Employers, landlords, creditors, and more rely on background checks to verify a person’s trustworthiness. If background checks are standing between you and living your life to the fullest, you may wonder what charges can be sealed or expunged in Nevada.
Clearing your criminal record could be the solution to getting a second chance after committing a crime. A Las Vegas seal and expunge lawyer from our firm is ready to guide you through the process.
Sealed Record vs. Expunged Record
Sealing a record means that the public cannot see your criminal history, even though it still legally exists. An expunged record means that the criminal record is erased or destroyed – in other words, it no longer exists and essentially never happened. Even under oath, someone who has an expunged criminal record can say they were never guilty of a past crime. Sealed records can still be seen under certain circumstances.
Sealed and expunged charges can have different rules depending on state laws. For instance, some sealed records can be reopened or seen under specific circumstances in Nevada and other states.
Can My Record be Expunged in Nevada?
No, you are only permitted to seal your record in Nevada. Currently, Nevada law does not allow you to expunge any offenses from your criminal history.
Laws for Sealing Records in Nevada
The state of Nevada defines sealing as “a procedure whereby a record is physically removed from a record system and [is]…altogether restricted.” A sealed record is hidden from public view but can still be seen by state and criminal justice agencies, the Nevada Gaming Commission, and branches of the government like the FBI, CIA, and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Sealed records in Nevada can be reopened in some cases, including when:
- A prosecutor reopens the record because the person is arrested for the same or a related crime
- The record may be useful in finding information about other parties involved in an offense
- It involves a person’s right to have certain licenses, such as gun or gaming licenses
- The person with the sealed record petitions the court to reopen it for any reason
What Charges Can Be Sealed in Nevada?
Not all charges can be sealed on your record, but many can. If you were arrested and the charges were dismissed, no charges were filed against you, or you were acquitted (found not guilty), you are allowed to petition to seal your records immediately. You can also file when the prosecution does not prosecute after:
- The statute of limitations has run out
- It has been 8 years since your arrest
- An eligibility date set by the prosecution passes
If you were convicted of a crime, you can petition to seal your record if:
- You complete your probation
- You complete a reentry program
- Your conviction was set aside
- You complete a court-ordered alcohol or drug treatment program
- Your drug-related crime was not for the sale of a controlled substance
- You committed a prostitution-related offense and were a victim of human trafficking or involuntary servitude
Misdemeanors have specific time limits for when a criminal record can be sealed. If you were convicted of any of the crimes listed below, you must wait the designated number of years before you can ask to seal your record.
- Misdemeanors and traffic violations (not including gross misdemeanors): 1 year after custody release or when you are no longer serving a suspended sentence, whichever comes last
- Gross misdemeanors, battery, harassment, stalking, or violated protection orders: 2 years after custody release, when you are no longer serving a suspended sentence, or when you are discharged from parole/probation, whichever comes last
- Category E felonies: 2 years after custody release or when you are discharged from parole/probation, whichever comes last
- Category B, C, or D felonies: 5 years after custody release or when you are discharged from parole/probation, whichever comes last
- Non-felony DUI, domestic violence, or Medicaid fraud: 7 years after custody release or when you are no longer serving a suspended sentence, whichever comes last
- Category A felonies or burglary: 10 years from custody release or when you are discharged from parole/probation, whichever comes last
- Crimes committed during a riot: 1-5 years depending on the offense
A minor’s records are automatically sealed when they turn 21, as long as they were not convicted of a crime that would be considered a felony if an adult had committed it or they were not convicted of a violent crime or a lewd crime with a minor.
What Records Cannot Be Sealed?
Not all crimes can be sealed in Nevada. Felony DUIs, home invasions, crimes against children, and sex crimes are on this list. Some of the offenses that remain on a person’s permanent record and are not eligible for sealing include:
- Felony DUI involving injury or death
- Felony BUI (boating under the influence)
- Home invasion with a deadly weapon
- False imprisonment of a child
- Sexual assault or rape
- Child pornography
- Sexual abuse or battery
- Felony indecent exposure
- Sexual penetration of a corpse
- Administering drugs to a person to commit any of the above crimes
- An attempt to commit any of the above crimes
The district attorney’s office has published a list of the charges that are eligible for sealing in Nevada. If your offense is on that list, you are allowed to petition for record sealing.
Can I Seal Part of My Record?
Nevada will only seal your entire record or nothing at all. For instance, if you qualify to petition one offense but not another, you cannot only seal the qualified one. Having a felony crime or another unsealable offense on your record disqualifies you from having it sealed.
Can I Seal Records From Another State?
The jurisdiction for sealing and expunging records applies to the state you were arrested in. Moving to another state will not change this. For instance, if a state allows offenses to be expunged but you were convicted of the crime in Nevada, you are not allowed to expunge your record.
How Can I Petition to Seal My Record?
You can submit a form to petition the state to seal your records in either district or municipal court.
This process usually involves:
- Obtaining a copy of your criminal history record using Form DPS 006
- Getting your fingerprints taken at a police or sheriff’s department or another fingerprinting agency
- Mailing Form DPS 006, your fingerprints, and a fee to the Nevada State Police Records, Communications & Compliance Division
- Contacting the district attorney’s office in the county you were arrested in to inquire about petitioning
- Getting a court order and other paperwork signed by a judge, who will then mail them to the Records Bureau and other applicable agencies
How Long Will It Take Before My Record is Sealed?
The procedure varies in every county in Nevada. The Nevada State Police ask for 30 calendar days to process a sealed record request, but the actual sealing will take longer (about 6-10 months). Contact the court in the county where you were arrested to find out how long the process might take.
What if My Petition is Denied?
If your petition to seal your record is denied by the court, you must wait a minimum of 2 years before you can petition again. Nevada only allows 2 attempts to seal a record.
Courts almost always grant eligible seals but may still deny them at their discretion. Having errors on your petition can also lead to a denial. Working with an attorney can help you navigate the petition process and win a successful approval.
Contact a Las Vegas Seal and Expunge Lawyer Today
Sealing your record in Nevada can be complicated, and doing every step correctly is essential. Incorrect or incomplete petitions will likely be rejected and once you have attempted to seal your record twice, it can never be petitioned again.
Clearing your record is too important to leave to chance. The team at De Castroverde Criminal & Immigration Lawyers can help you prepare and file an accepted criminal record seal petition. To get started, fill out our contact form today.