Are there criminal records in Nevada that can never be sealed?

Posted by Neil Shouse | Jul 02, 2018 | 0 Comments

Yes. Nevada convictions of the following three types of criminal offenses can never be sealed from a person's record and will therefore always show up on background checks:

  1. Felony charges of intoxicated driving (DUI)
  2. Crimes against children (under 18)
  3. Sex crimes 

Note that any criminal case that gets dismissed can be sealed from the defendant's record, even if the charge was for a felony DUI, crime against a child, or a sex crime. These three types of charges only become unsealable if the defendant is ultimately convicted.

1. Felony DUI

Nevada DUIs that are prosecuted as felonies can never be sealed. Felony DUIs include the following three offenses:

  1. Third-time DUI (within 7 years of the first one)
  2. DUI causing injury or death
  3. Vehicular homicide (DUI causing death and having 3 prior DUI convictions)

Misdemeanor DUI convictions are sealable in Nevada seven (7) years after the case is closed.

2. Crimes against children (under 18 years old)

Nevada convictions of the following five crimes against minors under 18 years old are not sealable:

  1. Sex trafficking
  2. Prostitution
  3. Kidnapping (unless the defendant is the child's parent or guardian)
  4. False imprisonment (unless the defendant is the child's parent or guardian)
  5. Involuntary servitude (unless the defendant is the child's parent or guardian)

Furthermore, convictions of any attempts to commit the above offenses are also unsealable.

3. Sex crimes

Nevada convictions of the following sex offenses are not sealable:

  • Open or gross lewdness (when prosecuted as a felony)
  • Indecent exposure (when prosecuted as a felony)
  • Statutory sexual seduction (when prosecuted as a felony)
  • Sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child
  • Child pornography
  • Rape
  • Incest
  • Administering drugs to a person to enable one of the aforementioned crimes
  • Sexual conduct between teachers or school employees
  • Battery with intent to commit sexual assault
  • 1st-degree murder if perpetrated during sexual assault, sexual abuse, or sexual molestation of a child less than 14.
  • Lewdness with a child
  • Sexual penetration of a human corpse
  • Luring a child or mentally ill person (when prosecuted as a felony)

Furthermore, convictions of any attempts to commit the above offenses are also unsealable.

If a person is charged with an unsealable offense, his/her criminal defense attorney should try to get the charge dismissed or reduced to a sealable offense. The waiting period to get a criminal defense sealed turns on the severity of the offense:

Nevada conviction

Waiting time for a record seal

(after the case closes)

The majority of misdemeanors

1 year

Gross misdemeanors, category E felonies, and misdemeanor battery, harassment, stalking, or violation of a protection order

2 years

The majority of category D, C and B felonies

5 years

Misdemeanor DUI and battery domestic violence

7 years

Category A felonies, burglary of a residence, and felony crimes of violence

10 years

People who are ineligible for a record seal may be able to try and get a pardon instead. Unlike a record seal, a pardon does not make the criminal record invisible. But it can restore the person's civil rights, including the rights to vote, serve on a jury, and hold office. And in some cases, a pardon can even restore the person's right to own and possess firearms. A record seal can never restore a person's gun rights.

Learn more about how to get a Nevada records seal. Also see our article, How long does a DUI stay on your record in Nevada?

About the Author

Neil Shouse

A former Los Angeles prosecutor, attorney Neil Shouse graduated with honors from UC Berkeley and Harvard Law School (and completed additional graduate studies at MIT). He has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Dr Phil, Court TV, The Today Show and Court TV. Mr Shouse has been recognized by the National Trial Lawyers as one of the Top 100 Criminal and Top 100 Civil Attorneys.


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