Updated May 23
Defendants who successfully complete their probation in Nevada get honorably discharged. Defendants who fail to satisfy the terms and conditions of probation get dishonorably discharged. Dishonorably discharged defendants remain liable for any unpaid victim restitution in their cases.
Otherwise, both honorably and dishonorably discharged probationers enjoy the same rights. NRS 176A.850 states that anyone discharged from probation:
- “Is immediately restored to the right to serve as a juror in a civil action;
- Four years after the date of discharge from probation, is restored to the right to hold office;
- Six years after the date of discharge from probation, is restored to the right to serve as a juror in a criminal action; [and]
- If the person meets the requirements of NRS 179.245, may apply to the court for the sealing of records relating to the conviction.”
In this article, our Las Vegas criminal defense attorneys discuss:
- 1. What is probation in Nevada?
- 2. What is honorable discharge from probation?
- 3. What is dishonorable discharge from probation?
- 4. What rights do I get back after probation?
- 5. Can my case be sealed?
- 6. What proof can I show that I finished probation?
1. What is probation in Nevada?
Probation is a type of alternative sentencing in criminal cases. Certain defendants may do probation instead of going to jail. Ten common probationary terms are:
- Submitting to random drug and alcohol testing;
- Attending counseling, education classes, and/or rehab;
- Checking in with a probation officer;
- Appearing in court as required;
- Abiding by restraining orders;
- Paying fines, fees, and/or restitution;
- Performing community service;
- Submitting to electronic monitoring and/or house arrest;
- Abiding by a curfew; and/or
- Avoiding new arrests
Probationers who do not abide by their terms risk being sent to jail to serve their original sentence. Learn more about probation violations in Nevada
2. What is honorable discharge from probation?
Defendants are granted honorable discharge from probation when either (1) they completed all the terms of probation, (2) they completed all the terms except paying restitution due to economic hardship, or (3) Nevada’s Division of Parole and Probation recommended them for early termination of probation.
Honorable discharge is the best-case scenario for probationers. 1
3. What is dishonorable discharge from probation?
Defendants in Nevada are given a dishonorable discharge from probation when either their whereabouts are unknown, they did not pay court-ordered victim restitution (and there was no economic hardship), or they otherwise failed to satisfy the terms and conditions of probation.
These defendants have no further obligations to the court.2 However, victims can sue these defendants for unpaid restitution. And employers may be unwilling to hire dishonorably discharged people. Employers may fear they are unreliable.
4. What rights do I get back after probation?
Being discharged from probation restores certain civil rights. But there may be a waiting period.
Civil right in Nevada
Waiting period for restoration of rights after discharge from probation
|Serving on a jury in a civil case||Immediately|
|Holding office||Four years|
|Serving on a jury in a criminal case||Six years|
It does not matter whether the defendant was honorably or dishonorably discharged.3 (Prior to 2019, dishonorably discharged probationers were ineligible to get their civil rights restored.)4
Note that people on probation never lose their right to vote. And convicted felons’ can re-register to vote as soon as they get released from Nevada State Prison.5
5. Can my case be sealed?
It depends on the case. The application process requires extensive paperwork. It takes several months. And there may be a waiting period before the case is sealable.
|Nevada conviction||Waiting period to get a record seal (after the case closes)|
|Any case that gets dismissed (no conviction)||Right away|
|Most misdemeanors||1 year|
|Gross misdemeanors, category E felonies, and misdemeanor battery, harassment, stalking, or violation of a protection order||2 years|
|Most category D felonies, category C felonies, or category B felonies||5 years|
|Misdemeanor DUI and battery domestic violence||7 years|
|Some category A felonies, burglary of a residence, and felony crimes of violence||10 years|
|Felony DUI, certain sex crimes, and certain crimes against children||Never6|
Prosecutors assume that honorably discharged defendants are eligible for a record seal as long as they meet all the prerequisites. This is called a rebuttable presumption.
Dishonorably discharged probationers may pursue record seals as well. And they should be granted a seal as long as they meet all requirements. Their applications just undergo more scrutiny. This is because there is no rebuttable presumption that their record is sealable.7
Sealed records usually do not appear on background checks. And people with sealed records can deny past crimes under oath and during job interviews (in most cases).
But Nevada gaming establishments are a special case. They may be entitled to know about sealed records. So people applying for a gaming job or license may have to reveal their record.
Note that if defendants get charged with a crime again, prosecutors can use their prior convictions for impeachment purposes.8
6. What proof can I show that I finished probation?
Nevada courts give an official document to people discharged from probation. This document shows:
- That the person has received an honorable or dishonorable discharge from probation;
- That the person can immediately serve on a civil jury;
- The date the person can hold office; and
- The date that the person can serve on a criminal jury
This document also serves as proof of when the person’s civil rights will be – or has been – restored.
If this document gets lost or destroyed, the person can file a written request with the court to restore his/her civil rights. There is no fee to make this request.9
Contact a Nevada criminal defense attorney.
For assistance with probation violations, early termination of probation, or any criminal matter in Nevada, contact us.