surplus it derives from a fiscal year an amount not to exceed three hundred thousand dollars to the office of motor vehicles to fully implement and maintain the electronic database established in this Paragraph.
(b) The Department of Insurance is further authorized to enter into cooperative endeavor agreements with the Louisiana State Supreme Court, any district attorney's office, or any clerk of court's office for training and usage of the database created by this Paragraph.