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How to get a DNA expungement in Nevada -- 5 things to know

Posted by Neil Shouse | May 29, 2018 | 0 Comments

People with past Nevada convictions may be able to get their DNA records expunged. The first step is filling out and submitting a DNA Expungement Application to the Nevada Department of Public Safety

1. What is a DNA expungement in Nevada?

Anyone arrested for a felony in Nevada is required to submit to a cheek swab, which law enforcement then stores in:

An expungement purges the defendant's DNA evidence from these databases and completely destroys the sample. Once a person's DNA is expunged, law enforcement no longer has any record of or access to it. 

2. Who is eligible for a DNA expungement in Nevada?

People may be eligible for a DNA expungement if the defendant has not had any additional felony charges within three (3) years of the arrest, and either:

  • The case was dismissed,
  • The defendant completed a pre-prosecution diversion program,
  • The defendant was conditionally discharged,
  • The defendant was acquitted at trial, or
  • The charge was reduced to a non-felony as part of a plea bargain

Note that people may not get a DNA expungement if either:

  • the defendant is a sex offender,
  • the defendant gave his/her DNA as part of a plea bargain, or
  • the defendant provided the DNA sample after conviction for a misdemeanor, and the defendant already had a past felony conviction

3. Can I get a DNA expungement if my Nevada felony conviction was sealed from my criminal record?

No. A Nevada criminal record seal of a felony conviction does not make the defendant eligible for a DNA expungement.

4. How much does it cost to get a DNA expungement in Nevada?

Nothing, aside from the postage required to mail the application to Carson City.

5. How do I get a DNA expungement in Nevada?

Applicants need to fill out the DNA Expungement Application and mail it to:

Central Repository of Nevada Records of Criminal History
Attn: Fingerprint Support – Criminal Unit
333 West Nye Lane #100
Carson City, Nevada 89706

The application requires supporting paperwork such as certified court dockets and minute orders and sworn affidavits by law enforcement. So applicants are advised to consult with an attorney to ensure that they complete the application correctly and completely.

The Nevada Department of Public Safety will notify the applicant within a few weeks whether the request has been granted or denied.

Learn more about our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys.


Legal References

  1.  NRS 176.09125  Destruction of biological specimen and purging of DNA record: Grounds; written request; duties of Central Repository, forensic laboratory and State DNA Database.

          1.  A person whose record of criminal history indicates the collection of a biological specimen and whose DNA profile and DNA record have been included in the State DNA Database and CODIS pursuant to NRS 176.09123 may make a written request to the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History, using the form created pursuant to NRS 176.09165, that the biological specimen be destroyed and the DNA profile and DNA record be purged from the forensic laboratory, the State DNA Database and CODIS on the grounds that:

          (a) The conviction on which the authority for keeping the biological specimen or the DNA profile or DNA record has been reversed and the case dismissed; or

          (b) The arrest which led to the inclusion of the biological specimen or the DNA profile or DNA record:

                 (1) Has resulted in a felony charge that has been resolved by a dismissal, the successful completion of a preprosecution diversion program, a conditional discharge, an acquittal or an agreement entered into by a prosecuting attorney and a defendant in which the defendant, in exchange for a plea of guilty, guilty but mentally ill or nolo contendere, receives a charge other than a felony; or

                 (2) Has not resulted in any additional criminal charge for a felony within 3 years after the date of the arrest.

          2.  Within 6 weeks after receiving a written request pursuant to subsection 1, the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History shall forward the request and all supporting documentation to the forensic laboratory holding the biological specimen. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, upon receipt of the written request, the forensic laboratory shall destroy any biological specimen from the person and purge the DNA profile of the person if the written request is accompanied by:

          (a) A certified copy of the court order reversing and dismissing the conviction; or

          (b) For any biological specimen obtained pursuant to an arrest for which a biological specimen must be provided pursuant to NRS 176.09123:

                 (1) A certified copy of the dismissal, the successful completion of a preprosecution diversion program, a conditional discharge, an acquittal or the agreement entered into by the prosecuting attorney and the defendant in which the defendant, in exchange for a plea of guilty, guilty but mentally ill or nolo contendere, received a charge other than a felony; or

                 (2) A sworn affidavit from the law enforcement agency which submitted the biological specimen that no felony charges arising from the arrest have been filed within 3 years after the date of the arrest.

          3.  The forensic laboratory shall not destroy a biological specimen or purge the DNA profile of a person if the forensic laboratory is notified by a law enforcement agency that the person has a prior felony, a new felony arrest or a pending felony charge for which collection of a biological specimen is authorized pursuant to NRS 176.09123.

          4.  If a forensic laboratory:

          (a) Determines that the requirements to destroy a biological specimen or purge a DNA profile or DNA record of a person have not been met, the forensic laboratory shall notify the Central Repository of Nevada Records of Criminal History of that fact. The Central Repository shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, notify the person that his or her request has been denied.

          (b) Destroys a biological specimen and purges a DNA profile pursuant to this section, the forensic laboratory shall take the following actions:

                 (1) Notify the State DNA Database that the DNA profile and DNA record of the person must be purged from the State DNA Database and from CODIS. Upon receipt of such notification, the DNA profile and DNA record of the person must be purged from the State DNA Database and CODIS.

                 (2) Notify the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History that the forensic laboratory has destroyed the biological specimen and purged the DNA profile of the person and has notified the State DNA Database that the DNA profile and DNA record of the person must be purged from the State DNA Database and CODIS. Upon receipt of such notification, the Central Repository shall, as soon as reasonably practicable, notify the person that his or her request has been granted, his or her biological specimen has been destroyed by the forensic laboratory and his or her DNA profile and DNA record have been purged from the forensic laboratory, the State DNA Database and CODIS.

About the Author

Neil Shouse

Southern California DUI Defense attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT).

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