If you were arrested or prosecuted on a domestic violence charge, you may be concerned about whether the record of your arrest, prosecution, or conviction may be publicly accessible. You may also wonder what options you have to seal your domestic violence records to prevent employers, landlords, and others from using that information against you. Keep reading to learn more about your rights following a charge of domestic violence.
Are Domestic Violence Records Public in Nevada?
Criminal and arrest records are considered public record in Nevada. If you were arrested for domestic battery or charged or convicted for a domestic violence offense, it will usually show up on background checks for job, housing, license, or employment applications. Unlike an arrest, if you receive a domestic violence conviction, you will not be eligible to seal your record for seven (7) years from the date your case is closed.
How Long Do the Charges Stay on Your Record?
A domestic violence charge or conviction will stay on your publicly accessible record unless and until you successfully petition to have that record sealed. The sealing process only makes the record inaccessible for most purposes. Unlike the expungement process in other states, the record is not “erased” for legal purposes.
Will the Charges Show Up on a Background Check?
A battery domestic violence case will show up on a criminal background check in Nevada, unless the defendant in the case moves to seal the record. A domestic violence arrest is noted on your criminal record even if you are ultimately not charged with any domestic violence crime. As a result, having domestic violence charges come up in your background check can negatively impact your ability to secure employment, professional licensing, housing, educational opportunities, or loans.
How Can I Get My Domestic Violence Report Sealed?
The process of sealing a domestic violence record in Nevada depends on the disposition of the charges, as follows:
- If your charges are dismissed – Under NRS 179.255(1)(a), you can petition the court to seal your records any time after your charges are dismissed.
- If the prosecutor declines prosecution – Under NRS 179.255(1)(b), you can generally petition the court to seal your records after the statute of limitations has run. This is generally three years for a felony offense or one year for a misdemeanor offense, according to NRS 171.085 and 171.090.
- If you are acquitted – Under NRS 179.255(1)(c), you can petition the court to seal your records any time after you are acquitted.
- If your conviction is set aside – If you are convicted but that conviction is set aside, you can petition the court to seal your records any time after the conviction is set aside, under NRS 179.255(2).
If you are convicted of a domestic violence crime, you must wait seven years before seeking to seal your domestic violence report under NRS 179.245. If you are convicted of a battery that is not domestic violence, you must wait two years from the date the case is closed. For any other misdemeanor, you can seal your record one year from the date the case was closed.
If you are convicted of a felony, it depends on the felony you are convicted of but you will need to wait as little as 2 years or up to as many as 10 years before starting the sealing process. However, having additional criminal offenses on your record may extend the time you must wait before seeking to seal your record.
The process of sealing your domestic violence report begins with obtaining a copy of your arrest/criminal records and attaching it to a petition for a record seal that you must file with the prosecutor’s office that handles your domestic violence arrest/charges. So long as the prosecutor’s office does not object to your petition, you can file the petition with the court that had heard or had jurisdiction over your case.
If the court grants the petition, you will receive an order that you can send to all agencies that have a copy of your domestic violence record, requiring them to seal that record.
How an Attorney Can Help
When you have been accused of domestic violence, an attorney can help you protect your rights and reputation by:
- Offering you the personal attention you need when facing criminal charges or seeking to seal your criminal record from public view.
- Advising you on your eligibility to file a petition for sealing.
- Answering questions you have such as, “Is domestic violence public record?” and “Can I seal my domestic violence record?”
- Helping you prepare your petition, including securing copies of the necessary records.
- Advocating for the approval of your petition with the prosecutor’s office and before the court.
If you are facing domestic violence charges or have been convicted of a domestic violence offense, call or contact the Law Office of Joel M. Mann today for a free, confidential consultation. Learn more about how our firm can help you defend your rights.
 If you have a domestic violence conviction, sealing your record will not allow you to get your gun rights back, you will need to receive a pardon.