Many people think that if they get their criminal case dismissed, no one can find out about their arrest, citation, or the facts of their case. That is NOT true. There is a big difference between getting your case dismissed and getting your case sealed. Getting your case sealed is somewhat similar to getting the case “expunged” or “erased” off your record. It is very important to get your case or record sealed. Getting your case sealed basically prevents anyone–general public, potential employer, the government, etc.–from knowing about your arrest and the facts of your case. The best thing about getting your record sealed is that Nevada law says that once your record is sealed, all the facts in your case are “deemed never to have occurred,” and the person whose record is sealed “may properly answer” any question as if the incident never happened. It’s basically a magical wand that makes your past criminal record go away forever.
If your case was not “dismissed,” but “closed” out, you can still seal your record. However, you can’t do it right away like you can when your case is dismissed. When you can seal your record if your case is closed out, rather than dismissed, depends on the nature of the crime you were convicted of.
(1) Misdemeanors–you must wait 2 years to seal your record from the date of release from actual custody or from the date when you are no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later. The only exception to this are the crimes of Battery Domestic Violence and DUI, where you must wait 7 years;
(2) Gross Misdemeanor–you must wait 5 years to seal your record from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from probation, whichever occurs later;
(3) A Category A or B Felony–you must wait 15 years to seal your record from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;
(4) A Category C or D Felony–you must wait 12 years to seal your record from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;
(5) A Category E Felony–you must wait 7 years to seal your record from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later.
Please remember that you must remain generally crime free (nothing more serious than traffic infractions) during the time you are waiting to seal your record. Also, their are different rules for sealing records if you are a juvenile.
It is very important to seal your records. The negative consequences that flow from a criminal record can haunt you for the rest of your life. Check out this article that describes some of the bad consequences of having a criminal record: https://www.themarshallproject.org/2016/10/02/how-can-a-criminal-record-haunt-you-for-the-rest-of-your-life?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter&utm_source=opening-statement&utm_term=newsletter-20161003-598#.8RCfUjLmO
At Nobles & Yanez, we have sealed hundreds of criminal records for our clients. Don’t wait to do this. Call us today!