A. When it appears that the best interest of the public and of the defendant will be served, the court, after a first or second conviction of a noncapital felony, may suspend, in whole or in part, the imposition or execution of either or both sentences, where suspension is allowed under the law, and in either or both cases place the defendant on probation under the supervision of the division of probation and parole. The court shall not suspend the sentence of a conviction for a crime of violence as defined in R.S. 14:2(B)(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), (9), (10), (11), (12), (13), (14), (15), (16), (18), (20), (21), (22), (26), (27), or (28), or of a second conviction if the second conviction is for a violation of R.S. 14:73.5, 81.1, or 81.2. The period of probation shall be specified and shall not be less than one year nor more than five years. The suspended sentence shall be regarded as a sentence for the purpose of granting or denying a new trial or appeal. Supervised release as provided for by Chapter 3-E of Title 15 of the Louisiana Revised Statutes of 1950 shall not be considered probation and shall not be limited by the five-year period for probation provided for by the provisions of this Paragraph.

 

B. (1)(a) The court may suspend, in whole or in part, the imposition or execution of the sentence when the following conditions exist:

 

(i) The sentence is for a third conviction of any of the following:

 

(aa) A noncapital felony for which a defendant could have his sentence suspended under Paragraph A of this Article had the conviction been for a first or second offense.

 

(bb) A violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law.1

 

(cc) A third conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated in violation of R.S. 14:98.

 

(ii) It appears that suspending the sentence is in the best interest of the public and the defendant.

 

(iii) The district attorney consents to the suspension of the sentence.

 

(iv) The court orders the defendant to do any of the following:

 

(aa) Enter and complete a program provided by the drug division of the district court pursuant to R.S. 13:5301, et seq.

 

(bb) Enter and complete an established DWI court program, as agreed upon by the trial court and the district attorney.

 

(cc) Reside for a minimum period of one year in a facility which conforms to the Judicial Agency Referral Residential Facility Regulatory Act, R.S. 40:2852.

 

(b) When suspension is allowed under this Paragraph, the defendant shall be placed on probation under the supervision of the division of probation and parole. The period of probation shall be specified and shall not be less than two years nor more than five years. The suspended sentence shall be regarded as a sentence for the purpose of granting or denying a new trial or appeal.

 

(2) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, the sentencing alternatives available in Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph, shall be made available to offenders convicted of a fourth offense violation of operating a vehicle while intoxicated pursuant to R.S. 14:98, only if the offender had not been offered such alternatives prior to his fourth conviction of operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

 

C. If the sentence consists of both a fine and imprisonment, the court may impose the fine and suspend the sentence or place the defendant on probation as to the imprisonment.

 

D. Except as otherwise provided by law, the court shall not suspend a felony sentence after the defendant has begun to serve the sentence.

 

E. (1)(a) When it appears that the best interest of the public and of the defendant will be served, the court may defer, in whole or in part, the imposition of a sentence after conviction of a first offense noncapital felony under the conditions set forth in this Paragraph. When a conviction is entered under this Paragraph, the court may defer the imposition of sentence and place the defendant on probation under the supervision of the division of probation and parole.

 

(b) The court shall not defer a sentence under this provision for an offense or an attempted offense which is defined or enumerated as a crime of violence under R.S. 14:2(B) or a sex offense as defined by R.S. 15:541, involving a child under the age of seventeen years or for a violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Law punishable by a term of imprisonment of more than five years or for a violation of R.S. 40:966(A), 967(A), 968(A), 969(A), or 970(A).

 

(2) Upon motion of the defendant, if the court finds at the conclusion of the probationary period that the probation of the defendant has been satisfactory, the court may set the conviction aside and dismiss the prosecution. The dismissal of the prosecution shall have the same effect as 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, and further shall be considered as a first offense for purposes of any other law or laws relating to cumulation of offenses. Dismissal under this Paragraph shall occur only once with respect to any person.

 

(3)(a) When a case is accepted into a drug court division probation program pursuant to the provisions of R.S. 13:5304 and at the conclusion of the probationary period the court finds that the defendant has successfully completed all conditions of probation, the court with the concurrence of the district attorney may set aside the conviction and dismiss prosecution, whether the defendant's sentence was suspended under Paragraph A of this Article or deferred under Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph. The dismissal of 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, and shall be considered as a first offense for purposes of any other law or laws relating to cumulation of offenses.

 

(b) The court may extend the provisions of this Paragraph to any person who has previously successfully completed a drug court program and satisfactorily completed all other conditions of probation.

 

(c) Dismissal under this Paragraph shall have the same effect as an acquittal for purposes of expungement under the provisions of R.S. 44:9 and may occur only once with respect to any person.

 

(4) When a defendant, who has been committed to the custody of the Department of Public Safety and Corrections to serve a sentence in the intensive incarceration program pursuant to the provisions of Code of Criminal Procedure Article 895(B)(3), has successfully completed the intensive incarceration program as well as successfully completed all other conditions of parole or probation, and if the defendant is otherwise eligible, the court with the concurrence of the district attorney may set aside the conviction and dismiss prosecution, whether the defendant's sentence was suspended under Paragraph A of this Article or deferred under Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph. The dismissal of 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, and shall be considered as a first offense for purposes of any other law or laws relating to cumulation of offenses. Dismissal under this Subparagraph shall have the same effect as an acquittal for purposes of expungement under the provisions of R.S. 44:9 and may occur only once with respect to any person.

 

F. 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 felony.

 

Credits

 

Amended by Acts 1970, No. 467, § 1; Acts 1972, No. 514, § 1; Acts 1978, No. 570, § 2; Acts 1980, No. 311, § 1; Acts 1986, No. 770, § 1; Acts 1987, No. 59, § 1; Acts 1987, No. 721, § 1; Acts 1991, No. 89, § 1; Acts 1991, No. 91, § 1; Acts 1992, No. 303, § 1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex.Sess., No. 100, § 1; Acts 1994, 3rd Ex.Sess., No. 123, § 1; Acts 1995, No. 990, § 1; Acts 1996, 1st Ex.Sess., No. 5, § 1, eff. April 23, 1996; Acts 1997, No. 696, § 1; Acts 2001, No. 403, § 5, eff. June 15, 2001; Acts 2001, No. 1206, § 3; Acts 2006, No. 242, § 2; Acts 2006, No. 581, § 1; Acts 2008, No. 104, § 1; Acts 2009, No. 168, § 1; Acts 2010, No. 801, § 2, eff. June 30, 2010.

 

Contact Stephen D. Hébert

700 Camp Street, Suite 216 
New Orleans, LA 70130
Office: 504-528-9500 Ext. 790

Mobile: 504-250-6020

Fax: 504-934-2000

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Saturday, 9am – 12pm