Record Sealing and Expungements

Criminal Defense Attorney Protecting the Rights of People in Reno and Beyond

Having a criminal charge on your record can negatively affect your employment prospects, restrict your educational opportunities, and interfere with housing options and loan approvals, as well as resulting in other adverse consequences. Fortunately, Nevada has some of the most advantageous record sealing laws in the United States, and they may work to your benefit. With over two decades of experience, criminal defense attorney William J. Routsis can assist Nevada and California residents in seeking to have their criminal records sealed. Based in the Reno area, Mr. Routsis is a knowledgeable lawyer who can help fight drug crimes charges as well as prosecutions for DUI, domestic violence, white collar crimes, theft offenses, and serious homicides.

Basic Information About Record Sealing

In general, criminal records are accessible to the public, available to anyone through certain government databases. Although an individual’s criminal record cannot be erased completely or expunged in Nevada, it can be sealed in many cases. When a criminal record is sealed, it is removed from these databases and consequently will not show in any search or background check by potential employers, landlords, lenders, and others. Once you have a court order sealing your criminal record, it will also apply to all other courts and agencies that may have kept your records on file. In addition, for legal purposes, you are treated as though the records never existed, and you may regain your right to vote, serve on a jury, and state truthfully that you do not have a criminal record. There are only a few specific situations in which another person or government agency may view an individual’s sealed criminal record, and most will involve petitioning the court for permission. An experienced attorney can provide further information regarding these limited circumstances.

Eligibility Requirements and Legal Considerations

Whether your criminal record may be sealed depends on a number of factors, including the type of offense, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, how long ago your case was closed, whether you were convicted of or merely arrested for the crime, and other considerations. If the charges against you were dismissed or you were acquitted of the crime, you may petition to have your record sealed immediately. If you were convicted of a crime, there is a statutory waiting period before you may file the petition, which is specific to each offense. For example, misdemeanor DUI and misdemeanor domestic violence convictions generally have a seven-year waiting period, while most other misdemeanors have a two-year waiting period. In most cases, the waiting period for category A and B felonies is 15 years. It is 12 years for C and D felonies, and seven years for E felonies. Convictions for felony DUI, sex crimes, and crimes against children cannot be sealed.

Due to the many considerations involved, it is wise to discuss your specific situation with an attorney to accurately determine whether you may be eligible to petition the court to seal your records. It is also important to note that, even if you meet the statutory criteria, the judge still has discretion to deny your petition. Once denied, you must wait a period of two years before petitioning the court again.

Enlist a Reno Lawyer During or After a Prosecution

While Nevada does have generous record sealing laws available in multiple situations, they tend to be nuanced, and they may involve multiple steps and court filings. Discussing the details of your record with an experienced and competent criminal defense attorney may help you understand the law, how it can benefit you, and whether record sealing is applicable in your case, whether you have been charged with DUI, theft, domestic violence, or another crime. Attorney William J. Routsis serves residents of Reno and many other areas of Nevada and California, including Carson City, Winnemuca, Susanville, and Quincy. He can provide you with the legal advice, respect, and support you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, contact us by phone at (775) 337-2609 or online.

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