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Yampolsky & Margolis Criminal Defense Las Vega

Free Consultation For Record Sealing In Las Vegas

The process of sealing or expunging your Las Vegas or Clark County criminal records can be a daunting one without the help of a skilled Nevada attorney. The benefit of sealing or expunging your Las Vegas and/or Clark County arrest/conviction records will enable you to legally answer “No,” when asked if you have ever been charged or convicted of a crime, whether this be in testimony under oath in a legal proceeding, or even during a job interview or when filling out a job application. A clean criminal record free of past indiscretions may be the precise thing that gets your proverbial foot in the door at that school you always wanted to attend or may enable you the entry into your chosen career field which has never been available to you before.

Record Sealing In Las Vegas

We strive to help convicted clients earn a fresh start after they have paid their debt to society. Records related to a conviction for various crimes that were committed in Nevada can be sealed. Record Sealing Las Vegas can prove to be slightly complicated in certain cases because you have to be aware of the various laws concerning record sealing that are applicable in the state. The number of years that must pass before petitioning the court to seal a criminal record depends on the type of crime that was committed. Our law firm can evaluate the details of your conviction and assist you with the process of Record Sealing in Las Vegas.

For instance, there are specific, statutorily mandated waiting periods which must be endured before a Petition to Seal records will be considered by a Nevada court.

Sealing Las Vegas, Clark County, Henderson, North Las Vegas, and various other Nevada criminal records can be a long and tedious process, oftentimes taking anywhere between six months and one year. While the Petition to Seal Criminal Records is a relatively straightforward, form pleading, the reality is that each court, be it the Laughlin Justice Court, the Boulder City Municipal Court, the North Las Vegas Municipal Court, or the Goodsprings Justice Court, will have their own specific rules and peccadilloes which must be followed. For this reason, to save some headaches and grief, we always encourage our clients to consider retaining us to seal or expunge their criminal record when the representation in the underlying case has concluded.

In Nevada the filing fees for an original Petition to Seal Records vary a little bit. As a general rule, filing fees for the Petition to Seal Records are customarily between $200 and $500. There are also costs associated with obtaining one’s original fingerprint cards and Nevada SCOPE, although these costs are considerably lesser than that represented by the filing fee. All told, a layperson seeking to petition to seal their record may reasonably expect to incur costs from several hundred up to a thousand dollars. Alternative, one can pay anywhere from $1,500 to $3,000 to save the time, aggravation, and hassle and hire a licensed Nevada attorney to do the grunt work and follow up to ensure a smooth path from petition to compliance to a clean record.

In Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, Henderson, and North Las Vegas, the procedure for sealing your record is a civil law proceeding. The process begins when the party, herein called the “Petitioner,” obtains a copy of their fingerprint card and Nevada SCOPE, which is the name used to describe a Nevada resident’s criminal history.

Oftentimes, the process of obtaining an Order from a Judge granting the Petition to Seal Records can take anywhere from 2-4 months, although at times this process can take longer, up to 6 months or more. Unfortunately for the Petitioner, the process of sealing one’s record is not completed once the Order has been obtained. Instead, this Order must then be forwarded by the Petitioner (or the attorney representing the Petitioner) to a series of local and state agencies that have obtained digital and/or hard (i.e., paper) copies of the records, be they arrest records, voluntary statements, police reports, temporary custody records, and so forth. By statute in the State of Nevada, once these agencies or affiliated stakeholders receive the Order from the judge the agency has a statutorily specified time period within which to purge all of their offices and databases of any and all references to your case. Once all recordholders have complied with the Order, the Petitioner will receive a “Compliance LETTER” from the Nevada Department of Public Safety indicating that the record has been legally SEALED.

Record Sealing VERSUS Expungement—Is There Any Difference?

Quite simply the answer to this question is a terse “No.” Native Californians are familiar with the idea of the “expungement” of a criminal record. In the Golden State, the process is very similar to that here in the Silver State—obtain your SCOPE, or criminal history in the instant jurisdiction; obtain a fingerprint card within a relatively short period of time (in Nevada, within 30 days); prepare the Petition, listing all arrests, convictions, citations, etc. to be sealed and/or expunged; and pay the filing fee of $270.00. for the Petition to Seal itself and, another, nominal fee of $3.50 to file the Order Sealing Criminal Records. Each entity that possessed either a paper or electronic record of your citation, arrest, or conviction would have a specified timeframe within which to purge those records from all of their facilities, databases, and so forth.

The short answer to this very common question is “yes, but with some exceptions.” Felony crimes committed against children, crimes of a sexual nature, and DUIs of a felony level are NOT ELIGIBLE TO BE SEALED IN THE STATE OF NEVADA. More specifically, the statutory waiting periods for Petitioning to Seal various disparate types of felony convictions are as follows:

Category A Felonies, Crimes of Violence, and Burglaries- 10 years from the date of closure of the case

Category B, C, or D Felony- 5 years from the date of closure of the case

Category E Felony- 2 years from the date of closure of the case

Enhanceable Misdemeanors (DUI and DV)- 7 years from the date of closure of the case

Gross Misdemeanors, Misdemeanor Battery, Harassment,

Stalking, and/or Violation of Temporary/Extended

Protective Order 2 years from the date of closure of the case

All Other Misdemeanors- 1 year from the date of closure of the case

Acquittals/Dismissals/Honorable Discharges NO WAITING PERIOD AT ALL

Charges the District Attorney and/or Attorney General

Declined to Prosecute After the Expiration of the Statute of Limitations has run OR 8 Years from the Date of Arrest OR By Agreement of Parties

The procedure to seal a criminal record in Nevada is a civil legal process. It involves filing a civil document called a Petition for an Order to Seal Records. That document, when filed, must be accompanied by a timely and current fingerprint card and fresh copy of your Nevada Criminal History, commonly referred to as your Nevada SCOPE. The current filing fee for the Petition in Clark County is $270, but these costs vary slightly from county to county throughout the State of Nevada. While the process is one that can be completed without a licensed Nevada attorney, it is undoubtedly easier for a licensed attorney to accomplish than it would be without counsel. The process routinely takes between six months and one year all told—generally the Order itself can be obtained within 4-6 months, but following obtaining the Order, it still must be forwarded to various agencies, courts, facilities, detention centers, and so forth, whom have obtained the record in the ordinary course of their business operations. There are statutorily prescribed time periods within which each of these record holders must purge their digital and paper records in compliance with the Court’s order. A such, the process from end to end can often take about a year all told.

Felonies specifically, and criminal convictions more generally, will not “fall off,” your criminal record absent some affirmative action on your part, and quite possibly at some hassle and monetary expense. The good news is that while felonies will stay on your record in perpetuity if left untouched following closure of the case, it need not be this way because in Nevada the vast majority of criminal convictions are eligible to be sealed (or erased, or expunged, in various other jurisdictions throughout the country). I will describe which felonies can be sealed and when exactly in another FAQ on this page should you require further clarification.

How, Exactly, Does One Do a Record Seal in Henderson, Las Vegas, or Clark County?

Record Sealing Las Vegas is a good initiative as it provides people who have made mistakes in life a chance to start fresh and to forge a new identity for themselves that does not reflect their past indiscretions. It is a way for people to put the past in their rear window and move ahead with a fresh outlook on life, without the fear of being discovered or ousted by people who just want to tarnish their reputation using their past behavior as an example. Our entire justice system is based on the premise that if you commit a crime or make a mistake, you are liable to pay for it, as outlined in our constitution and laws. However, once that punishment has been served, you have every right to make efforts to reintegrate in to society, so that you can move and become a productive member of society, despite the transgressions you might have committed previously.

 

District and Justice Court Record Seal Procedures

Clark County includes various courts and other entities which may possess paper and/or electronic copies of the records of your citation, arrest, or conviction.  Specifically Clark County includes the Eighth Judicial District Court; Bunkerville Justice Court; Goodsprings Justice Court; Henderson Justice Court; Las Vegas Justice Court; Laughlin Justice Court; Mesquite Justice Court, Moapa Justice Court, Moapa Valley Justice Court, North Las Vegas Justice Court, and Searchlight Justice Court.

First: Obtain your current SCOPE. Your SCOPE is a current, verified, criminal history which must be acquired from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD). Instructions for obtaining your SCOPE are available by calling Metro at (702) 828-3475. If one or more of the charges the petitioner wishes to seal resulted in criminal convictions, one must also acquire certified copies of the “judgment(s) of conviction and discharge.” These documents can be obtained by visiting the District Court Clerk, located within the Regional Justice Center at 200 Lewis Avenue, Las Vegas, Nevada 89155. Standard operating hours have long been from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m., but Yampolsky & Margolis recommend calling (702) 671-4554 to confirm those operating hours given that we are immersed in the age of COVID, pandemic hours may still be in force.

Second: Analyze the contents of the SCOPE to determine which Court to file your Petition in, for instance, Henderson Justice Court, Eighth Judicial District Court, or Laughlin Justice Court. In the event that petitioner may have had cases in multiple courts—a common occurrence—then the appropriate court within which to file the Petition will be the Eighth Judicial District Court. To the extent petitioner wants to “go it alone,” the Clark County District Attorney’s Record Sealing website may provide assistance. https://www.clarkcountynv.gov/government/departments/district_attorney/divisions/criminal/sealing_of_records/index.php

 

Of course, hiring Yampolsky & Margolis Criminal Defense Las Vegas would be easier.  

Third, go to the Clark County District Attorney’s website and download the appropriate template:

  • District Court sample petition, affidavit, and order
  • Justice Court sample petition, affidavit, and order
  • TYPE INTO THESE TEMPLATES AND SAVE AS A PDF WHEN COMPLETE—HANDWRITTEN WILL LIKELY BE SUBJECT TO REJECTION.
  • Ensure ALL of the information is filled in fully and accurately: all arrest(s); police or law enforcement agencies which made the arrest(s); date(s) of all arrest(s); criminal charges filed; and the final disposition(s) of each arrest, be it conviction, acquittal, dismissal, etc.

Fourth, MAIL or HAND-DELIVER IN PERSON all of the aforementioned paperwork (SCOPE, judgment(s) of conviction and discharge, and THREE (3) COPIES of each of the original petition, affidavit, and order) to the Clark County District Attorney’s Office at 200 Lewis Avenue, Room 3303, P.O. Box 552212, Las Vegas, NV 89155. The package MUST include all of the above-described documents within the parenthetical above.

Fifth, if/when the District Attorney signs the Order to Seal, simply take the returned, signed package to the District Court Clerk. The District Court Clerk will then provide the packet to the appropriate District Court Judge. In 99% of cases, when the District Attorney agrees, the District Court Judge agrees to sign without further issue or activity on the petitioner’s part. However, in a formerly small but steadily growing number of cases, the District Attorney refuses to sign off on the petition or, alternatively, the District Attorney does sign off but the judge wants a hearing to determine whether or not the individual is truly ready to have their record sealed—and that doing so will not endanger anyone, including the petitioner.

Each Justice Court, such as Las Vegas Justice Court, Henderson Justice Court, Laughlin Justice Court, Mesquite Justice Court, or a number of others, has their own procedures but many of them are far more similar than they are different. In each Court the following requirements must be met: (1) obtain SCOPE; (2) Submit a Petition to Seal to the District Attorney and Judge; and (3) mail the Order to Seal to various stakeholders such as jailers, courts, and government agencies such as the Department of Parole and Probation. Many Nevada Courts have actually gone so far as to post their record sealing instructions and/or manuals online for the public:

 

Las Vegas Municipal Court:          https://www.lacsn.org/images/consumer-right-project/Record_Sealing/1_-_Record_Sealing_Packet_-_Muni_Court_-_FILLABLE.pdf

Henderson Municipal Court:       https://www.cityofhenderson.com/city-attorney/criminal-division (see fillable MS Word doc near bottom)

Mesquite Municipal Court:          https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_KtLC7QEl7caE0tQmpLMEVqOFE/view

Second Judicial District Court:     https://www.washoecounty.us/rjc/files/forms/form_records-seal-packet.pdf

(Washoe County)

Reno Municipal Court:                   http://www.reno.gov/home/showdocument?id=43426

Ninth Judicial District Court:         https://dcnvda.org/RecordSealing.shtml (see packet near center of page)

(Douglas County)

No. The only way criminal records go away is if you act affirmatively to make them go away. You need to file a Petition for an Order to Seal Records in order to make your criminal convictions and the record thereof stop following and haunting you forevermore.

The process to seal felonies is the same as that used to seal misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor convictions. The civil mechanism of the Petition for an Order to Seal Records. There are a handful of specific felonies that cannot ever be sealed but the good news is that the overwhelming majority of all felony offenses in the State of Nevada’s Criminal Code can be sealed. In another FAQ on this page there are ample details on just which felonies can be sealed and the statutory waiting period that is attendant to each of those types of felony convictions.

Misdemeanor criminal convictions will remain on your criminal record indefinitely or until such time as you take action to remove them. Unlike demerit points on your driver license, criminal convictions do not “fall off,” one’s criminal record. The convictions remain on the record and are generally deemed less relevant the greater the time that passes between it and any subsequent adverse contact with law enforcement. So, to be concise, the misdemeanors will remain on your criminal record until you petition the Court for an Order to seal the records thereof.

Juvenile Record Sealing Cases

As a general rule, juvenile cases are sealed as a matter of course when the individual minor turns 21 years of age provided that the crime or crimes of conviction were not felonies, were nonviolent offenses, and did not involve lewdness with a minor child. All those juvenile offenders not eligible for automatic sealing of their juvenile criminal records will become eligible once they attain the age of 30 years old. These petitions generally have the highest odds of being granted given the impetuosity of youth and the widely held idea that the vast majority of folks simply “age out of” criminal behavior.

 

Federal Cases

As a general rule, federal felonies cannot be sealed without, quite frankly, a so-called “Act of Congress,” friends in (very) high places, or in the event of a Presidential pardon. Getting charged and convicted federally is no fun and now those you reading this might better understand why “making a federal case out of it,” is such an unfortunate circumstance. By and large, you simply cannot seal a federal felony. The one well-known and often underutilized exception to this rule is first-time, nonviolent drug offenders UNDER the age of 21. Federal law permits the sealing or expungement (remember they are one and the same and I will use them interchangeably) for first-time drug offenders convicted of simple drug possession while under age 21.

A gross misdemeanor offense is a style of criminal charge in Nevada that rests between misdemeanors and felonies—simply put, a gross misdemeanor is more serious than a simple or enhanceable misdemeanor (DUI and Battery Domestic Violence are enhanceable misdemeanors), yet less serious than the lowest level felony charge in the State of Nevada. While misdemeanor offenses in Nevada carry a maximum sentence of 6 months in the Las Vegas City Jail or Clark County Detention Center, Gross Misdemeanor offenses are punishable by up to 364 days in the Clark County Detention Center. This demonstrates the increased seriousness and severity vis-à-vis a misdemeanor charge (6 months versus 1 year). Similarly, felony offenses are punishable in Nevada by sentencing convicted defendants to 1 or more years in the Nevada Department of Corrections, i.e., prison, as opposed to the city or county jail. As such, while Gross Misdemeanors are more serious than misdemeanors, they are clearly also less serious than felonies. The statutory waiting time to seal a Gross Misdemeanor conviction in the State of Nevada is 2 years from the calendar date on which the criminal case was CLOSED.

A reckless driving conviction in criminal court will remain on your criminal record until such time as you petition the Court to seal the same. Criminal records, as a general rule, do not fall off your record in the same fashion that demerit points from driving infractions fall off your driving record. Instead, once convicted of a crime, the conviction generally will remain on one’s record until some subsequent action is taken by the party to seal or expunge the same.

Same as above, see answer provided above.

Record Sealing Changes that took Effect October 2017

While the state of Nevada does offer former convicts and law breakers to seal their records from the public, there are certain stipulations attached to this process, depending on the type of crime a person had been accused of, or served jail time for. Record sealing in Nevada takes in to account all the various conditions that govern a convicted person’s case, and a judgement is made based on everything from the type of crime, the time served in jail, the behavior exhibited with prison staff while incarcerated or with parole officer after their release, as well as the quality of legal representation. If you need Record Sealing Las Vegas, contact our Las Vegas record sealing attorney right away.

Per NRS 179.245, the following convictions are not eligible for sealing until Statue of Limitation Requirements have been met FROM THE TIME YOUR CASE IS CLOSED INCLUDING PAROLE OR PROBATION www.leg.state.nv.us

We strive to help convicted clients earn a fresh start after they have paid their debt to society. Records related to a conviction for various crimes that were committed in Nevada can be sealed. Record Sealing Las Vegas can prove to be slightly complicated in certain cases because you have to be aware of the various laws concerning record sealing that are applicable in the state. The number of years that must pass before petitioning the court to seal a criminal record depends on the type of crime that was committed. Our law firm can evaluate the details of your conviction and assist you with the process of Record Sealing in Las Vegas.

For instance, there are specific, statutorily mandated waiting periods which must be endured before a Petition to Seal records will be considered by a Nevada court.

Crimes Against Children (NRS 179D.0357), Felony DUIs & Sexual Offenses (INELIGIBLE)
Category A, Crime of Violence (NRS 200.408), Burglary (NRS 205.060) (10 years)
Category B, C or D Felony (5 years)
Category E Felony (2 years)
Enhance able Misdemeanors (Including Non-Felony DUI and Non-Felony battery domestic violence (7 years)
Gross Misdemeanor, Misdemeanor Battery, Harassment, Stalking, Violation of TPO (2 years)
All other misdemeanors and traffic violations (1 year)
Acquitted/Dismissed charges or Honorable Discharge on charge under NRS 453.3363 (No Wait)
Charges Prosecution declined to prosecute ( After Statute of Limitation has run or 8 years after arrest or if agreed by parties)
Possible reasons your record sealing petition could be denied:
Statutory length of time since your case was closed has not been satisfied.
You have an active case(s) or warrant(s) within Clark County and/or other jurisdictions.
For cases dismissed, declined of prosecution or acquitted: Dismissal – any time after the date the charges are dismissed; Declined for prosecution – any time after the applicable statute of limitations has run; anytime 10 years after the arrest; or pursuant to a stipulation between the parties; Acquittal – any time after the date of acquittal (NRS 179.255).
Drug and/or DUI cases recently denied by the District Attorney’s Office within one calendar year from date of arrest.
You have a Dishonorable Discharge on your criminal record, therefore you are not eligible to have your records sealed.
You have/had a conviction for a crime relating to sexual offense or a crime against a child (NRS 179D.0357).
Your prior criminal record of reoffending or the serious nature of offenses.
You have not listed ALL arrests and/or conviction on your Petition and Order.
You have included arrests and/or charges which were handled in a municipal/city court jurisdiction as they must be submitted to the appropriate city attorney’s office for approval or denial.
With our Record Sealing Las Vegas Attorney by your side, the case will be closed forever! Give us a call today to talk to our criminal defense lawyers and attorneys.  We can be reached at (702) 385-9777.

Jason Margolis, Esq.

Yampolsky & Margolis

The Mace Building

625 S. Sixth Street

Las Vegas, Nevada 89101

Business: (702) 385.9777

Fax: (702) 385.3001

Email: [email protected]

Website: www.criminallawyerslasvegas.com

 

With our Record Sealing Las Vegas Attorney by your side, the case will be closed forever! Give us a call today to talk to our criminal defense lawyers and attorneys.  We can be reached at (702) 385-9777.

Yampolsky & Margolis Criminal Defense Las Vegas

Call For A Free Legal Consultation
(702) 385-9777

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