Getting charged with a misdemeanor is an alarming experience. Knowing what effect a misdemeanor will have on your life is the first step in putting yourself back in control.
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How Long Do Misdemeanors Stay on Your Record?
The two primary factors which determine how long a misdemeanor stays on a criminal record are the state that the misdemeanor took place in and the type of crime.
In the state of Nevada, most misdemeanors can be cleared off a criminal record two years after the case closes. However, there are certain crimes, such as, misdemeanor DUI or domestic violence that requires seven years before one can have their record sealed.
Other states have different regulations determining how long a misdemeanor stays on a person’s criminal record before they are eligible for expungement. For example, in Washington state, an individual is eligible for misdemeanor expungement 3 years after conviction as long as no new arrests or convictions take place during that period.
Do Misdemeanors Show Up on a Background Check?
Misdemeanors will show up on some but not all background checks. Whether a misdemeanor conviction appears on a background check is determined by the type of check and which county the check takes place in. Non-felony crimes are usually prosecuted at the county level; therefore, if a background check is run in a county other than that in which a crime takes place it may not appear on a background check. Keep in mind; there is no way to guarantee that a misdemeanor that is on your criminal record does not show up on a background check.
Do Misdemeanors Affect Employment?
Ultimately, whether a misdemeanor affects future employment is entirely up to employer discretion. Unfortunately, some employers have rigidly defined policies that prohibit them from hiring people with any criminal record. It is important to recognize that a criminal record is not an employment death sentence. If you’ve been convicted of a crime, then search for employment opportunities that will not discriminate against you solely by your criminal record.
How to Get a Misdemeanor Expunged in Nevada
There is no way to have a criminal record expunged in the state of Nevada; however, you can have your record sealed. There are five key steps to get your criminal record sealed in Nevada.
You need to obtain a SCOPE background check, your criminal history record (CHR), and your Judgment of Conviction.
Drafting a Petition for Record Seal
Using your SCOPE and CHR make a list of all criminal convictions you’ve received in Clark County. Following that, you will need to fill out the following forms and submit them to both district and Municipal court
- Petition to Seal Records
- Order to Seal Records
- Declaration from Petitioner
- Notice of Entry of Order
- Certificate of Mailing
Communicating with the District of Justice Court
Make copies of all forms required for a record seal and submit them to the District of Justice Court. After submitting the required forms to district court, you should expect to wait roughly 12 weeks for a response. If they do not approve your seal record request, then make the changes they request form you and resubmit. If they do approve your request, then you will need to have your approved request (Order to Seal) filed with the Municipal Court.
Communicating with Municipal Court
After getting a record seal request approved by the District of Justice Court, you will need to sign and submit a Stipulation form. In total, you will need to send:
- The original Declaration
- The original Stipulation form
- The original Petition to Seal
- The original Order to Seal records
- A copy of your criminal record history
After submitting these documents to the Municipal Court, a judge and city attorney will review the provided documents. You may be required to attend a hearing in which the judge will question why you want to have your records sealed. Otherwise, a signed Order to Seal will be sent to you several weeks or months after submittal.
Notifying All Relevant Agencies of Your Record Seal
Once receiving the signed Order to Seal from a judge, you will need to prepare a Notice of Entry of Order to Seal Records and a Certificate of Mailing. Sign and date those documents and send them to all public agencies that have access to your criminal record
Having your criminal record sealed can be a daunting task. Before attempting to go through the process of having your records sealed with no assistance, consider hiring a criminal defense attorney to assist you with the process.