About Record Sealing in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Our law firm has been handling record sealing for over a decade. We have the experience to get your record sealed the first time we submit the paperwork.
Not All Records Can Be Sealed
There are some crimes that Nevada does not allow to be sealed. These are:
● Crimes against children
● Felony DUIs
● Sexual Offenses
It is also not possible to have a partial seal of your record. Any unsealable crime on your record will negate the eligibility of additional crimes, regardless of your completion of the terms of your sentence for the sealable crime. However, if you have been charged with one of these crimes but your case was dismissed or you were acquitted, you can have your record sealed immediately.
What Does it Mean to Have Your Record Sealed in Nevada?
Record sealing is the process of having your criminal record removed from publicly available government databases. This is something that you can request of the court after you have met all of the requirements of your sentence, parole or probation – including any court-ordered classes or fines – and then waited the applicable amount of time for the crime you had committed. While the specifics of the process for requesting to have your record sealed will vary by county or court, the basic process typically involves filing all the required paperwork and having your request seen by the court, which will then review your request and either reject or approve it.
What is the Difference Between a Sealed Record, an Expunged Record and a Pardon?
The difference between these three terms is as follows:
● A sealed record makes your criminal record invisible to the public. It will not appear in background searches or in most government databases, and will be treated as though it does not exist.
● An expunged record is one that completely destroys any digital or physical trace of your prior record. It will no longer exist. Expungement of records is allowed in some states, but Nevada does not offer expungements.
● A pardon does not erase your record from the public, but is a measure of forgiveness for your crime issued by the government. Your prior record will still be visible in background searches and government databases, but a pardon will restore your civil rights – including your right to serve on a jury and vote. Pardons are also notably the only way for someone to have their firearm rights restored.
Juvenile Record Sealing in Nevada
When a prior juvenile offender turns 21 and meets the criteria, their records can be sealed automatically. This is possible if the following two stipulations are met:
● They have not been convicted of another crime that involved lewdness with a minor or violence.
● They have not been convicted of another crime that would have been considered a felony if it had been committed by an adult.
For those who do not meet these stipulations at age 21, upon turning 30, they may petition the court to have their juvenile record sealed. If they have a clean record, with no felony or misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude and the court believes that they are rehabilitated, most Nevada juvenile courts will grant a sealing of their prior record.
Giving Former Offenders a New Beginning
On June 5th, 2017, Assembly Bill 327 was signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval. We believe that this new law, which received bipartisan support and which went into effect on October 1st, 2017, will make a big difference in the lives of people with former convictions who have completed their sentence and are looking toward the future by reducing the time that they must wait before they become eligible to have their prior criminal record sealed. Record sealing can protect offenders who have committed to moving past their prior mistakes, giving them the opportunity to apply for better jobs, student loans, and affordable housing without the weight of a criminal record that poorly represents the person they have become.
Record sealing itself is nothing new – this has long been an option in Nevada for those who meet the requirements, but the waiting period before someone with a prior conviction could begin the process of having their records sealed was substantial. This has been to the detriment of those who have truly reformed, keeping them in a holding pattern in which they were often being unfairly regarded by those in charge of making the decision to hire them for a job or approve them for a loan or affordable housing. This can lead to a great deal of difficulty for those who are trying to provide for themselves or their families and make positive, beneficial choices to improve their lives.
Under the new law, anyone who is eligible and completes the process of applying and being approved to have their criminal record sealed can do so in a significantly reduced time frame, allowing them to get back on their feet much sooner than previously possible. We strongly encourage any Nevada residents who meet the criteria to take advantage of this opportunity to give themselves a clean slate and, hopefully, a new, better start to the rest of their lives.
Who Can View My Records Once They Have Been Sealed?
The availability of records that have officially been sealed is very limited. This is typically only allowed in the following circumstances:
● If you are arrested for the same or a similar offense to a prior charge that had been dismissed. In cases of this nature, a prosecutor may reopen your sealed record.
● If you were convicted of a crime, your record may be opened to allow a criminal prosecutor or defendant to view information regarding other parties who were involved in the crime.
● If you intend to hold a gaming license, the Gaming Control Board or other agencies who need to view your information for other comparably specific purposes can be allowed to view your record.
● If you need to view your own sealed record, you can petition the court to do so.
We believe that there is a great deal of value in allowing those who have completed their sentencing requirements for prior offenses and who have taken it upon themselves to reform their lives to have another chance without the stigmatizing weight of an old conviction. If you are ready to start the process of having your own criminal record sealed or if you have any further questions regarding the steps you’ll need to take, we invite you to contact us today. We want to help you get the new beginning that you deserve.
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