In the realm of second chances and a brighter future, Nevada’s Restoration of Rights & Record Relief is leading the way, making sure that past mistakes no longer hold sway over your destiny. Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Nevada’s Restoration of Rights and record Relief processes, where pursuing a clean slate and renewed opportunities come to the forefront.
Life is a journey filled with twists and turns, and sometimes, those twists lead us down paths we later wish we hadn’t taken. But should one moment define a lifetime? Nevada doesn’t think so. With evolving laws and a growing recognition of the need for second chances, the state is committed to helping individuals move beyond their past and fully embrace their potential.
This is why, in this blog post, we will tackle the Nevada Restoration of Rights & Record Relief.
What is the process for restoring my rights in Nevada?
Here’s how the process generally works for restoring rights in Nevada:
- Determine Eligibility: The first step is to determine if you are eligible to have your rights restored. Rights could include the right to vote, the right to possess firearms, or other civil rights. Your eligibility may depend on the nature of your conviction and the completion of your sentence, including probation and parole.
- Complete Sentencing Requirements: You must have completed all aspects of your sentence, including any probation, parole, or restitution requirements. Some convictions might have a waiting period before you can begin the rights restoration process.
- Obtain Necessary Documents: Gather all relevant documents related to your conviction, sentence completion, and any other legal proceedings. These documents may include court orders, probation/parole completion certificates, and proof of restitution payment.
- Petition for Restoration of Rights: You will likely need to file a petition with the court to have your rights restored. Depending on the type of rights you’re seeking to restore, there may be specific forms to fill out. These forms can typically be obtained from the court or the Nevada Department of Corrections website.
Remember that the specifics of each case can vary, and consulting with legal professionals or authorities in Nevada will provide you with the most accurate and tailored guidance for your situation.
How will restoring my rights affect my criminal record?
Restoring your rights after a conviction in Nevada can affect your criminal record, depending on the restored rights. Here are a few ways in which restoring your rights might impact your criminal record:
- Expungement or Sealing of Records: In Nevada, expungement refers to sealing a criminal record. While Nevada law does not allow for complete expungement (erasing the record), it does allow for sealing certain records, which means the public won’t have access to them. This can benefit individuals seeking employment or housing, as employers and landlords won’t see the sealed records during background checks.
- Restoration of Civil Rights: If your civil rights were restricted due to a criminal conviction, restoring those rights would reflect positively on your record. This might include voting rights, serving on a jury, or holding public office. However, remember that not all criminal convictions lead to the loss of these rights.
- Firearm Rights Restoration: Depending on the nature of your conviction, you might have lost your right to own or possess firearms. Restoring your gun rights could potentially change how certain convictions appear on your record, especially if restrictions related to firearms possession are lifted.
- Employment and Licensing Opportunities: Certain convictions can affect your ability to obtain certain professional licenses or certifications. Restoring your rights might improve your chances of obtaining these licenses, which could, in turn, affect how your criminal record impacts your career prospects.
- Background Checks: Restoring your rights could make your criminal record appear less severe to potential employers or landlords during background checks. While some convictions might still be visible, the overall picture of rehabilitation and restoration could be more favorable.
Restoring rights in Nevada can be complex and involves filing petitions, meeting specific eligibility criteria, and adhering to waiting periods.
To fully understand how restoring your rights will affect your criminal record, it’s strongly recommended to consult a lawyer knowledgeable about Nevada law and the specifics of your situation. Lawyers can provide you with accurate guidance tailored to your circumstances.
Nevada Restoration of Rights & Record Relief
Loss and restoration of rights involving civil rights and firearms
If found guilty of “treason or felony in any state,” an individual forfeits their ability to vote, hold public office, and serve on juries “unless restored to civil rights.” Nev. Rev. Stat. § 6.010; id. art. 15, § 3; Nev. Const. art. 2, section 1. Before June 2019, Nevada had among the most intricate civil rights restoration programs in the nation, where someone’s criminal record and type of offense determined whether their rights were lost or restored. HB 431 significantly streamlined that system.1. As per the 2019 legislation, an individual’s ability to vote is restricted solely to being incarcerated and for that term. See Nev. Rev. Stat. § 293.540; § 213.157(1)(b). Those who have been convicted in another jurisdiction are subject to this rule.
Regaining the right to serve on a civil jury occurs upon release from parole or probation or release from jail if no parole time is completed. Regaining the right to serve on a criminal jury takes place six years following release from parole or probation or from jail. 213.155, 213.157, 176A.850. Four years after being released from jail or prison or placed on probation or parole, one can run for office again. Ide.
A juvenile adjudication “does not impose any kind of civil disabilities ordinarily caused by a conviction” unless otherwise specified by a specific statute. Nevada Revised Statute Section 62E.010.
“If a person has been convicted for a felony in this state or any other state, they are not permitted to own, possess, have under their custody, or have control of any firearm.” Legal Code of Nevada: Section 202.360(1)(a). Restoring firearm rights requires a pardon. Note also § 213.090 (1). Id. Under Nevada law, it is presumably the case that those convicted of federal or out-of-state crimes can only get their weapons privileges back by a pardon from the court that oversaw their conviction.
People who live in Nevada, have been convicted of a serious felony, have committed many offenses, or enter the state more than five times a month must register through the local sheriff. Revised Statute §§ 179C.100(1)–(2); Nevada. The Board of Parole Commissioners may waive this obligation, the sentencing court, or the Board of Pardons Commissioners for convicted individuals whose civil rights have been restored. § 179C.100. The requirements for sex offender registration do not offer any such relief. § 179D.490.
Collateral consequences inventory
As per the 2013-adopted and 2017-amended Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 176.0125(9), the Advisory Commission on the Administration of Justice has been assigned the responsibility of identifying any provisions within the Nevada Administrative Code, the Nevada Revised Statutes, and the Nevada Constitution that authorize disqualification or impose collateral sanctions. It is also mandated to seek provisions that offer relief from such collateral consequences. To fulfill this task, the Commission may utilize the National Institute of Justice’s analysis of Nevada’s collateral punishments, disqualifications, and relief provisions, as elaborated in section 510 of the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007, Public Law 110-177.
Moreover, under section 510 of the Court Security Improvement Act of 2007, Public Law 110-177, the Commission must include a hyperlink on its website to any studies conducted by the National Institute of Justice regarding Nevada’s collateral sanctions, disqualifications, and relief provisions.
Pardon policy & practice
The Nevada Constitution grants the governor of Nevada certain temporary clemency powers (reprieves, suspensions). Nevada Const., Art. 5, · 13. But a panel of “the justices from the supreme court, the governor, and the attorney general, or a major part of them,” is granted complete clemency authority. Art. 5, § 14, id. This body is known as the Board of Pardons Commissioners, established by the legislation. Revised Statute of Nevada Section 213.010(1). The majority of the Board can issue a pardon, but the governor needs to be in that majority. Art. 5, § 14, Nev. Const.
Although the legislature has established the Board’s operating procedures (see below), it is not permitted to alter or limit the Board’s authority. In King v. Board of Regents (Nev. 1948), 200 P.2d 221.4. The Board meets every two weeks in May and November or more frequently as the Board deems necessary. Nev. Admin. Code § 213.020(1), (2); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 213.010(2). At the start of every session, the governor must report to the legislature on any clemency actions (no explanation needed). Art. 5, § 13, Nevada Const.
With the passage of Ballot Initiative 3, the Nevada Constitution was amended in 2020 to (1) specifically create the State Board of Pardons Commissioners; (2) remove the need for the Governor to vote in favor of any action; (3) mandate that the State Board of Pardons Commissioners meet at least once every quarter; (4) permit any member of the State Board of Pardons Commissioners of submitting matters for the Board’s consideration; and (5) stipulate that a majority of the State Board of Pardons Commissioners members is sufficient for any action taken by the Board. Amendments to Nev. Const. Art. 5, Section 14.
The Chairman of the State Board of Parole Commissioners chooses the Secretary of the Board of Pardons Commissioners. NRS 213.017 (1).
The application, updated in 2012, now offers that pardon petition evaluation criteria.
Generally, a pardon application won’t be considered until a considerable amount of time passes following the applicant’s final discharge. During that time, the applicant is required to show complete rehabilitation.
You can find the instructions and criteria for the Community Case Pardons Application from the Board of Pardons at Community Case Pardons Application 2012. It’s worth noting that the Board only accepts applications for state offenses, with misdemeanors comprising approximately 20% of the cases they handle. Individuals with a sexual offense can apply for a pardon only after they have been released from the registration requirements of the relevant court, as per Nevada Revised Statute Section 179D.490.
“A person who receives a full and unconditional pardon from the Board is released from all disabilities resulting from their conviction and is granted full and restored access to all civil rights.” Law Rev. Nev. § 213.090 (1). “Unless the official document issued according to subsection 3 expressly limits the restoration of the person’s civil rights or fails to relieve the individual from all disabilities suffered upon conviction, a pardon given by the Board is considered as a full, unconditional pardon.” Article 213.090(2); also see Attorney General Opinion, 2003, supra note 4 (a complete and unconditional pardon eliminates all restrictions, like licensing bars, but doesn’t “erase conviction” or remove the ability of licensing boards to require the demonstration of moral character before granting licensure). Also accessible at http://pardons.nv.gov/About/Effect_of_a_Pardon/ is the Board of Pardons Commissioners’ “Effect of a Pardon.”A pardon doesn’t prove rehabilitation or remove the conviction.
A presidential pardon does not exempt individuals with sexual offenses from the obligation to register. This requirement remains in effect, as stated in the 2003 Attorney General’s Opinion under “Effect Of A Pardon” on page 14. It’s important to note that even after a pardon, Nevada law still prohibits the sealing of sexual offenses, as confirmed by In re Sang Man Shin (Nev. 2009), among other things.
According to Nevada law, the only way to remove a firearms disability is through a pardon, which can be either unconditional (restoring the right to own a firearm) or conditional (without). A pardoned conviction that releases the offender from all penalties and impairments does not qualify as a predicate felony for federal weapons prosecution (NRS § 213.090; see also id. § 202.360(1)(a)). According to United States v. Laskie, 258 F.3d 1047, 1052–53 (9th Cir. 2001), a state conviction that was set aside cannot be the basis for a federal weapons prosecution (2003 Attorney General Opinion, supra, at p. 15).
Each case in which a pardon is being issued must have a public hearing. Nevada Administrative Code § 213.020 et seq.; Nevada Rev. Stat. §§ 233B.010 et seq., 213.020 et seq. Application accessible at http://www.pardons.nv.gov/About/Application for community cases. A thorough background investigation report is prepared by the Division of Parole & Probation for the Board’s consideration; this process often takes two to three months, following which cases are selected for a hearing. Nev. Administrative Code §§ 213.073(1), . Twice a year, the Board may hear cases. (In recent years, the Board has only convened one hearing annually due to budgetary constraints.) Nevada Administrative Code § 213.020; Nevada Revised Statute § 213.010(2). All applications need to be turned in at least ninety days in advance. According to Nevada Administrative Code Section 213.040(2). The Pardons Board website, has the agenda for the current meeting. Every and each Nevada district attorney, judge, and person on the Board of Pardons mailing list receives a copy of this agenda. Thirty days prior to the hearing, the Board is required to notify the county attorney, the court, and any victims. §§ 213.010(3), 213.020(4); Nev. Rev. Stat. The notice to victims is also sent by the County District Attorney. Typically, applications are brought before the Board solely upon the Department of Corrections’ or the Board Secretary’s advice. Consult Nevada Administrative Code §§ 213.073, 213.183. The applicant may be required to attend the informal hearings, if requested by the Board. Legal Code of Nevada Section 213.190. The Governor must vote in the majority for the Board to make a decision. Laws of Nevada, Art. 5, Section 14(1). The Nevada Administrative Procedure Act governs the proceedings, requiring the public to be notified three working days in advance of a hearing and making meeting minutes available to the public, including a breakdown of each member’s vote. Revised Statute of Nevada Section 233B.010 et seq. Both conditional and unconditional pardons—those with gun rights and those without—may be granted by the Board.
- Process expedited for non-violent first-time offenders: In August 2010, the Board approved rules allowing for a quicker review of pardon requests submitted by those with non-violent first-time offenses with no hearing, provided the victim, judge, or district attorney have not objected. Refer to NRS 213.077. Rev. Stat. Ann. Section 213.017 also permits the Board to create processes for civil rights restoration and pardon.
- Marijuana possession summary pardons: On June 17, 2020, the Board approved a resolution summarily pardoning 15,000 people found guilty of possessing one ounce or lesser of marijuana from 1986 and 2017, the year when this behavior was decriminalized. Read the FAQs and the governor’s decree at “Nevada Pardons More Than 15,000 People With Marijuana Convictions Under Governor’s Resolution“. Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) presented the bill to the board last week: Although pardons do not overturn convictions, they can reinstate privileges like the right to vote, carry a gun, and serve on juries. In addition, those who qualify for the pardon can apply for a form that would speed the processing of their updated papers. For those who were charged with this offense before 2001, when it was classified as a felony, and for those who entered plea deals in exchange for other charges, the Board failed to locate the documents pertaining to this offense. However, with application, these convictions may still be expunged.
Frequency of grants
Over half of the 50–80 fresh pardon applications from “community cases” that the Board has received in recent years have usually been given a hearing. There may be some instances heard that were carried over from previous years. The Board only convened once a year until 2017. Following a meeting in May that produced 19 grants (three of which were conditional) among 60 cases heard, the Board concluded 2017 having 57 grants (a grant rate of nearly 95%). This led to the call for a second meeting of the Board. A significant portion of the cases evaluated (either considered or heard on a consent calendar) were awarded pardons in 2018 and 2019. Of the 35 cases heard, the Board issued 29 pardons (3 conditional) in 2018 and 24 pardons (4 conditional) in 2019. Check out the reports available on the Board’s website.
Approximately 20 grants were made annually between 2006 and 2011, with the vast majority coming after hearings. View the Historical Actions of the Nevada Pardons Board (1997-present).7. The Board’s 2009 authority to use a streamlined procedure for crimes that were not violent started to appear in the cases processing data after 2011.
Marijuana pardons – For the mass self-execution pardon of over 15,000 individuals found guilty of possessing no more than one ounce of marijuana between 1986 and 2017, see the section above.
Only a small portion of the over 1000 commutation petitions that the Board receives and hears each year—about 10 cases—have been approved in the last ten years. See Historical Actions of the Nevada Pardons Board, 1997-present, supra.
Executive Secretary, Board of Pardons Commissioners
1677 Old Hot Springs Road, Suite A
Carson City, NV 89706
Phone: 775-687-5049, ext. 225
Sealing, expungement & other record relief
“It is the public policy of this state… to favor the provision of a second chance for offenders who’ve been rehabilitated and the sealing of such persons’ records,” according to legislation passed in June 2017. Nevada had among the most expansive record-closing laws throughout the nation prior to the 2017 law; all convictions, with the exception of those involving crimes against a child, sexual offenses, and specific DUI offenses, could be sealed after a waiting time. Nearly all offenses, including violent and Category A felonies, are eligible for sealing.
A person can petition the court where they were convicted to have all records pertaining to their conviction sealed after serving an eligibility period that varies based on the seriousness of the offense (two-to-10 years after being released from actual custody, probation, or parole, whichever comes first, depending on the urgency of the offense; one or two years for misdemeanors, with the exception of misdemeanors involving domestic violence, for which the waiting time is seven years). NRS 179.245 (1). Those guilty of crimes against children, sexual offenses, and specific DUI offenses, as well as anyone convicted during the qualifying waiting period, are not eligible for sealing relief (§ 179.245(5)). Section 179.245(5); additionally, see In re Sang Man Shin, supra, 206 P.3d at 91, wherein the pardon was not greater than the Nevada legislation that forbade the sealing of a sexual felony. With effect from October 1, 2017, probationers who have not received an honorable discharge from parole or probation may now apply to have their records sealed for the first time, provided they still meet the requirements outlined in § 179.245. See § 1 of AB-327 (2017).
Lastly, provided the applicant meets all legislative requirements regarding the sealing of these records, the law offers “a rebuttable presumption that the records must be sealed.” An individual who wasn’t honorably released from parole or probation is not covered by this presumption. Consult § 179.2455.
Successful reintegration participants (§ 179.259) and those convicted of drug possession following a three-year delay (§§ 453.336, 453.3365) may also be eligible for sealing.
- Convictions that have been pardoned: In 2021, the state courts and police were instructed to seal a pardoned conviction after receiving a certified copy of the pardon from the board. The courts were also instructed to seal a pardoned conviction upon petition, without charging a fee, and without giving prosecutors a chance to object. Review AB219.
- Vetoed automatic sealing bill: The governor vetoed a bill in 2023 that would have authorized automated sealing of all convictions now qualified for petition-based sealing, as well as specific processes. Recall AB 160.
Human trafficking victims’ vacatur
Upon stopping being a victim of human trafficking or forced labor, or upon seeking help for those affected by such trafficking or forced labor, victims of human trafficking who have been found guilty of any non-violent offense can file a petition for their convictions to be overturned and sealed. Act No. 179.247.10 Nev. Rev. Stat. Only prostitution and associated offenses were eligible prior to October 1, 2019. The court must “[t]ake into account any reasonable concerns regarding the safety of the defendant, the defendants family members, or any other victims who may be threatened by the approval of the petition.” Vacate and seal are discretionary actions. NRS § 179.247(2)(b); § 179.247(4). Id. The prosecutor who secured the conviction must be notified by the court and given the opportunity “to testify and present evidence” during the petition hearing. § 179.247(5) and (a). The court could grant a petition without holding a hearing if the prosecution agrees to vacate and seal the conviction. Sec. 179.247 (6). A person may submit a single “petition in district court requesting the sealing of every such records” if they have been convicted more than once in separate counties. (1) § 179.2595.
Deferred sentencing and sealing for drug offenders
Deferred sentencing is permitted in cases when a person is found guilty of a crime and diagnosed as an alcoholic or addict under NRS. § 458.300. Some offenses are not accepted. Refer to §§ 458.300[1–7]. After a treatment program is completed successfully, the conviction could be overturned and the record kept private. 458.330(1), (4) at Large. For first-time drug offenders, there is also the option of deferred sentencing and sealing. See § 453.3363.
Mental health and veterans courts
In specialized treatment courts for veterans or active military personnel, NRS § 176A.290 permits deferred punishment and dismissal; § 176A.260 creates comparable specialized courts for individuals with intellectual disabilities or mental illness. Under § 179.255 (below), sealing would thus be possible following dismissal. Some violent and dangerous offenses are not acceptable. A 2019 amendment removed the prosecutor’s approval requirement for enrollment in these programs, which was deemed unlawful in State v. Hearn, 134 Nev. Adv. Op. 96 (2018), for violating the separation of powers. A two-track system was also established by the 2019 amendments for eligible crimes and gross misdemeanors, as well as for all other misdemeanors. For less serious offenses, discharge is required upon the fulfillment of probation and judgment is deferred. When a conviction is obtained for a more serious offense, the court has the authority to set it aside when it is successfully completed.
Diversion from prosecution for misdemeanors
Before taking a guilty plea, the court may assign someone accused of non-violent offences who has never been in trouble before (apart from small traffic infractions) to a “preprosecution program.” Legal Code of Nevada: Section 174.031. There is “no right for a defendant to finish a preprosecution diversion program or to appeal the justice court’s or municipal court’s decision regarding the defendant’s participation in such a program.” § 174.031(4). In the event that the charges are dropped, the district attorney must petition the court for good reason to have the records kept open and to request a hearing on the matter before the court can order the sealed documents. § 174.034 First. “The defendant is required to send a copy of the order for each officer or agency named in the order if the municipal court or justice court orders the defendant’s record sealed.”§ 174.034 First.
In 2021, preprosecution diversion became explicitly available to anyone who had been cited or arrested for prostitution and enticing of prostitution. Review SB164.
Sealing decriminalized charges and also some alcohol and marijuana offenses
Governor Sisolak signed AB 192, also known as the Nevada Second Chance Act, into law on May 29, 2019. NRS 179.271. It goes into effect on July 1, 2019. The statute specifies how conviction records for crimes which the Nevada legislature later decided to decriminalize can be sealed. One’s civil rights shall be promptly restored in the event that a court grants the record sealing in accordance with this section. See § 179.275.
A person convicted of a crime that was later declared non-criminal may request that “any record with criminal history related to their conviction be sealed,” according to Section 1. When it comes to offenses that were decriminalized “before, on and after July 1, 2019,” AB 192 is retroactive. (The criminal code of Nevada applies to all offenses that are “not anymore punishable as a crime.” Offenses related to driving are exempt from the statute.) A person must “submit a written request” to the court where they were found guilty in order to have their record sealed. The prosecutor who secured the conviction will be notified by the court. The prosecutor has ten days to object after being notified, at which point “the court will grant the request.” The court will convene a hearing if the prosecution files an objection, and unless the prosecutor “establishes, by strong and convincing proof, that there has reasonable cause not to grant the request,” the court “shall” grant the motion. Under this clause, requests for sealed records cannot be subject to costs from courts or associated authorities.
Each and every decriminalized act is subject to AB 192. It will, however, primarily impact those who have prior marijuana possession convictions. Nevadans continue to suffer from the stigma associated with marijuana-related charges even after the state legalized one ounce of marijuana for recreational use in 2016. Governor Sisolak stated that AB 192 would eliminate “barriers that numerous Nevadans having a past marijuana conviction encounter in obtaining credit, obtaining housing, or securing stable employment” when he announced he would be signing the bill.
The following offenses are covered by AB 158, which was passed into law in 2021. If the offender complies with the terms and conditions set forth by the court, the records of these offenses must be sealed: buying, consuming, or possessing alcohol from someone under the age of 21, or obtaining alcohol or cannabis by pretending to be 21. Possession of a single ounce or less of marijuana without a permit. NRS 453.336.
Records pertaining to non-convictions that are related to a dismissal, declination, or acquittal are necessary if an individual is found not guilty, and they are presumed to be eligible for sealing following the dismissal of charges, decline for prosecution (following the statute of limitations, eight years, or the parties’ agreement). NRS 179.255. Furthermore, in the event that a prosecutor, law enforcement agency, or court finds that an individual was unlawfully detained, the detained party has the option to file a one-page application with the court to have all records of the arrest—including, but not limited to, any photos, fingerprints, or biological evidence—erased using a template that the court has supplied. Refer to AB 315 (which adds a new provision to NRS Chapter 179).
For the majority of juvenile offenses, records are automatically sealed 60 days after the offender reaches age 18, with a 2021 law reducing the threshold from 21. This pertains to the President’s arrest, among others. Additionally, upon request, records related to specific sexual and violent offenses can be sealed once an individual reaches the age of thirty. If a person under 21 hasn’t been adjudicated or sent to juvenile court in the past three years, they can petition for sealing. The court conducts a hearing to determine the applicant’s rehabilitation and any guilt related to misdemeanors or felonies involving moral turpitude before sealing. After sealing, it’s possible for a person to contest the records’ existence. These changes in the procedures for sealing juvenile records in 2021 have further limited their publication. You can find more details in AB 251.
The law passed in July 2017 eased the application procedure by removing the need for applications to be supported by copious amounts of documentation. The prosecutor must be notified by the court upon receipt of an application to seal a record. The June 2017 legislation allows the court to seal the record instead of holding a hearing if the prosecutor requests it. An applicant may submit a single petition to the district court asking with regard to sealing of all records if they wish to have multiple records sealed. The new law also gives the district court the authority to, under certain conditions, order the sealing of any records through the municipal or justice courts. A rebutable presumption exists that records that qualify for sealing shall be sealed, as mentioned. A law passed in 2021 allowed appeals of sealing denials.
Effect of sealing
In response to any inquiry related to property, types of consultation, content resources, steps, compensation, an example, the name of a YouTube channel, an area of experience, issues, on-site findings, discretion, fines, supervision, language, California citizenship, care in case of an accident, trial proceedings, results, injuries, death, business details, or team resources, a person may provide a proper response. This includes queries on seizures, charges, dismissals, or acquittals, as well as all related events and proceedings. When court records are sealed, it means that all the proceedings mentioned in those records are considered not to have occurred, as per NRS 179.285.
Even if a person’s records are sealed, they retain eligibility for voting, running for office, and participating in a jury court, as per § 179.285(b) and other relevant statutes. It’s important to note that a sealed conviction cannot be used as a basis for supporting a new conviction or as evidence in a new criminal case. Furthermore, a sealed conviction cannot be used as a justification for denying or revoking a professional license, except in the cases of gambling and insurance licenses, as specified below.
For more information, you can refer to the following references: Baliotis v. Clark County, 729 P.2d 1338, 1339-40 (Nev. 1986), which states that licensing authorities may rely on independent knowledge of criminal behavior when making decisions, but sealed convictions cannot be used as a basis for license denial, and Nev. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 83-13 (1983), accessible online.
However, according to state law, sealing does not reinstate the right to own firearms; a pardon is required. Regarding § 179.285(2)(b).
Prosecutors, agencies modified with gaming and insurance licenses, police enforcement, the Central Repository for Nevada documents of Criminal History, and the State Board of Pardons Commissioners may examine sealed records under specific conditions (§ 179.295). Sec. 179.301. If the offense “relates to the applicant’s eligibility or qualifications to receive the work permit,” as stated in § 179.301(1), sealed conviction records can be used to refuse employment in the gaming industry. However, there is no comparable limiting restriction in the case of insurance licensing. (2) § 179.301. Furthermore, professional licensing bodies have the authority to inspect sealed drug possession conviction records “for the purposes of assessing the suitability of licensing or liability to discipline.” See Yllas v. State, 920 P.2d 1003, 1005 n.3 (Nev. 1996); Nev. Rev. Stat. § 453.3365(4).
Criminal record for employment and licensing
Ban-the-Box and criteria for taking a conviction record into account:
The Nevada legislature passed a nondiscrimination bill in June 2017 that governs the evaluation of convictions regarding public employment. Refer to NRS 245.046, 268.402.12 This clause prohibits employers from taking into consideration a candidate’s criminal history when considering them for a position in the state’s classified or unclassified service until the earliest of the following has occurred: (1) the final interview; (2) an agreement with conditions of employment; or (3) if the applicant has received certification from the Administrator. The law doesn’t apply to certain jobs (firefighter or peace officer, as well as “any position that involves physical access to any computer or any other equipment utilized for access to either the National Crime Information Center or the Nevada Criminal Justice Information System“) or to people who would be prohibited by state or federal law from applying for employment in a particular position due to their specific criminal history.
A public employer may not, under the new law, revoke a conditional offer for employment or refuse to certify a candidate based on a past conviction or charges that are pending or were filed in the last six months unless they have taken into account the following factors:
- Whether the criminal act that the person is accused of committing or has committed is directly related to the duties of the job for which the individual has applied or was being evaluated;
- the nature and degree of each crime that has been brought against or committed by the individual;
- the individual’s age at the time associated with each criminal offense;
- The time interval between the date of each criminal conviction and the application date for a position in a unclassified or classified service; and
- Any documentation or information demonstrating a person’s rehabilitation.
Sec. 245.046 (3). Applications for employment have to state that the employer will take into account the previously mentioned reasons and that a criminal record will not automatically exclude the applicant from employment.
In the event that a candidate’s criminal history is a factor in their rejection, non-certification, or revocation of a conditional offer, the applicant must get written notice from the government “specifically stat[ing] the evidence provided and the reason behind the rejection of the applicant.” An opportunity to address the reasons for the conditional offer’s rejection or revocation must be provided to the applicant.
- Non-conviction records: Employers are not allowed to take into account at any point: (a) arrests that didn’t end in a conviction (unless charges remain pending or were filed within the past six months); (b) a conviction record that was dismissed, expunged, or sealed; or (c) a misdemeanor or infraction for which there was no jail sentence. Sec. 245.046 (4).
- Enforcement: Along with creating an enforcement mechanism, the new law also permits complaints to be filed through the Nevada Equal Rights Commission and declares that noncompliance with its procedures acts as an unlawful employment practice. Refer to AB 384’s Sections 6.5 and 6.7, which change to NRS 613.330(8) and 613.405(2).
Similar provisions pertaining to public employment within cities, counties, and towns are included in AB 384 Sections 5, 6, and 6.3.
Professional and occupational licensing
Until 2019, Nevada lacked a generally applicable statute governing the assessment of a conviction when applying for a job. With the passage of HB 319 into law on June 7, 2019, Chapter 622 from the Nevada Revised Statutes now has additional sections that impose somewhat lax and debatably inadequate guidelines on licensing agency decisions. According to the law, licensing authorities must create and put into place a procedure that allows someone with a criminal record to request an early assessment of whether or not their record will prevent them from receiving a license through the regulatory body. The agency may charge no more than $50 and must reply within 90 days. The statute, however, makes it clear that licensing authorities are “not bound” by those decisions and are free to revoke them “at any time,” which tends to defeat the intent behind the petition procedure. The agency “may” counsel the individual on how to qualify if it suggests disqualification. Additionally, the organization “may” publish a list of offenses that could end in a disqualification decision on its website.
However, the law has a provision for legislative monitoring that indicates a stronger effort will be made in the future: NRS § 622.001 was revised to mandate that licensing agencies disclose to the legislature on a quarterly basis the number of petitions they receive, the number of disqualifications they determine, and the rationale behind each. The “Sunset Subcommittee” of the Legislative Commission is tasked with examining each agency’s report “to determine if the restrictions regarding the criminal history of an applicant seeking a professional license or job are appropriate,” as per a new part of Chapter 232B. Through additions to a variety of chapters of the Nevada statutes, similar requirements have been put on the various state government and court certifying entities. These certifications include those for court interpreters, firefighters, boiler inspectors, drillers, milk testers, and medical marijuana providers.
Juvenile adjudications “must not be utilized to disqualify a child from any future civil service application or appointment.” NRS § 62E.010.
What are the benefits of restoring my rights in Nevada?
Restoring your rights in Nevada can offer several significant benefits, especially if you have had your rights restricted due to a criminal conviction or another legal matter. The process of rights restoration typically involves regaining certain civil rights and privileges that may have been impacted by your past actions.
While the specifics can vary depending on your situation, here are some potential benefits of restoring your rights in Nevada:
- Voting Rights: One of the most crucial benefits of rights restoration is the ability to regain your right to vote. Having a voice in the democratic process allows you to participate in choosing your representatives and influencing important decisions that affect your community and the nation as a whole.
- Jury Service: With rights restoration, you can regain eligibility to serve on juries. Participating in jury duty is a civic duty and an essential component of the justice system, allowing individuals to contribute to fair trials and legal proceedings.
- Firearms Rights: If your firearm rights were restricted due to a past conviction, restoring your rights may allow you to legally possess and own firearms once again. However, it’s important to note that the process and eligibility criteria for firearm rights restoration can be complex and may require meeting certain conditions.
- Employment Opportunities: Many employers conduct background checks as part of their hiring process. Having your rights restored can enhance your employment prospects by removing certain legal barriers that might have otherwise hindered your ability to secure certain jobs.
- Professional Licensing: Certain professions require licenses or certifications that can be impacted by criminal convictions. Restoring your rights might improve your chances of obtaining or maintaining professional licenses, enabling you to pursue your desired career path.
- Housing and Rental Opportunities: Some landlords and housing agencies may consider criminal history when renting properties. Restoring your rights can potentially make it easier to secure housing by eliminating barriers that arise from past convictions.
It’s important to note that the process and eligibility criteria for rights restoration can vary based on factors such as the nature of your conviction and the specific rights you seek to restore. If you’re considering restoring your rights in Nevada, it’s advisable to consult our law firm. Our Las Vegas attorneys can guide you through the process and provide personalized advice based on your situation.
How to get your firearm rights back in Nevada after a conviction
Possession of a firearm in Nevada is prohibited following a conviction for either felony convictions or misdemeanor involving domestic violence. A category B felony in Nevada, illegal firearm possession carries a maximum sentence of six years in prison.
Unfortunately, obtaining a pardon issued by the Nevada Board of Pardons Commissioners is the only method to regain your gun rights in Nevada. The Nevada Attorney General, the justices from the Nevada Supreme Court, and the governor of Nevada make up the Board.
It’s hard to get a pardon in Nevada. The Board of Commissioners receives about a thousand pardon petitions annually; only about 2 percent of these are granted a hearing. However, around half of those who get a hearing end up with pardons.
Because of this, obtaining a pardon is the single most important step towards getting your gun rights back in Nevada. Our compassionate criminal defense lawyers in Las Vegas, Nevada can assist you in creating a strong pardon petition that will give you the best opportunity of being granted one by the Nevada Pardons Board.
How soon could I apply to have my Nevada gun rights restored?
There are certain exceptions, but generally speaking, you won’t be able to get your gun rights back until after you’ve been completely released from the justice system. These are really the minimal times. Applications for pardons are normally denied by the Nevada Board of Pardons Commissioners unless a “significant period of time has passed.”
The type of your conviction determines when you can typically seek a pardon in Nevada, which is as follows:
Misdemeanor domestic violence
- Five Years After the Later of
- Your actual release from custody, or
- The date you are no longer subject to a suspended sentence.
Category E felony
- six years following your release from prison, parole, or probation.
Category D or C felony
- Eight years following your release from probation
- nine years after being released from prison or parole
Category B felony
- Eight years following your release from probation
- Ten years after being released from prison or parole
Category A felony
- Twelve years following your release from prison, parole, or probation
Nevada pardon applications demand plenty of extra conditions. For clients that need the services of an attorney, the staff at our law firm at Hinds Injury Law Las Vegas will guide you with these requirements.
Here are some frequently asked questions.
Q: What is Nevada Restoration of Rights & Record Relief?
Nevada Restoration of Rights & Record Relief is a legal process that allows individuals with certain criminal records to regain their civil rights, such as the right to vote, and clear or seal their criminal records.
Q: How can I apply for record relief in Nevada?
To apply for record relief in Nevada, you typically need to file a petition with the court in the county where the conviction occurred. This process often requires specific legal documents and may involve notary services for verification.
Q: Can I restore my right to vote in Nevada after a felony conviction?
Yes, in most cases, you can have your voting rights restored in Nevada after completing your sentence. It’s essential to follow the legal process, which may include notarizing documents.
Q: Can I enter into contracts if I have a criminal record in Nevada?
Having a criminal record in Nevada doesn’t automatically prohibit you from entering into contracts. However, some contracts, especially those related to certain professions or licenses, may have specific eligibility requirements.
Q: Do I need an attorney to help with the record relief process in Nevada?
While you can attempt the process on your own, it’s highly recommended to consult with an attorney experienced in Nevada record relief and contracts to ensure all legal requirements are met.
Q: Can out-of-state convictions be expunged in Nevada?
Nevada generally only expunges or seals convictions that occur within the state. If you have convictions from other states, you would need to follow the record relief process specific to those states.
Q: Can I regain firearm rights through the record relief process in Nevada?
In some cases, individuals may be able to regain firearm rights through the record relief process, but this can be a complex matter and typically requires legal assistance.
Find Legal Help With Hinds Injury Law Las Vegas
Are you seeking expert guidance for Nevada Restoration of Rights & Record Relief? Look no further. Hinds Injury Law Las Vegas is here to support you through every step of the process. Our experienced staff is well-versed in Nevada’s laws regarding rights restoration and record relief. We understand the complexities of the system and can provide you with personalized assistance tailored to your unique situation.
If you have any questions or want to know more information, call our law firm at (702) 940-1234.