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Sealing Criminal Records

Anyone who has been charged with a crime can attest to the fact that punitive results don’t end after their trial is over. Any type of conviction can affect a person’s current or future employment opportunities. We at the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata know that the stigma attached to being convicted of a crime can unfairly affect you long after you have paid your debt to society. An experienced attorney can help get your records sealed, thus lessening the chances that that record will haunt you forever.

Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) 179.245 deals with the sealing of criminal records. It sets forth who is eligible to have their records sealed and the process they must go through to do so. Sealing these records can be a long process and only certain records are allowed to be sealed, and then only if approved by the court. Different crimes carry with them different rules about record sealing.

  • Those convicted of Category A or B felonies must wait fifteen years after the end of their sentence to seal their records.
  • Category C and D felons must wait twelve years after their sentence ends.
  • Category E felons must wait seven years.
  • Those convicted of a gross misdemeanor must wait 5 years.
  • Those convicted of a misdemeanor DUI or misdemeanor domestic battery must wait 7 years.
  • Any person convicted of any other misdemeanor must wait two years after their sentence ends to have their record sealed (except when specified differently by law).


What are the benefits of sealing your Nevada Criminal record?

The main benefit is keeping your criminal record out of the public view.  Another key benefit is removing your record from law enforcement’s SCOPE, which is their incident and criminal history of you that they will run when you are stopped by them.  For example, if you had a DUI arrest, the next time you are stopped by law enforcement, they will be on notice of the prior DUI arrest.

Another key benefit per NRS 179.285(1)(a) is how you may treat the past criminal charge when asked about it, “All proceedings recounted in the record are deemed never to have occurred, and the person to whom the order pertains may properly answer according to any inquiry, including, without limitation, an inquiry relating to an application for employment, concerning the arrest, conviction, dismissal or acquittal and the event and proceedings relating to the arrest, conviction, dismissal or acquittal.”


What rights are restored when I seal my record?

If your civil rights have not been previously restored, you will be restored: the right to vote; the right to hold office; and the right to serve on a jury.  If you have been charged with a felony, most but not all will be restored their rights civil rights if they received honorable discharged from parole or served their sentence depending on how many years have gone by.  (see NRS 213.155 and 213.157).  However, neither sealing your record or receiving honorable discharge from parole or serving your sentence restores a felon’s Right to Bear Arms.  The only way to regain the Right to Bear Arms after being a convicted felon is to receive a Pardon from the Governor.

Unfortunately it is not possible to expunge a criminal record, but sealing it carries several of the same benefits as expungement. The sealing of criminal records is not a quick process, so as soon as the waiting time on your particular case has expired do contact the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata. There are multiple steps involved which can take several months to sometimes a year to complete. Contact the Law Offices of Garrett T. Ogata now for a free consultation on sealing your criminal record.


Post-Conviction Relief

During these troubling economic times, it can be especially devastating to have a criminal record since its presence can hinder your efforts to get a job or a loan. This prompts many individuals to immediately file an appeal after conviction or to seal their record after a dismissal/not guilty or after the statutory permitted time period. Filing an appeal or requesting record sealing is an option to attempt to regain the life you had before the conviction.


Filing an Appeal Or Request to Seal Records

It is not possible to completely erase/expunge a record in Nevada, but an appeal or sealing your record is a possible post-conviction relief. Sealing your record would mean removing your criminal record from the public’s view. Typically a criminal record is considered to be public record, which means anyone who takes the time to search through the government databases could easily come up with your record(s); such as background check companies or even websites that exploit this information by posting it online. However, if you have this record sealed, it will no longer appear within these databases, making it “sealed off” from the general public.

If a Las Vegas court orders the sealing of your record, this would also apply to any other agency that have your record on file, such as the local police department.

It is very important to consider the possibilities of sealing your record or filing a timely appeal for a conviction or writing a post-conviction writ. These courses of action can provide beneficial protections to relieve those convicted of crimes. However, the appeal process is a confusing one, so it helps to hire a trained lawyer who has the experience necessary to get all of the correct information across in the appeal or post-conviction writ.

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