On June 9, 2015 Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed Senate Bill 409, which permits background check companies to report criminal convictions indefinitely. Previously Nevada was one of several states that provided additional protections to former offenders by limiting the reporting of criminal convictions to seven years. This change in the law makes record sealing even more important and beneficial for Nevadans with a conviction.
Convictions that previously may not have affected one’s ability to find a job or secure housing can now appear on a background check requested by a potential employer or landlord, even if the case occurred decades in the past. SB 409 went into effect immediately on June 9 when it was signed into law.
Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act and Nevada Law
The federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) governs what information can be reported on criminal background checks conducted by consumer reporting agencies (including private background check companies commonly used by employers). The federal law limits the length of time most negative information can be reported to a seven-year period. The one exception to this is criminal convictions, which under federal law can be reported forever.
In addition to federal law, many states have enacted their own version of the FCRA. Nevada was one of many states that had also limited the reporting of convictions to the seven-year period. Prior to SB 409, Nevada’s FCRA statute, NRS 598C.150, stated that reporting agencies “shall periodically purge from its files and after purging shall not disclose … a report of criminal proceedings, or other adverse information which precedes the report by more than 7 years.” Senate Bill 409 modified the statute to prohibit the reporting of “criminal proceedings, or other adverse information, excluding a record of a conviction of a crime, which precedes the report by more than 7 years.”
Record Sealing Eligibility in Nevada
In order to have a conviction sealed in Nevada, you must first satisfy a waiting period. The statutory waiting periods range from two years for misdemeanors up to 15 years for a Class A or B felony. There is no waiting period to have an arrest that resulted in a dismissal or acquittal sealed. During the waiting period, there must be no subsequent convictions. Certain serious offenses, including sex offenses, crimes against a child and DUIs resulting in death are not eligible.
To determine if your case is eligible to be sealed, please click here to take our confidential online eligibility test.
Benefit of Sealing Criminal Records
Another aspect of the FCRA is the requirement that background check companies maintain and report accurate records. If the record sealing is granted, the court and other state agencies that have records will seal the records relating to the incident. This means that when an employer or anyone else conducts a background check on you, the case should no longer be reported.
Criminal convictions are never automatically expunged or sealed by the court, and under the new NV law, convictions will now be reported on these commonly run background checks. Some former offenders may have previously not have seen the necessity of sealing a serious felony conviction, because by the time the waiting period was satisfied, Nevada law prevented those cases from being disclosed on private background checks. However, that is no longer the case and prior criminal convictions can now be reported indefinitely.
How to Seal Your Nevada Conviction
If you are interested in having your Nevada criminal record sealed, please take our free, confidential eligibility test. If you are eligible to have your case sealed, you will be able to sign up online at the conclusion of the test. We have had over 14,000 expungement or record sealing cases granted nationwide. If you have any questions regarding our law firm, the services we offer in Nevada or how we can assist you with your case, please call our office at (877) 573-7273.