We all make mistakes in life. Some mistakes are more permanent than others. Fortunately, we live in a society (and state) that encourages people to make changes for the better and rewards you for doing so.
In Nevada, if you meet certain requirements, you can seal your criminal records. By completing Nevada’s requirements, you show that you have changed for the better and should no longer have your past crimes held against you by potential employers or the general public.
What’s the benefit of sealing my criminal records?
Once you seal your records, it is as if the crimes did not occur. By sealing your records, your past crimes become “hidden” from public searches and public databases. However, certain public agencies—such as the FBI—could still access your sealed records. This will help you when searching for a job, seeking public benefits, and more.
Most employers run background checks on applicants. If you seal your records, you can tell potential employers that you have not been convicted for the crimes that were sealed. Obviously, this will make you look better in the eyes of potential employers and can mean higher earnings potential for you!
Am I eligible to have my records sealed?
The waiting period to seal your records depends on the types of crimes you were convicted for. Generally, the more serious the crime, the longer you have to wait (and stay out of criminal trouble) before sealing your records.
Type of Criminal Offense
Felony (Category A) (burglary, felony crimes of violence)
Felony (Category B, C or D)
Felony (Category E)
Misdemeanor Domestic Violence
Arrest without a conviction
Immediately after dismissal/acquittal
Possession of a Controlled substance
Immediately after parole obligations are satisfied
Decriminalized Crimes (possession of under one ounce of marijuana)
You cannot seal any charges that are still pending.
Certain criminal convictions cannot be sealed. These include: crimes against children, sex crimes, and felony DUI charges.
What are the requirements for sealing my records?
Each county and court in Nevada has a specific process on how to seal records. The court in which your criminal case was heard will be the court that you petition to have your records sealed in.
The record-sealing process takes anywhere from three to eight months. In short, the process is as follows:
- You must obtain a current, certified copy of your criminal history from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (called a SCOPE). Current instructions on obtaining your SCOPE are here.
- If you were convicted of your charges, you must also obtain a “judgment of conviction and discharge,” which can be obtained from the District Court Clerk at 200 Lewis Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89155.
- You must complete a stipulation, petition, affidavit, and order that include:
- All your arrests you request to be sealed
- Which police department(s) arrested you
- The date of the arrest(s)
- The crimes you were charged with
- The result of each arrest (conviction, acquittal, dismissal, plea deal, etc.)
- Once complete, send the documents to the Las Vegas District Attorney’s Office
- After three to eight months, the District Attorney’s Office will either approve or deny (with an explanation) the request.
While it is possible to seal your records yourself, it is a lengthy and complicated process. You will increase the likelihood of getting your seal request approved if you hire an attorney.
If you or someone you know needs their criminal records sealed, contact Ben Leavitt at Leavitt Law Firm for a consultation. Our Nevada record sealing attorneys will help you determine if you are eligible to have your records sealed. If you are, we will handle every step of the process on your behalf.