Sealing Criminal Records in Nevada: Las Vegas Expungement Attorney Explains
When you have a criminal record, your life is affected in profound ways. When employers or landlords conduct a background check and a criminal record shows up, you could find yourself deprived of opportunities to work or rent a home in the place where you would prefer.
The good news is, there are circumstances when you can get your record sealed so the information about your past involvement with the criminal justice system will no longer be freely available to anyone who wants it.
While record sealing used to be a very arduous process, the rules have now changed in Nevada to make it easier for you to seal your record under appropriate circumstances. This means that if you’ve tried to seal your record in the past, you now could have a chance to clear your name when before you did not.
Whether you have tried to seal or expunge your record before and failed or you are trying to seal your record for the first time, it’s important to get legal help from a compassionate and knowledgeable Nevada criminal defense lawyer who knows the laws on record sealing and who can guide you through the process.
LV Criminal Defense is here to help. Give us a call today to learn more about how record sealing works in Nevada and to find out how our firm can help you to limit access to your criminal record so you can enjoy more opportunities going forward.
Why Seal Your Las Vegas Criminal Record (Felony or Misdemeanor)
Today, it is very common for people to have to undergo background checks in all different circumstances. If you apply for a job, if you want to get an apartment, if you apply for a mortgage loan, or even if you want to volunteer with different organizations, you may need to consent to have your record checked first.
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If you have a past crime on your record, a request to have your record checked can be frustrating and embarrassing. Even if the record of your past convictions or your other past involvement with the criminal justice system does not end up preventing you from getting the job or house or from being allowed to volunteer, it can be upsetting to have your landlord, future boss, or the people who you are participating in volunteer activities with know that you have a criminal record in your past.
This is especially frustrating when the crime you have on your record was from a long time ago. Youthful indiscretions or mistakes made decades before could color people’s opinion of you even if you’ve changed and the offense on your record is not one you would even consider committing in the future.
You don’t want to have a criminal record that anyone can see hanging over your head and making you reluctant to give back to your community, pursue that dream job, or live in an apartment or house you love.
To make sure that your record doesn’t hold you back from doing the things you want to do, you should seize the opportunity to sponge your record – especially now that lawmakers in the state of Nevada have recognized how important it is for you to be able to move on with a clean slate and have actually gone so far as to change the law to make it easier for you to ensure that your future isn’t affected adversely by the problems in your past.
Sealing vs. Expungement in Las Vegas, NV
Most often, our clients would ask us to expunge their record. While sealing a record means hiding it from a public view, expungement proides for a complete eradication of a prior history of convictions. Currently, Nevada does not offer the expungment option. However, our attorneys will make sure your record will be sealed properly to have the same benefit for your future.
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How Will Sealing Your Record Impact You
Sealing your record has a lot of big benefits. Obviously, when people conduct a background check or search, your past indiscretions will no longer be revealed. You also do not have to disclose your past record if you’re asked about it once your record has been sealed, which means no more embarrassing and difficult conversations about offenses you may have committed decades ago.
If any of your rights were curtailed as a result of your criminal record, such as the right to vote, hold office, or serve on a jury, clearing your record will typically mean that you are no longer subject to these limitations. You can once again play a role in shaping the politics within your community and your lost constitutional rights will be restored.
Getting back your good name and other rights you lost as a result of a past crime makes it worth the effort for you to go through the process of getting your record sealed. You’ve faced the consequences of your crime, done your time or complied with other penalties imposed upon you by the courts, and you can now put that chapter of your life behind you by sealing your records and moving on once and for all.
Nevada Record Sealing Statutes
Nevada used to have strict laws on record sealing that made it difficult for you to get your name cleared after a conviction. You’d have to wait a long time and were at the mercy of the judge making the decision in your particular case about whether your petition to seal your records will be successful. The system put you at a major disadvantage if you were hoping to move forward — even after you had done everything right, like completing your probation or serving your sentence.
The good news is, things have now changed. Lawmakers in the state of Nevada recently made the determination that it is sound public policy to provide a second chance to offenders who have been rehabilitated to delete their criminal records from a public eye. The traditional rules for sealing records failed to provide the opportunity for a second chance, but new rules make it much easier to get a record sealed. Some important changes that you should know about include the following:
- If the statutory requirements for having your record sealed are met and you were honorably discharged from probation, there is now a presumption in favor of sealing your record. This means there is less discretion for the judge to decide that even though you have done everything right, your record still will not be sealed.
- A dishonorable discharge from probation no longer disqualifies you from successfully petitioning to have a record sealed. Previously, if you were dishonorably discharged from probation, you were not allowed to file any request with the court to have your records sealed. Under the new rules, you can file a request despite the dishonorable discharge. However, the presumption that the discharge should be granted does not apply due to the dishonorable discharge so you will still need to make a compelling case for why your record should be sealed.
- The process has been streamlined when you have records in multiple jurisdictions including Clark County. It is now easier to submit just one single request to ask for records in multiple different jurisdictions to be sealed.
- The statutory waiting periods for filing a request to seal your record have been made shorter. This means there is much less time to wait before you can petition to have your record sealed.
Because of these important changes, more defendants than ever before really will be able to start with a clean slate when they have served their time and are turning their lives around.
You should not be deprived of future opportunities because of past transgressions and a Las Vegas felony or misdemeanor expungement lawyer at LV Criminal Defense can help you to maximize the chances of successfully getting your records sealed so those records will no longer hold you back from accomplishing your dreams.
How Can You Get Your Record Sealed in Clark County
Although the rules have changed for record sealing to make the process easier, there are still limitations on who can get their record sealed. For example, if you were convicted of a sex crime, a felony DUI, or a crime against a child, your record is ineligible to be sealed or expunged under any circumstances.
However, for most other offenses, you can petition to have your record sealed at the end of the waiting period. The waiting period differs based on the offense, but thanks to the changes in Nevada law, it is now much shorter for most individuals who are hoping to clear their names by sealing their records.
If your case was dismissed with prejudice so it cannot be refiled or if you were acquitted, you can also petition to have your record sealed immediately – there is no waiting period.
Changes to the Waiting Period for Sealing Criminal Records
One of the most important changes to the laws on sealing records in Nevada is the shortening of the waiting periods before you can become eligible for your record to be sealed.For category A felonies, including crimes of violence under N.R.S. 200.408 and burglary under N.R.S. 205.060, the waiting period to request your record to be sealed has been shortened to 10 years from 15 years.
- For category B, C, or D felonies, the waiting period has been reduced down to five years for all offenses, rather than 15 years for category B felonies and 12 years for category C or D felonies.
- For category E felonies, the waiting period has been reduced from seven years down to two years.
- For gross misdemeanor offenses, the waiting period has been shortened from five years to two years.
- For misdemeanor battery, harassment, violating a protective order, or stalking, the waiting period has been reduced down to two years. For some of these offenses, the waiting period previously was five years when a defendant had been charged with a gross misdemeanor.
- For other misdemeanors the waiting period has now been reduced down to one year from two years. However, for non-felony drunk driving and domestic violence crimes, as well as for non-felony Medicaid offenses, the waiting period remains seven years.
With these new shorter waiting periods, defendants can benefit from the ability to clear their record much more quickly. If you are uncertain as to whether you will be eligible to clear your record, LV Criminal Defense can help.
Nevada Expungement Services – Resources
LVMPD – Apply to get your records from the police department
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Records Bureau
City Hall – 1st Floor
400 East Stewart
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
Las Vegas Municipal Court – record sealing form
200 Lewis Avenue
Las Vegas, Nevada 89155
Clark County District Attorney’s Office – sealing of records
301 E Clark Ave # 100,
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Washoe County, NV – Sealing records in Washoe County
Nevada Department of Safety – Information and statutes
Get Help from a Nevada Records Sealing Lawyer to Request Your Record be Sealed
The process of requesting your record be sealed is complicated and requires you to submit paperwork to the courts. You are requesting a copy of your criminal records from Las Vegas Metro Police Department and making a request of the judge and while there’s now a presumption that the request should be approved provided you were honorably discharged from probation, there are never any guarantees – so you want to make sure you do the process properly to maximize the chances your record will be sealed.
The process that you must follow to get a record sealed actually varies by county in the state of Nevada, and there are different steps you must take depending upon whether you are petitioning to have the justice court seal your record, the district court seal your record, or a municipal court seal your record.
Because your request will not be processed if it is not complete and accurate, you should ensure you get the proper legal help to maximize your chances of successfully sealing your record. Our firm is happy to help.
We have successfully helped many defendants accused of all different kinds of criminal offenses to be proactive in taking action to get their records sealed. Our legal team is proud and gratified when we can help clients to change the course of their entire lives though making sure they aren’t held back by a past criminal record.
In fact, many of our clients whose records we have helped to seal have come back to us excited about the new opportunities they’ve been able to take advantage of, such as great new jobs or the chance to fill public offices, or the chance to leave in their dream apartment. We want to give you the same chances these past clients have had by helping you to take care of getting your own records sealed.
Contact a Nevada record sealing attorney at LV Criminal Defense today to find out more about the assistance our firm can provide in getting your record sealed.