Under Nebraska law, you may expunge and seal a limited variety of criminal records. An expungement removes a criminal offense from your record for most purposes. If your record is sealed, the public cannot view it without a court order. Both expungement and record sealing can make it easier to get a job, housing or an education.
Sealing of Juvenile Criminal Records
Unlike many states, Nebraska only offers juvenile record sealing in a limited number of situations. You are eligible for sealing of your juvenile record if you successfully completed a:
You are also eligible if you were arrested, but no charges were filed. Once a juvenile turns 17, the record sealing process begins automatically. If the prosecutor objects to the sealing of your juvenile record, a hearing may be scheduled.
However, if you are charged with a crime after your 17th birthday or want an earlier record sealing, you must file a written Motion to Seal with the court and provide evidence of rehabilitation. A court hearing may be required. If you need help sealing a juvenile criminal record, consider contacting an expungement lawyer.
Setting Aside and Sealing of Adult Criminal Records
You may expunge and seal a limited variety of criminal records in Nebraska. However, you cannot expunge convictions requiring jail time or incarceration.
Setting Aside a Conviction After Completing Probation
If you were only sentenced to probation or required to pay a fine, you may be able to set-aside your conviction. A set-aside does not expunge or erase your conviction. Instead, it is a court order that restores some civil rights and nullifies the conviction. An employer or landlord will see both the conviction and the judge’s order setting it aside. You may still be denied a firearm and may remain on a sex offender registry after a set-aside.
In order to set-aside a conviction, you must:
- Get a copy of your criminal conviction history,
- File a written petition with the court,
- Send a copy of your petition to the prosecutor in your case, and
- Attend a hearing.
At the hearing, you should present evidence of your good behavior and rehabilitation. The court will approve your request if a set-aside is in your best interest and is “consistent with the public welfare.”
Sealing Non-Conviction Records
If you were charged, but not convicted, of a crime, these records may be automatically sealed in Nebraska. Different waiting periods apply to different situations. Your record will be sealed after:
- One year if an arrest did not result in prosecution,
- Two years if you successfully completed a pre-trial diversion program, and
- Three years if you were charged with a crime that was eventually dismissed.
Again, a criminal defense or expungement lawyer may be able to help with the expungement process.
Associated Fees and Paperwork
You may be required to pay filing fees when requesting a set-aside or record sealing.
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 or Set Aside
If the court grants your petition, you may lawfully state that the sealed or set-aside criminal record does not exist. However, when employers search your Nebraska criminal record, a set-aside conviction will still be present. An employer will not see a sealed non-conviction record. Sealed and expunged records may still be available to law enforcement and other agencies.
Consulting an Attorney
In order to expunge a criminal record, you must submit specific paperwork and may have to attend a hearing. A criminal lawyer can help guide you through the expungement 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.