Criminal records are public information, available for anyone to examine. Having a criminal conviction on your record can negatively affect many aspects of your life, including employment opportunities, access to housing, credit eligibility, licensing in certain fields, the right to vote, and other civil rights. In fact, a 2014 news report revealed that in Nevada, an individual with a misdemeanor conviction could face more than two hundred (200) federal and state consequences as a result of the conviction.
Fortunately, Nevada law allows criminal records to be sealed under specific circumstances. Sealing a record is not the same as expunging or removing it. In Nevada, it is not possible to expunge a criminal record, but it is possible to have the record sealed. When a criminal record is sealed, it is no longer available publicly. It is, however, still available to certain government agencies for limited purposes, like the Nevada gaming authorities and Division of Insurance.
If you have a criminal record in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Clark County, experienced criminal defense attorney Joseph Gersten can determine whether your record can be sealed. If it can, he can represent you in completing the complex process for getting it sealed. Your initial consultation is always free-of-charge. Just call 702.857.8777 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.
Not all criminal records can be sealed, but many can be. The general guidelines for what records can be sealed and what records are not eligible:
The statutory waiting time to apply for sealing a record depends on the classification of the crime. The time begins to run from the time the case is closed, which includes the probation or parole period. Effective October 1, 2017, waiting times are:
In addition, effective October 1, 2017: "A defendant who is given a dishonorable discharge [from probation] ... may, if he or she meets the requirements of NRS 179.245 [relating to sealing records], apply to the court for the sealing of records relating to the conviction but is otherwise not entitled to any privilege conferred by NRS 176A.850 [relating to honorable discharge from probation]."
To learn more about the recent changes in Nevada law on sealing records, read our Intel/FAQ: Now It’s Easier to Seal a Criminal Record in Las Vegas: New Nevada Law Shortens Waiting Periods for Sealing Criminal Records & More.
If you succeed in having your record sealed, it will no longer be publicly available. You no longer have to acknowledge that you have a criminal record when someone asks, even if you are under oath. If your record affected your right to vote, hold office, or serve on a jury, you likely will be able to do so after it is sealed. The record will no longer be available to employers, credit bureaus, or anyone other than a limited number of specific government agencies under limited circumstances, so it will not affect your ability to get a job, housing, or credit. Your record will no longer show up in routine background checks.
In Nevada, each county establishes its own process for requesting that a criminal record be sealed. In Clark County, the process varies depending on which court heard the case. There is one process for cases from the Las Vegas Justice Court and Eighth Judicial District (Clark County) Court, and different processes for cases heard by a municipal court.
The process is complex and requires a significant amount of paperwork. The request must be correct and complete before it will be processed. A request with inaccurate or incomplete information, or one that contains offenses not within the jurisdiction where it is filed, will be rejected.
Once the request is before the court, it is not automatically granted. The court has the discretion to deny the request. Having a record sealed is not an entitlement.
For all these reasons, it is in your best interest to have an experienced Clark County attorney like Joseph Gersten handle your request, rather than attempting to accomplish it yourself. Attorney Gersten will make sure that all the proper steps and paperwork are completed to ensure that you have the best possible change of having the court grant your request to seal your record.
If you have a criminal record that may be eligible to be sealed in Las Vegas or elsewhere in Clark County, Attorney Gersten will discuss and evaluate your case based on his extensive criminal law experience. Your initial consultation is free-of-charge. Call 702.857.8777 or complete our online form to schedule an appointment.