What is an 893 Plea in Louisiana?

“893” is simply the code of criminal procedure article that allows for a felony conviction to be expunged after successfully completing probation.  So the term “893 plea” simply means you are pleading guilty to a felony with an expungement opportunity.  Under article 893, a guilty plea conviction is recorded but a sentence is not imposed.  Instead, the offender is placed on to probation.  Upon completing the probationary conditions, the probationer can petition the court to set aside and the conviction and having the prosecution dismissed.  I suspect the sentence is not imposed in order to read this article in harmony with the procedural articles giving the court discretion to allow a guilty plea to be withdrawn prior to sentencing.  A conviction set aside under article 893 has many of the same civil effects as an acquittal but can be used as a prior conviction for any habitual offender or statutory enhancements available on a new arrest and prosecution.  However, the restoration of your civil rights does not extend to gun ownership.  An 893 conviction can still be used for state and federal gun prosecutions.  The benefits of article 893 can only be used one time during an offender’s life.

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