Technically, Nevada criminal records cannot be expunged. However, both juveniles and adults can seal their criminal history, with some limitations. A sealed record is not publically available and typically does not need to be disclosed. Record sealing may help you find employment, obtain housing, and get into college and vocational training programs.
Sealing Juvenile Criminal Records
In Nevada, most juvenile misdemeanor convictions are automatically sealed once you turn 21 years old. However, there are exceptions to this rule. A record will not be automatically sealed if it involves:
- Sexual offenses, or
- Would be considered a felony if committed by an adult.
In these cases, you may petition the court for record sealing once you turn 30 years old—provided that you do not have any convictions since your 21st birthday. If you need help determining your eligibility, consider contacting an expungement lawyer.
Sealing of Adult Criminal Records
You may expunge a wide variety of criminal records in Nevada, including some adult felonies, misdemeanors, and arrest records. You cannot seal criminal records involving sexual or child-related offenses. To begin the record sealing process, you must file a petition with the court. Different counties have different procedures and evidentiary requirements.
Felony Record Sealing
In Nevada, adults can petition to have Class A, B, C, and D felony convictions sealed. However, waiting periods apply. You must wait:
- Class A or B felonies: 15 years from your release or discharge from probation or parole (which ever is later)
- Class C or D felonies: 12 years from your release or discharge from probation or parole (which ever is later), and
- Class E felonies: 7 years from your release or discharge from probation or parole (which ever is later).
If you need help with a felony expungement, consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer.
Misdemeanor Record Sealing
Most misdemeanor convictions in Nevada can be sealed, except for child abuse and sexual offenses. However, there are waiting periods involved. Misdemeanor convictions may be sealed two years after your release or completion of probation or parole (which ever is later). A seven-year waiting period applies to gross misdemeanors.
Sealing Criminal Charges That Did Not Lead to a Conviction
You may also seal arrest and other records if:
- The charges were dismissed,
- Your conviction was overturned on appeal,
- You completed a drug or alcohol counseling program, satisfying the requirements of a diversion program, or
- You were acquitted.
Like adult convictions, these records are not automatically sealed. Instead, you must file a petition with the court, requesting record sealing.
Associated Fees and Paperwork
Filing fees and costs vary from county to county. If you hire an expungement or criminal defense lawyer, you may also be charged for attorney fees and other costs.
Implications of a Successful Record Sealing
If the court grants your petition, you may lawfully state that the expunged criminal record does not exist. When most employers search your Nevada criminal record, the charges will not be present. Sealed records will still be available to law enforcement agencies.
Should I Consult a Lawyer?
In order to seal a criminal record, you must submit specific paperwork and may have to attend a hearing. An expungement lawyer can help guide you through the process and insure that you have the correct information in your request. Additionally, a lawyer can speak on your behalf during any necessary court hearings and give you the best chance of expunging your record.