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Is It Better to Expunge or Seal Your Record?

Published February 23, 2021 by ADRAS & ALTIG, Attorneys at Law
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A criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life, making it more difficult to pursue an education, find a career, or buy a house. Even if you were convicted of a relatively minor offense, you could still bear the lasting burden of a criminal record as a result.

If you have a criminal record in Nevada, however, you may be able to file a legal petition to have your record concealed. While this doesn’t erase your record, it will prevent most people from accessing it. For the most part you can move on with your life as though the incident never occurred.

Continue reading to learn more about how records are sealed or expunged and whether you might be eligible to file a petition to seal your Nevada criminal record.

What Is the Difference Between Sealing and Expunging a Record?

When a criminal record is expunged, it is completely erased and removed from state or federal records. Courts that receive expungement orders are expected to treat criminal convictions as if they never occurred at all. If you are granted an expungement, a criminal conviction is removed from both your personal criminal record as well as the public record.

When a criminal record is sealed, on the other hand, no one can view the contents of the record without a court order. This means the record still physically and legally exists, but it is more difficult to access. If your record is sealed, most schools, landlords, and employers won’t be able to see it. You can legally deny that a conviction ever occurred.

What Records Can You Expunge?

The state of Nevada does not currently allow records of any kind to be expunged. However, it’s still possible to have a criminal record sealed, which offers many of the same benefits as having a record expunged.

What Records Can You Seal?

If you are convicted of a sex crime, a crime against children, invasion of a home with a deadly weapon, or a felony DUI, you are not eligible to have the record of that offense sealed.

However, criminal records can be sealed for most other types of convictions after certain waiting periods, such as:

  • Dismissed charges – You may file a record seal petition immediately after charges have been dismissed.
  • Misdemeanor charges – You may file a record seal petition for most misdemeanors after one year.
  • Gross misdemeanors, category E felonies, and misdemeanor battery, harassment, or stalking – You may file a petition after two years.
  • Most category D felonies, category C felonies, and category B felonies – You may file a petition after five years.
  • Misdemeanor DUIs and battery domestic violence charges – You may file a petition after seven years.
  • Category A felonies, burglaries, and felony violent crimes – You may file a petition after 10 years.

Talk to a Criminal Defense Lawyer at Adras & Altig

If you are interested in sealing your criminal record in Nevada, Adras & Altig can help. Our team concentrates on Las Vegas criminal defense law. We are prepared to work relentlessly to protect your rights.

Contact us today to discuss the details of your case in a free, confidential consultation.

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