In this section, our attorneys explain Nevada’s criminal laws and legal concepts, A to Z
How to get records expunged in Nevada
Nevada law does not offer criminal record expungements, but it does offer record sealing. Essentially, expunging and sealing accomplish the same purpose. But whereas expunging is physically destroying a record, sealing is making the record invisible. Either way, the record will not show up on future background checks.
There are five main steps for getting a Nevada criminal record sealed. But note that each court has its own specific procedures.
The entire process of getting a criminal record sealed in the state of Nevada takes up to one year. The long waits are due to the time it takes for the prosecutors’ office to approve the petition and for the various agencies to comply with the order to seal.
In some cases, judges require a hearing to decide whether to seal the case. But as long as the prosecution approves, the judge will usually rubber-stamp it.
But before people try to seal their criminal record, they should first determine whether they are even qualified for a seal:
People whose criminal charges get dismissed (with or without a trial acquittal) can petition the court for a seal right away. It does not matter how serious the original charge was.
But if the defendant was convicted, then there is a waiting period before the court will grant a seal. The wait depends on the criminal conviction:
|Conviction||Waiting period for criminal record sealing (after the case closes)|
|Most misdemeanors||One year|
|Gross misdemeanors, category E felonies, and misdemeanor battery (NRS 200.471), misdemeanor harassment (NRS 200.571), misdemeanor stalking (NRS 200.575), or misdemeanor violation of a protection order (NRS 33.100)||Two years|
|Most category D felonies, category C felonies, or category B felonies||Five years|
|Misdemeanor DUI and misdemeanor battery domestic violence (NRS 200.485)||Seven years|
|Category A felonies, burglary (NRS 205.060) of a residence, and felony crimes of violence||Ten years|
|Sexual offenses, crimes against children, invasion of the home (NRS 205.067) with a deadly weapon, and felony DUI.||Never|
Once a criminal history gets sealed, it no longer shows up on future background checks. This increases employment and housing prospects. And defendants can deny even having had a criminal history during job interviews and under oath. (There are some exceptions. For instance, the Gaming Control Board can see certain sealed records of job applicants. Sealed histories may come up through FBI fingerprint checks. And it may be necessary to reveal sealed criminal histories while applying for certain professional licenses.)
Note however that sealing does not restore a person’s right to own or possess guns. Only a governor’s pardon can do that according to the Nevada Revised Statutes.
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.
Colorado domestic violence-related criminal convictions can never be sealed or expunged from the defendant’s record. The conviction remains on the record forever, no matter whether the case was a felony or misdemeanor, or whether the defendant was adjudged guilty through a trial or a plea agreement. But if the criminal charge gets dismissed, defendants can ...