No, you cannot get a DUI or reckless driving expunged in Nevada. However, the state allows record seals, under NRS 179.245. When you file a petition for a record seal, you ask the state to hide your criminal record from government databases. That way, they won’t show up on background checks when applying for a job or home mortgage.
If you’re charged or convicted with a DUI or reckless driving in Nevada, you could be eligible for a record seal. A Las Vegas criminal defense attorney can review your case and explore your legal options with you.
A Defense Lawyer Can Help You Apply for a Record Seal in Nevada
Nevada does not allow anyone to expunge their criminal record. Expungement is when the government removes a conviction from your record as if it never happened. Sealing is when you remove the crime from public records so very few people have access to it. This way, when a potential employer conducts a background check, they won’t be able to see any of your prior convictions.
How to Apply for a Record Seal in Nevada
If you wish to apply for a record seal in Nevada, you must go through a waiting period before you file a petition. This time frame typically begins when your probation is over or once you get out of jail. However, if the court dismissed your case or you received a “not guilty” verdict, you can file for a record seal immediately.
The more serious the charges are, the longer the waiting period is. However, in some cases, you may not be eligible for a record seal. For example, if someone was seriously injured or passed away due to your reckless driving or driving under the influence, the state would typically bar you from getting your record sealed.
The Difference Between a DUI and Reckless Driving in Nevada
Typically, the Nevada court treats DUIs and reckless driving as misdemeanors (the charge could be increased if you allegedly committed other offenses at the time of your arrest). However, despite the similarities, there are some major differences between the two:
According to NRS 484C.020, people cannot drive if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. That means their blood alcohol level should not be over 0.08. The penalties you face can vary depending on your criminal record and how high your blood alcohol level was. If this is your first offense, you may have to pay a $1,000 fine, lose your license for six months, and go to jail for up to six months, per NRS 484C.400.
If your driving harmed other people, you might have more severe penalties. For example, if you were under the influence and caused an accident that injured or killed someone, you may face a longer jail sentence and steeper fines.
NRS 484B.653 defines reckless driving as when someone drives “a vehicle in willful or wanton disregard of the safety of persons or property on a highway or premises to which the public has access.”
Examples of this driving behavior include:
- Road rage
- Weaving in and out of traffic
- Disregarding traffic signals and signs
- Improper turns, merges, and/or lane changes
Penalties for reckless driving include fines up to $2,000, jail time, and points on your license. In the event this behavior led someone to sustain serious or fatal injuries, the state can bump these charges up to a felony, which can mean more time in prison and higher fines, among other penalties.
A Defense Lawyer Can Help Get Your DUI Reduced to Reckless Driving
You may be able to get a plea bargain with the prosecution to have your DUI charge or conviction reduced to reckless driving. However, your criminal defense lawyer must show that a lesser charge is more appropriate.
Common defense strategies include:
- Lack of Reasonable Suspicion: The arresting officer didn’t have a valid reason to stop you.
- Inaccurate Breathalyzer Results: A medication you were taking or a health complication could have led to a higher percentage of blood alcohol level.
- Failure to Maintain Chain of Custody:The arresting officer failed to properly transfer the breathalyzer test, and it was contaminated as a result.
- Failure to Read Your Miranda Rights:If the arresting officer didn’t read you your Miranda Rights, you may have grounds to file a motion to suppress evidence they gathered at the scene.
- Mistaken Identity: You may not have been the one under the influence.
- Unlawful Search and Seizure: The arresting officer didn’t have reasonable suspicion or any evidence to search your vehicle.
It may be difficult to prove that law enforcement violated your rights. However, your lawyer may be able to build a robust defense strategy from evidence, including:
- Police body cam footage
- Traffic camera footage
- Witness statements
- Expert witness testimony
A Nevada Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help with Your DUI or Reckless Driving Case
Navigating Nevada’s criminal legal system, building a strong case, and learning about your legal options can be tedious, stressful, and time-consuming. You don’t have to do this alone. A seal and expunge lawyer in Las Vegas can take charge of your case while you focus on yourself.
Your lawyer can:
- Determine applicable laws
- Build a defense strategy
- Cross-examine witnesses
- Negotiate a plea bargain
- Work to get your charges dropped or reduced
- Gather evidence
- File a petition to seal your record
In addition to handling the legalities of your case, they can update you on the progression of your case and answer any questions you have.
Call De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers Today
Even though Nevada prohibits expungement, that doesn’t mean you can’t protect your personal and professional reputation. A Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer at our firm can help you file a petition to seal your record or try to get your charges reduced.
Call De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers today to schedule a free consultation.