Record Sealing in Nevada
Everyone makes mistakes, and as unfortunate as it sounds, your mistakes leave a mark on your record and they can haunt you for years to come. These mistakes can seriously impact your life, such as job opportunities, family privileges, credit and loans, and other crucial benefits. However, Nevada record seals prevent past arrests and convictions from appearing in background checks. Having your record sealed makes the record invisible, and it allows job applicants to legally deny ever having a criminal record, which increases employment opportunities. Typically, it takes up to one year for criminal records to get sealed. However, some convictions may take longer, such as:
- Gross misdemeanors, misdemeanor battery, harassment, stalking, and category E felonies – 2 years after the case closes.
- Category D felonies, category C felonies, and category B felonies – 5 years after the case closes.
- Misdemeanor DUI and battery domestic violence – 7 years after the case closes.
- Category A felonies, burglary, violent felony crimes – 10 years after the case closes.
- Sex crimes, crimes against children, invasion of the home with deadly weapons, and a felony DUI -– Never closes.
How To Seal Your Record
Every jurisdiction has its own unique record seal procedure, and one minor error in the paperwork can push the process back several months. It is very important that people seek legal help from an experienced legal counsel to take care of the process for them. First, you need to obtain a verified copy of the petitioner’s criminal history, called a SCOPE. After, compose the petition and affidavit then mail or drop off paperwork to the district attorney’s office. The district attorney will read and sign the order to seal the record, then return the forms back to the petitioner. It is highly encouraged that petitioners hire a criminal defense attorney to appear for them at a record sealing case because it can be very difficult to win without the district attorney’s approval.
How Long Does It Take to Seal Your Record?
The process of record sealing can take from a few weeks to several months, depending on your case. There are three different reasons that your record sealing may take several months.
- The petitioner has a difficult case, and it may take the defense attorney time to thoroughly research to compose a strong and accurate petition to seal.
- The district attorney’s office may take several weeks to review the petition.
- The Nevada Criminal History Repository is very backlogged, and it takes them months to comply with a court’s order to seal.
Can My Sealed Criminal Record Be Reopened?
Once your criminal record has been sealed, it is extremely rare that it can be reopened. There are very limited occasions where your criminal record seal may be reopened, and one example is if you have been arrested for a similar offense after your previous charges have been dismissed. Additionally, if you were convicted for a crime, the prosecutor can apply to have your criminal record seal be reopened so they can find any additional information of other parties involved in the crime. Nevada does not allow for record expungements, as sealing a record does not mean it is invisible and can still be reopened. However, there is little difference between sealing and expungement.
Having a criminal record can be very haunting for years to come, as the social stigma surrounding a criminal record is harsh. You are facing restrictions on job opportunities, credit and loans, voting, and even the ability to see your children. Unfortunately, everyone makes mistakes and it is important that you have an experienced criminal defense team fighting aggressively by your side in court. At The Defenders, our attorneys have had years of experience dealing with criminal cases and know the legal system better than anyone else. If you or a loved one is dealing with criminal charges, reach out to our legal team for consultation and determination on the next steps moving forward to get you back on your feet.