With the current state of the economy, competition for employment is extremely high. It is not uncommon for prospective employers to use criminal background checks to thin the number of applicants. In certain industries, such as retail, transportation, and healthcare, this is even considered necessary for security purposes. However, the use of background checks serves to close the doors for many men and women convicted of minor felony offenses. Some background checks are so thorough that they also catch misdemeanor offenses that occur in Henderson or Clark County, Nevada.
Fortunately, there is a process that can help these individuals achieve a seemingly second chance in terms of their criminal record. In Nevada, this is referred to as criminal record sealing, the stipulations of which are set forth in NRS 179.245.
For those who satisfy the eligibility requirements and complete the process, it’s as if the incident in question never happened. Records of the conviction will not be accessible by public, private, or government agencies. This can be a relief when applying for jobs, housing, scholarships, special licenses, and government assistance. Additionally, a sealed felony can allow the person to regain their right to vote, hold office, and serve on a jury, if they are so inclined.
The process of criminal record sealing is not automatic, nor is it instant. It may take between eight months to a year to achieve a sealed criminal record, beginning from the filing of an official petition to request a record sealing. The petition itself requires specific information, including the arrests the person wishes to seal, police agency that arrested the person, date of arrests, criminal charges, and result of each arrest. Roughly 4 to 8 months later, either a detailed denial or approval will arrive through the mail.
Certain criminal offenses are not eligible to be sealed. On this list are crimes committed against children under 18 years of age that involved kidnapping, pandering, prostitution, or the attempt to commit these offenses. Sexual offenses that involve a child under 18 years of age or sexual exploitation of a child under 18 years of age are also not eligible. You can learn more about the eligibility requirements on a PDF provided by Clark County.
There is also a waiting period before a person can petition to have his or her record sealed. These time periods are as follows:
|Category of Offense||Waiting Period|
|Category A Felony||15 years|
|Category B Felony||15 years|
|Category C Felony||12 years|
|Category D Felony||12 years|
|Category E Felony||10 years|
|Gross Misdemeanor||7 years|
|Misdemeanor DUI||7 years|
|Misdemeanor Domestic Violence||7 years|
|Possession of Controlled Substance*||NRS 455.3363 – immediately upon completion|
|Arrest without a conviction||Immediately after dismissal or acquittal|
While this process can be done by the felony offender, it may prove to be time and labor consuming. Mistakes made can also slow the process down or result in a denial. Many men and women use a criminal record sealing attorney in Henderson, NV or Clark County, NV to help streamline and expedite the process. A lawyer can handle the often complicated paperwork and efficiently take care of related affidavits and required reports. The guidance of an experienced Las Vegas defense attorney can prove invaluable when pursuing an even playing field.