Understanding the Process of Record Sealing in Nevada

Having a criminal record can put you at a significant disadvantage in today’s world, preventing you from getting a job, renting an apartment, and even volunteering at your child’s school. If you have paid your debt to society or were never convicted of the charges, you may be eligible to have your criminal record sealed in the State of Nevada. Understanding the process of record sealing in Nevada is essential to moving forward with a clean slate.

What Does It Mean to Seal A Criminal Record in Nevada?

When a criminal record is sealed in Nevada the physical record is removed from the record system. Thereafter, access to the record is restricted except to employees of the Repository for record management purposes, a party or agency for an authorized search as provided for in Nevada Revised Statutes, or a party authorized pursuant to a court order.

How Long Do I Have to Wait to Seal a Criminal Record?

Like most states that allow records to be sealed, the State of Nevada imposes a waiting period before you can petition to have most criminal records sealed. However, there is no waiting period if the charges were dismissed, the prosecuting attorney having jurisdiction declined prosecution of the charges, or you were acquitted of the charges. If any of those scenarios apply, you can petition for sealing of your record immediately. For convictions, the case must first be considered closed, meaning you served your jail/prison time, completed probation, completed any required classes, and paid all fines and costs. After the case is closed, the following waiting periods apply:

  • A category A or B felony: 15 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later.
  • A category C or D felony: 12 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later.
  • A category E felony: 10 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later.
  • Any gross misdemeanor: 7 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from probation, whichever occurs later.
  • A violation of NRS 484.379 (Driving under the influence) other than a felony, or a battery which constitutes domestic violence pursuant to NRS 33.018 other than a felony: 7 years from the date of release from actual custody or from the date when he is no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later.
  • Any other misdemeanor: 3 years from the date of release from actual custody or from the date when he is no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later.

Are There Crimes That Are Ineligible for Record Sealing in Nevada?

While Nevada is fairly liberal with criminal record sealing, there are some crimes that are ineligible to be sealed, including:

  • Crime against children under 18 years old
  • Sex crimes
  • Felony charges of drunk driving (DUI) or drugged driving (DUID)
  • Invasion of the home with a deadly weapon

What Is the Process for Record Sealing in Nevada?

If you wish to have your criminal record sealed in Nevada, the first step is to get a copy of your criminal history, referred to as a “SCOPE.” This can be obtained from the local law enforcement agency of the city or county in which the conviction was entered or in which you appeared in court. If you have convictions on your criminal history, you will also need copies of the “judgment of conviction and discharge” for each conviction. These can be obtained from the court where the conviction was entered.

Once you have the necessary documents, you will prepare a petition and order to be sent to the District Attorney’s Office within 30 days. If the District Attorney’s Office agrees to stipulate to the sealing of your record, your final step will be to deliver the petition, order, and approval to the appropriate court for the judge’s signature. If the District Attorney’s Office denies your petition, you should be provided with an explanation indicating why your petition was denied. You also have the option to request a hearing to argue for approval of your records seal.

Can Anyone Still See My Criminal Record After It Is Sealed?

If your petition for record sealing is approved, your criminal record will be inaccessible to most people or entities that run a background check; however, the record is still available under certain conditions. State licensing boards, such as the Nevada Gaming Commission, will still be able to access your record as will the prosecuting attorney’s office under certain circumstances. Generally, however, you can legally deny ever having a criminal record after successfully sealing the record.

What Should I Do If I Need Help with Record Sealing in Las Vegas?

If you have a criminal record that you want sealed in Las Vegas, consult with a criminal defense attorney at The Vegas Lawyers as soon as possible to discuss your next steps. Call us at 702-707-7000 or contact us online.