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When can you ask for records to be sealed?

If you have been convicted of a crime in Nevada, you may be able to have the records sealed. It's important to know what records qualify and when you can petition the court to ask for this action to be taken.

First and foremost, crimes that are committed against minors will never be sealed. The same goes for crimes of a sexual nature. The only exception to this is if the case is dismissed or if you are found not guilty. In any case where this happens, you can have the records sealed.

For DUI cases, you can ask for the records to be sealed if you were sent to jail, served your time, and then were released. You have to wait for seven years after the date when you were released—not the date on which you were sentenced—to start the petition.

The same time is true if you didn't go to jail, but were instead given probation, a fine, community service, or other conditions that you are then obligated to fulfill. Again, the seven years do not start until you have done what the court asked in full.

The same regulations that go with DUI cases apply to cases of domestic battery.

For other convictions of misdemeanors, the amount of time that you have to wait is shorter. It is set at just two years, whether you were given jail time, fines, community service, or another punishment.

Now, as noted above, you must petition to have your records sealed for a DUI or any other crime; this is not something that happens automatically. As such, you need to know what legal steps to take.

Source: City of Reno, "Instructions for Sealing Records of Criminal Cases Occurring in Reno Municipal Court," accessed Feb. 10, 2016

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