Steve on the Law

Record Sealing

By May 27, 2019 August 23rd, 2019 No Comments

This society believes in giving people a second chance to turn their lives around. Nevada’s record sealing statutes (NRS 179.179.245 thru 179.255) were enacted to enhance employment and other opportunities for such formerly convicted persons. It was intended to remove the stigma associated with the conviction of a crime and to give those individuals another chance, so to speak, unencumbered by that stigma. Baliotis v. Clark County, 729 P.2d 1338, 102 Nev. 568 (Nev., 1986).

The Statutory waiting period to seal misdemeanor convictions except domestic violence and DUI is one year.  The waiting period begins from the date of release from actual custody or from the date when the person is no longer under a suspended sentence, whichever occurs later.

The Statutory waiting period to seal a domestic violence and DUI misdemeanor is 7 years. (See, NRS 179.245 (d).

Sealing records for people with felonies or multiple convictions and arrest gets more complicated.

(a) A category A felony, a crime of violence pursuant to NRS 200.408 or burglary pursuant to NRS 205.060 after 10 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;

(b) Except as otherwise provided in paragraphs (a) and (e), a category B, C or D felony after 5 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;

(c) A category E felony after 2 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from parole or probation, whichever occurs later;

(d) Except as otherwise provided in paragraph (e), any gross misdemeanor after 2 years from the date of release from actual custody or discharge from probation, whichever occurs later;

The legislative history of AB328 records shows the following testimony:

Vice Chair Manendo called for further testimony in Las Vegas in support of A.B. 328.  Gary Peck, Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Nevada, echoed previous support for A.B. 328.  He believed it was consistent with the basic principles of our society — that people not face barriers to full participation in economic, social and political life, once their debt to society was paid.  He was particularly supportive of provisions that removed barriers for individuals who had not been convicted but merely arrested, charged, or tried.  That matter went to the basic principle that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty before a court of law.  He felt it was mystifying and deeply troubling that there was any question on that issue.  A person’s rights should not be taken away where no guilt was proven.  Mr. Peck drew the committee’s attention to provisions involving arrests, charges and trials rather than convictions.  He referred to work card issues.

Indeed, this is correct;  if one is merely arrested, he is presumed innocent under the law.  The statute was amended to codify this maxim. , The statute does prevent record sealing due to convictions or if he is facing pending charges. (See, NRS 179D.245 (4) above).

179.245 (4) states in pertinent part:

If, after the hearing, the court finds that, in the period prescribed in subsection 1, the petitioner has not been charged with any offense for which the charges are pending or convicted of any offense, except for minor moving or standing traffic violations, the court may order sealed all records of the conviction. . .(Emphasis added).

 

There are certain types of convictions that cannot be sealed.  Most of these involve sex crimes, homicides, murder and felony DUI. See, NRS 179.245(6).

NRS 179.255  Sealing of records after dismissal, decline of prosecution or acquittal: Petition; notice; hearing; exceptions; order; inspection of records.

  1. If a person has been arrested for alleged criminal conduct and the charges are dismissed, the prosecuting attorney having jurisdiction declined prosecution of the charges or such person is acquitted of the charges, the person may petition:

(a) The court in which the charges were dismissed, at any time after the date the charges were dismissed;

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