There are several reasons why having your past crimes expunged could be appealing. Background checks are an essential step in several areas of your life, and if you have a criminal record, it can inhibit you from obtaining certain things. See below for a brief list of examples.
Employment is typically one of the first reasons individuals want their crimes to be expunged. Most employers will pull a criminal history and can deny applicants based on what they find. If crime records are sealed and no longer appear in the report, this can help to obtain gainful employment.
Obtaining loans or securing housing can be interrupted with criminal charges on your record and can be cause for denial of applications.
Insurance rates can also be affected by criminal history, making rates higher for those with past charges on their record.
Education can become an issue with a criminal history. You could be denied grants or loans or rejected altogether from attending the university or graduate program of your choice due to having a criminal background. You could be dismissed from obtaining licensing or certificates necessary for your career if you also have a criminal background.
Volunteering, firearms rights, and more can be interrupted or denied due to having a criminal history.
In most cases, if you can get your charges expunged or sealed, it helps avoid issues when pursuing the examples listed above.
What if I Was Never Convicted, But the Charges Remain on my Record?
In some cases, charges were brought against an individual, but they were never convicted of the crime. Perhaps the charges were dropped, or the individual was acquitted.
In this case, they can typically petition to have the arrest record sealed, so the information isn’t available to the public and on background checks. The judge will ultimately have discretion on any request for documents to be sealed.
What Crimes Can Be Expunged in Nevada?
In some cases, if you wait for a length of time, you can petition to have your records sealed. A brief description of the crimes and their allotted timelines are listed below.
Class A Felonies-at least ten years from the time you were released from probation or parole or released from custody, whichever is greater. Class A felony examples are first or second-degree murder.
Class B, C, or D felonies-at least seven years from the time you were released from custody or probation or parole, whichever is longer. Examples are reckless driving with substantial injury, forgery, and involuntary manslaughter.
Class E Felonies- at least two years from the date you were released from custody, probation, or parole, whichever is longer.
Misdemeanor battery, gross misdemeanors, harassment, stalking- at least two years from the date you were released from custody or discharged from parole or probation, whichever is greater.
Misdemeanors-at least one year from the date you were released from custody or no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever is longer. This does not include gross misdemeanors, misdemeanor DUIs, or Domestic Battery. Examples are charges for shoplifting, trespassing, and disorderly conduct.
What Charges are Exempt from Being Expunged/Sealed?
In most cases, if your crime involves children, felony DUI convictions, or sexual offenses, you may not be able to have your records sealed. These cases will be reviewed separately. In general, however, if they fit into those three categories, you are typically exempt from having your records sealed.
How Does Nevada Handle Criminal Records and Employment?
The state of Nevada views past criminal records a little differently than other states. Employers have limited access to arrest records of potential employees. Their information may be accessed if the applicant is currently on parole or probation. Still, typically they aren’t able to dig further into the past for criminal behavior information without consent.
One exception to this is if the state Gaming Board is requesting permission to view sealed records to determine if the applicant or employee has had charges relative to gambling in the past, they may be granted access.
Additionally, applicants and employees can rely on federal protection through the Fair Credit Reporting Act, FCRA, which ensures that information regarding criminal behavior is accurate. Errors in the misclassification of crimes, multiple listings of the same crime, errors in reporting crimes under a similar name, and more can be protected under the FCRA.
How Can a Lawyer Assist Me?
Unfortunately, the application process to have records sealed is not straightforward. As listed above, a timeline needs to be followed based on which crime you were convicted of, and the process may differ for each individual based on the timetable and the crimes involved.
An experienced lawyer will have a vast knowledge of what your crimes mean and ensure that the proper timeline has been met and the application process to have them sealed is accurate and productive. The judge will ultimately decide whether or not to seal your records, but prosecutors or others may have to approve of the records being sealed as well. This means that ensuring you have a productive strategy in place is essential in getting your records sealed. In most cases, if the judge denies the request, you must wait up to two years to file a second request, so you must be fully and accurately prepared the first time.
Contact our office today at (702) 901-6302. We have a team of qualified and compassionate lawyers to assist you with your request. We can help clarify your options based on your exact situation and walk you through the process from start to finish.