"Whatever happens in Vegas, gets Expunged in Vegas"

Nevada Criminal Record Sealing of a Crime Against A Child

Nevada Sex Offender

Sex offender photo by Victor Casale

Nevada’s criminal record sealing law is one of the best post-conviction remedies offered in any state. It provides a powerful benefit by sealing the court case and arrest so much so that the record cannot be seen without a court order and, even then, only by law enforcement or the Nevada Gaming Commission.

The law which authorizes a criminal record to be sealed, NRS 179.245, a short list of crimes that are not eligible to be sealed. First on the list is one that often confuses or, worse, often deters a person from applying to have their record sealed is that the crime cannot have been against a child.

A person who does not have legal training may read that requirement and think that someone convicted of child abuse or child neglect would never be eligible to have their record sealed in Nevada. What could be more obvious, both of those crimes by definition are against a child.

Nevada Record Sealing Law Eligibility Is Tricky

Well, this is where some legal training comes in handy. The term crime against a child is not what it seems. That is, it is not what the plain language of it suggests. The term is actually a reference to a list of crimes defined in Nevada law as crimes against a child. NRS 179D.0357 defines crimes against a child as kidnapping, false imprisonment, and sex trafficking involving a victim who is under the age of 18 at the time of the offense. Those are some pretty serious offenses, all of which are felonies. Misdemeanor child neglect and child abuse are a long way away from what is defined as crimes against a child.

So, unless a person was convicted of one of those three offenses, the prohibition against sealing a record where the victim was child does not apply. This nuance in language and law is a perfect example of why it is important to consult a lawyer when considering anything involving the law. I am sure many well meaning people have misread the law and given bad advice or taken their own bad advice.

Sexual Offense Waiting Periods Before Sealing

Of course, there are other requirements, most notably are the waiting periods, which start after the sentence, including probation or parole, are complete. 15 years for Category A or B felonies. 12 years for category C or D felonies. 7 years for category E felonies, gross misdemeanors and misdemeanor DUIs. 2 years for misdemeanors. There is no waiting period for arrests without conviction after dismissal or acquittal.