Background Checks in Nevada

If you have been convicted of a violent crime, drug related crime or any other crime, in Nevada, chances are, your prospects for obtaining employment may be hampered if the potential employer makes use of background checks prior to hiring. It is common practice for employers to use background checks in their pre-employment screenings. In fact, a recent survey found that 92 percent of employers do check background in their hiring process.

What Laws Govern the Obtaining and Use of Background Check?

Background checks are legal in Nevada. But there are restrictions: Nevada’s “ban the box” law prohibits government employers from asking about criminal history on the initial application; The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires certain employers to get applicants’ consent to run background checks

The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) sets minimum requirements on a nationwide basis for various types of background reports and the information allowed to be included. Many states have additional requirements and allowances in addition to the FCRA. Nevada is largely in line with FCRA requirements, but has some additions as discussed below.

What Types of Reports?

The FCRA provides for two types of reports: consumer reports, and investigative consumer reports. Consumer reports includes information such as credit history, general financial and personal information about an individual, such as addresses of record, employment history, credit payment history, and overall indebtedness. Consumer Reports are largely obtained from public record information, and reports of creditors to various credit reporting agencies.

The Investigative Consumer Report contains additional information regarding an individual’s character, general reputation, personal practices, mode of living among other personal traits and practices. These reports are obtained from public records, but may also include results of personal contact with neighbors, friends, work associates and other acquaintances.

In order to obtain a Consumer Report, employers must disclose to prospective employees that a consumer report may be requested, and the prospective employee must acknowledge the disclosure by a signature. This disclosure and acknowledgment must be a separate document which contains nothing else but the disclaimer and signature.

Additional disclosure requirements for an Investigative Consumer Report require the prospective employer to notify the prospective employee, in writing, that the employer will be obtaining in-depth information. The report must be mailed or delivered to the person no later than three days after the report is requested. Additionally, the disclosure must advise the person that they have a right to obtain additional disclosures and a written summary of legal rights.

Consumer Reports may not include medical information without the written consent of the person, and may not include arrest information prior to seven years of the date of the report, unless the job will pay more than $75,000 annually. Convictions of felonies, and misdemeanors that occurred prior to the seven-year limit may appear.

Nevada Laws Governing Consumer Reporting

Until 2015, Nevada law did not allow reporting of criminal convictions prior to seven years of the report date. Nevada Senate Bill 409 removed these prohibitions bringing Nevada more in line with the FCRA. Convictions of any felonies and misdemeanors may now appear in Consumer Reports.

Nevada law prohibits employers from requiring a Consumer Report, or taking adverse action against a potential employee based on a Consumer Report, unless, the employer is required to do so by state or federal law, or the employer believes the prospective applicant has engaged in illegal activity, or the employer believes that the report is significantly related to the position.
The state considers a Consumer Report to be related to the position if the duties of the position include:

  • Care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, money, financial records, corporate credit or debit cards or other assets
  • Access to trade secrets and other proprietary or confidential information
  • Managerial or supervisory responsibility
  • The direct exercise of law enforcement authority as an employee of a state or local law enforcement agency
  • The care, custody and handling of, or responsibility for, the personal information of another person
  • Access to the personal financial information of another person
  • Employment with a financial institution
  • Employment with a licensed gaming establishment

The Defenders Can Help

Even with Nevada’s additional restrictions on consumer reporting, the information in a Consumer Report can be damaging. Convictions of crimes in Nevada can be made available to potential employers, and the state no longer imposes a limit on how old the conviction may be. The best course, if charged with a violation of the criminal code, is to hire an attorney who can vigorously defend you against the charges.

The lawyers of the Defenders can provide that kind of defense and stand ready to assist you. Call us today at (702) 333-3333.

“On multiple occasions now, this law firm has went above and beyond for me. Thank you!” – Britney Poti

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In our previous post on this subject, we covered the statutes that define and govern domestic violence cases in Nevada and outlined statutory punishments for defendants charged with and found guilty of battery which constitutes domestic violence (BDV). In this post, we will discuss additional potential domestic violence penalties.

Types of Domestic Violence Protection Orders

A protection order, commonly known as a restraining order, is an order from a court that restrains behavior of the adverse party. Nevada law NRS 33.017 through 33.100 provides definitions for two types of protective orders in cases of Domestic Violence. A temporary protection order (TPO) expires 30 days from issuance, while an extended protection order is in effect for no longer than 1 year from date of issuance.

The 30-day TPO prohibits the adverse party from any threat, physical injury, or harassment of the applicant; from being on the premises of or entering the applicant’s residence, place of employment, school, or places frequented by the applicant; will prohibit any and all communication by any means, including verbal, by telephone, by mail or email, either personally or by a third party, with the applicant until the order expires; may grant custody of any minor children to the applicant; prohibits threats to take or injure animals owned or kept by the applicant or adverse party; and any other instructions the court needs to make based on the circumstances of the order.

The extended order contains any of the provisions of the TPO, plus may specify conditions of visitation of minor children, and may require supervision by a third party of any visitation, if applicable; may order the adverse party to pay applicant’s rent and/or support of minor children; pay all costs and fees of the applicant in bringing the action, and pay income lost to the applicant for time taken to attend hearings associated with bringing the action.

Other Effects of Protection Orders

Adverse parties to an extended order are also prohibiting from purchasing or acquiring a firearm while the order is in force. Violators of this provision are guilty of a Category B Felony and will be imprisoned in State Prison for one to six years and a fine of no more than $5,000. The extended order may also require any firearms in the possession of the adverse party to be surrendered to law enforcement, a person designated by the court, or sold to a licensed gun dealer. Violations of an order to surrender a firearm within 24 hours will result in a search warrant being issued by the court for law enforcement to find the firearm and seize it.

Violation of Protection Order

In the case of either a TPO or extended order, any violation is considered contempt of court, and the adverse party may be arrested and held as specified in the order but no less than 12 hours before qualifying for bail. Additionally, the adverse in a TPO can be found guilty of a misdemeanor for violating the order, unless the act of violation, by law, carries harsher penalties. For example, if the violation of the order results from a violent act, the statutes for that act may specify a greater punishment.

A person who violates an extended order is guilty of a Category C felony punishable by one to five years in state prison and a fine up to $10,000.

Protection Order Defense

Penalties for violating a Protective Order are serious and can subject defendants to additional jail time and fines. Three remedies are available to those served with protection orders, including:

  1. File a motion to dissolve the protection order. If the court agrees to hear arguments a date will be set and both the applicant and the adverse will appear. If court agrees to dissolve, the order is void and unenforceable
  2. File a motion to modify the protection order. If the court agrees to hear arguments, a date is set. The court will decide what, if any, modifications are needed at the hearing.
  3. If an extended order is issued, the adverse may appeal it to District Court. District Court may decide to affirm, modify or vacate the order. The order remains in effect during the appeal process.

The Defenders lawyers are capable to assist in all aspects of protective orders and will provide a defense that will work to vigorously defend your rights. Call us today at (702) 333-3333.

Domestic Violence in Nevada – Part One – Statutes and Punishments

Domestic Violence in Nevada P1

Nevada has consistently ranked among the top five worst states in the country for domestic violence arrests. Battery Domestic Violence is one of the most frequent reasons for arrests in Nevada. As defined in NRS 33.018, domestic violence has a broad meaning and encompasses many acts that can be construed as violations of the statute.

Elements of Domestic Violence

Under the statute, the elements of domestic violence are defined as an act that’s committed against someone with whom you have a more intimate relationship than friends or business associates. The statute specifies a spouse or former spouse, any other person related by blood or marriage, a person with whom you are residing or have resided, a person you are dating or have dated, someone with whom you have a child in common, or the minor children themselves, or legal guardians or custodians of minor children of either party as appointed by a court.

The acts that constitute domestic violence as specified in the statute, are: battery; assault; forcing or threatening force to compel someone to do something they have a right to refuse; sexual assault; harassing behaviors, such as stalking, arson, trespassing, stealing, destruction of property, carrying a concealed weapon without permit, injuring an animal; false imprisonment; and unlawful or forcible entry to another person’s residence, or entry against the will of the other.

All the acts against persons as defined above are classified as domestic violence and as such have certain punishments and remedies associated.

Battery that Constitutes Domestic Violence (BDV)

Battery is defined as the willful and unlawful use of force or violence against another person. When battery is committed against one of the persons specified in the statute, the punishments as contained in NRS 200.485 apply. This statute spells out punishments based on the number of times a person is found guilty for this charge, within a seven-year period.

A conviction for a first offense is a misdemeanor and is punishable by two days to six months incarceration in city or county jail, between 48 and 120 hours of community service, and a fine of $200 to $1,000. One will also be required to attend counseling sessions of 1.5 hours per week at their own expense for 6-12 months in a domestic violence counseling program that has been certified by the state of Nevada.

A second conviction within seven years is a misdemeanor with jail time from 10 days to six months, community service of 100 to 200 hours, and a fine of $500 to $1000. Domestic violence counseling for no less than 12 months is required for second offense.

For a third and subsequent conviction of BDV, it is considered a Category C felony and is punishable by one to five years in state prison and a fine of no more than $10,000.

As an exception to the above, if strangulation is a part of the battery the conviction is a Category C felony and is punishable by one to five years in state prison and a fine of no more than $15,000. This can apply from the first offense.

Additionally, the statute spells out the possibility of additional penalties at the court’s discretion, including enrollment in a state-certified alcohol or drug abuse program, and the possibility of child counseling by a child welfare agency at the expense of the guilty party.

The statute also prohibits a plea bargain, unless the prosecutor knows that there is insufficient probable cause or evidence too weak to be proved in court. Courts are also prohibited from granting probation or suspending sentences for this crime.

If a victim of BDV later recants their initial testimony, the District Attorney will most likely continue to pursue the charges without the support of the victim depending on the strength of the evidence obtained when the charges were first filed. In many cases, victims reconcile with the accused and no longer wish to pursue charges. In these cases, the prosecutors will assume that the initial statement given at the time of arrest were true and, in most cases, will continue to pursue the case.

Under the domestic violence statutes in the state, the victim has other remedies available to them such as temporary or extended protective orders, or restraining orders, which will be covered in a subsequent post.

The Defenders can provide a vigorous defense

The penalties for BDV are severe and require large amounts of time and investment to recover from. Possible defenses against these charges are: the defendant acted in self-defense, the act was an accident, and fraud on the part of the accuser. As with all crimes, the charges need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If the police conducted an illegal search as part of their investigation, evidence may be suppressed at trial to protect the defendant. If you have been charged with this crime, you will need an attorney to represent you to provide a defense which will protect your rights. Call the Defenders today to speak with one of our attorneys about your case at (702) 333-3333.