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Can people in Nevada expunge their criminal records?

On Behalf of | May 5, 2023 | Criminal Defense

The criminal record that results after someone pleads guilty or is convicted of a crime can affect their life for years to come. Expungement – the removal of blemishes from someone’s criminal record – can be a means of starting fresh after a person convicted of a crime has paid their debt to society and avoided additional criminal charges for a long enough time.

Nevada technically does not expunge criminal records, but the state will seal the records under certain circumstances.

The type of offense determines when record sealing is possible

Nevada imposes a waiting period before someone can petition the courts to seal their criminal records. The more serious the offense, the longer the defendant will have to wait to seal their record. They will typically need to avoid additional criminal convictions while waiting to seal their records.

Most misdemeanor defenses will be eligible for record sealing one year after the closure of the case. Those with gross misdemeanors or Category E felonies will typically have to wait two years to request record sealing. Misdemeanor battery, harassment stalking and the violation of a protection order also all come with a two-year waiting period.

Those with a Category C, D or B felony may qualify to have their records sealed five years after the state closes their case. Those with a misdemeanor driving under the influence (DUI) conviction or a battery domestic violence charge will need to wait seven years to seek record sealing.

Anyone with a Category A felony conviction, including charges of burglary of a residence and violent felony offenses, will have to wait 10 years to attempt to seal their records. Those convicted of sex crimes, felony DUI offenses, crimes against children and home invasion while in possession of a deadly weapon will never be eligible to seal their records.

A judge has to agree to seal the records

Even if someone waits the appropriate amount of time to qualify, the judge does not automatically have to approve their request. The judge will look over someone’s criminal case and any additional documentation that they submit to determine if sealing their record would be a reasonable step.

When someone seems to have rehabilitated themselves, they may have an easier time convincing a judge to seal their records so that they can pursue career opportunities or an education. Seeking legal guidance to learn more about record sealing, which is the Nevada equivalent of expungement, could benefit those trying to rebuild their lives after a criminal conviction.