If you've ever been arrested for committing a crime, your criminal arrest record, as well as police and court records, can cause problems for you with employment, housing, and just about any other situation when a Nevada criminal background check is done. Even if you were not convicted of the offense, your Nevada criminal record may still be problematic for you. If you are eligible, sealing your Nevada criminal and arrest records is a low cost way of improving your life.
Why Should You Seal Your Nevada Criminal Record
When you are arrested or convicted of a criminal offense in Nevada, the record of your arrest, criminal allegations, conviction and sentencing information will be available to law enforcement agencies as well as prospective employers. In fact, this public information is available for anyone to see. Your criminal background can be accessed through many websites, through public records searches, and various other methods. A lawyer with record sealing experience can assist you in deciding whether or not you qualify under Nevada law to have your record sealed, and whether you should seal your record. In Nevada, records of arrests, criminal allegations, convictions and sentencing information can be permanently sealed. Further, if you seal your Nevada record, you gain the legal right to truthfully say (in most cases) that you were never arrested for the offense that was sealed.
Nevada Record Sealing Statute
The Nevada Revised Statutes state: "All proceedings recounted in the record are deemed never to have occurred, and the person to whom the order pertains may properly answer accordingly to any inquiry, including, without limitation, an inquiry relating to an application for employment, concerning the arrest, conviction, dismissal or acquittal and the events and proceedings relating to the arrest, conviction, dismissal or acquittal."
Employee Background Checks
Now more than ever, and particularly in Nevada, prospective employers are conducting background checks to avoid negligent hiring (an employer is liable for the harm/damage that its negligently hired employees cause to a third party). Prospective employers are concerned that someone with a criminal history may commit a new crime, and they therefore perform a criminal background check. An employer may have liability if a reasonable investigation by the employer would have revealed the criminal history, and thus prevented harm from coming to an innocent third party.
Sealing Your Records
Before you are eligible to seal your criminal record in Nevada, you must first fulfill the terms of your sentence. As an example, if you were sentenced to three years of probation, you cannot petition to have your record sealed until the requisite number of years (see below) has passed from the date you were discharged from probation. Then, during that time, you cannot have committed any new crimes, and you cannot be under indictment for new offenses.
When Are You Eligible To Seal Felony or Gross Misdemeanor Convictions?
In order to seal your Nevada record, you must wait the requisite statutory period from when your case closed, as follows: Category A or B Felony: 15 years from the date released from custody, or discharged from parole or probation, whichever occurs later. Category C or D Felony: 12 years from the date released from custody, or discharged from parole or probation, whichever occurs later. Category E Felony: 7 years from the date released from custody, or discharged from parole or probation, whichever occurs later. Gross Misdemeanor: 7 years from the date released from custody, or discharged from parole or probation, whichever occurs later.
When Are You Eligible To Seal Misdemeanor Convictions?
Misdemeanor: 2 years from the date released from custody, or discharged from parole or probation, or when no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later, except as follows: Misdemeanor DUI: 7 years from the date released from custody or discharged from parole or probation, or when no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later; and Misdemeanor Domestic Violence: 7 years from the date released from custody or discharged from parole or probation, or no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later.
Arrest Without A Conviction
After the dismissal of a case or acquittal after trial, and provided there is no further action brought against an individual, an individual who is acquitted after trial or who had his or her charges dismissed may petition to have his or her record sealed.
After The Record Is Sealed
The criminal proceedings are deemed never to have occurred and an individual may truthfully answer that he or she has never been arrested. In addition, the individual's civil rights are restored. By sealing your criminal record, you will become eligible for employment that you would otherwise have been excluded from based on your Nevada criminal history.