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By: Law Offices of Mace J. Yampolsky

How Long Does a Criminal Conviction Stay on My Record?

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In our world today, with its enormous use of social media, and background checks, it’s almost impossible to keep your information secret. So, if you have a criminal record, it will follow you wherever you go and always hurt your life.

Every time you apply for a job, try to rent a home, or take out a loan, your life is investigated, and usually, a full background check is done.

Whether you were convicted of a crime or not, any criminal or misdemeanor arrest  will remain on your record and affect you and your family’s lives for years to come. Also, it will usually stay there unless you take action to remove it.

By having your record sealed or expunged, you may become fully “exonerated” and, when asked about your background, legally say you do not have a misdemeanor or criminal past. However, in Nevada, this is never easy, and you must obtain the help of an experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer.

Some specific legal rules and regulations affect the time you must wait to seal your record. This time commonly depends on the type, and severity, of the crime you committed. However, this “ waiting period” must pass before you and your criminal defense lawyer can even apply to seal your record.

Depending on the type of conviction, either a misdemeanor to a Class A felony may take 1 to 10 years, or more, before you can apply for the sealing of your record. This “waiting period” begins when you are released from custody or discharged from parole or probation, whichever occurs later. Some simple arrests without convictions may be sealed immediately after your dismissal or acquittal. 

Also, be aware that specific crimes, especially those that involve children may never be sealed or expunged. Other “excluded” crimes may include sex crimes, felony DUI, kidnapping, false imprisonment, pandering, and prostitution.

It’s vital to know that your case and its details are unique, and you must consult with a knowledgeable, experienced criminal defense law team to determine the best way to deal with your past criminal record.

What Is the Difference Between Expunging and Sealing My Record in Nevada?

 In Nevada, there is no difference. Both result in the actual deletion of any record that your arrest or criminal charge even happened. YOU can NOT seal a federal crime

In Nevada, if you are arrested or convicted of a crime, you may be able to have your records sealed.  We recommend it highly “Sealed” criminal records in Nevada may be seen in specific situations, such as:

  • If your charges are dismissed, a state prosecutor can reopen your record if you are arrested for the same or a similar offense.
  • If you were convicted, a state prosecutor might reopen your criminal record to find information about other persons involved in the offense.
  • Specific state and federal agencies can inspect criminal records for minimal purposes.
  • If your record has been sealed, you can petition the court to reopen it.

Your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer has the knowledge needed to supply you with all pertinent information regarding sealing your records and getting your life back on track.

How Do I Begin the Process of Having My Criminal Record Sealed?

The first thing to remember is that your case is unique and attempting to seal your record is always a challenging legal task in Nevada.

Consulting with a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer is the first step in this process. Your lawyer will analyze all aspects of your case and plan the best legal route possible to get your case sealed.

In Nevada, the rules and procedures for record sealing vary from county to county, and if you’re in Las Vegas, your Las Vegas lawyer will be best equipped to help you get the job done correctly.

To seal your record, the court must be petitioned in the district where your arrest occurred.

After your lawyer thoroughly analyses your case, sealing your record begins with presenting the court with a specific set of required documents. Remember, these documents are specific to the county and court where your original case occurred.

After your lawyer compiles all the pertinent documents and applications, they will be submitted to the court, which will make the final decision. The court where your original case took place will determine whether to approve sealing your records.

Are There Any Instances Where My Sealed Records May be Opened?

Suppose you and your Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer have successfully petitioned the Nevada court to seal your criminal record. In that case, your past criminal record will not show up on any usual background check. So, employers, landlords, etc., are far less likely to reject your application for a job or housing. You will essentially “get your previous life back!”

Rarely do Nevada state licensing boards rely on standard background checks, but there are cases in which they do.

Specific Nevada licensing applications, such as a doctor, attorney, etc., usually require asking you to reveal your criminal history. They will usually ask if you have had any convictions sealed. If you do not disclose your sealed records, there is still a possibility that the state licensing board may find out about them.

State licensing boards, if they run a background check, will be more than basic. They may run a fingerprint check through the FBI, and these “deep dive” background checks sometimes reveal your criminal records that were sealed in Nevada.

If you are in this situation, discuss it thoroughly with your experienced Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer. The details matter and your lawyer’s advice will help you to avoid being misleading and legally harming yourself.

I Need To Obtain a Clean Record; How Should I Proceed?

First, you must note that removing any criminal record from your past is challenging and should not be attempted without the help of a Las Vegas criminal defense lawyer versed in this area of Nevada Law.

Once completed and sealed, the day-to-day life of you and your family may become easier. You’ve paid your dues, and the weight and stress your past has caused are lifted. Many of your rights may be restored, and peace of mind can be achieved.

If you’ve not yet begun this process, consult with a local Las Vegas criminal defense law firm, and they will vigorously fight for your rights. It’s time to get your life back!