Is Your DUI Record Making Your Life Difficult?
Can you avoid the negative consequences of having a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction on your record? In some cases, the answer is yes, but in order to have your DUI record sealed in this state, you’ll need to be advised and guided by a Las Vegas DUI attorney.
The effects of a DUI conviction record may be arbitrary, unreasonable, and entirely unrelated to driving under the influence. Even a conviction for a first offense, misdemeanor driving under the influence charge could remain on your background checks for the rest of your life.
The internet lets anyone run a background check. If you have been turned down by employers, or if you’ve been unable to secure housing, your driving under the influence record may be the reason. If you are eligible to have your DUI record sealed, a Las Vegas DUI lawyer can help.
Which DUI Convictions May Be Sealed?
Records of criminal convictions, including DUI convictions, may be seen by the general public in this state, but when a Nevada court seals a DUI conviction, the record of that conviction is hidden from government databases, so the record is no longer available to the general public.
When potential employers and landlords can see your conviction for driving under the influence, it may be difficult for you to find employment or housing. You may be unable to obtain a loan. Which convictions for DUI may be sealed in Nevada, and what steps will you need to take?
Nevada allows DUI convictions to be sealed seven years after a first or second misdemeanor DUI conviction. A felony DUI conviction can never be sealed. Felony DUI convictions include third and subsequent offenses and any DUI case where the driver caused an injury or a fatality.
How Long Does It Take to Seal a DUI Record?
If your Nevada driving under the influence record is sealed, you may legally tell employers that you have never been convicted of driving under the influence. The only parties who can see your sealed DUI record are certain state agencies, and in some circumstances, prosecuting attorneys.
If you have been convicted of misdemeanor DUI in Nevada, you must wait seven years (after your case is closed) before you may petition a Nevada court to seal the record. If you are offered and you accept a plea deal and a conviction for reckless driving, the waiting period is one year.
If the DUI charge is dismissed, and you are not convicted, you are allowed to have the arrest record sealed immediately. The record of a DUI arrest or conviction is not automatically sealed. You have to be proactive, and you will need the advice and services of a Las Vegas DUI attorney.
How is a DUI Record Sealed?
The process of sealing a driving under the influence record may take as long as several months. These steps are involved:
- You and your Las Vegas DUI lawyer must obtain a current copy of your police record, complete a petition to have the DUI record sealed, and submit that petition to the office of the prosecutor who handled your case.
- If the prosecutor’s office approves the petition, it is submitted to the court. If the court approves the petition, an “order to seal” is sent to all Nevada government agencies that have a copy of the record.
While most misdemeanor conviction records in this state may be sealed after one or two years, Nevada imposes a lengthier waiting period on DUI convictions as a deterrent to driving under the influence.
How Does Sealing Differ From Expungement?
In some states, expungement makes a criminal record disappear completely, but expungement is not available in Nevada. However, sealing a driving under the influence record considerably restricts the public’s access to the record so that it no longer appears on most background checks.
Sealing a criminal record in this state involves a great deal of tedious and time-consuming legal paperwork, but when that paperwork is completed fully and accurately by a DUI attorney, in most cases, a petition to seal a driving under the influence record will be approved by the court.
If your petition to seal your DUI record is blocked by the prosecutor or denied by the judge, your attorney will recommend the best way to proceed. After you wait another two years, you will have a second and final opportunity to submit your petition and have your DUI record sealed.
What Else Should Nevada Drivers Know?
In 2022, over a hundred alcohol-related traffic fatalities happened in this state. Just in Las Vegas, over two thousand DUI charges were filed. It is not easy to have a DUI conviction sealed, and it takes more than seven years. It’s better if you can entirely avoid DUI charges and convictions.
If you plan to drink away from home, use Uber or Lyft, hire a taxi, or designate a driver. If you do not drink and drive, you cannot be charged with driving under the influence. If you are charged with DUI, let a Las Vegas DUI defense lawyer handle your case from the beginning.
If it’s your first DUI offense, and if no one was injured and no property was damaged, it is sometimes possible for a DUI lawyer to have the charge reduced, dropped, or dismissed. But with so many DUI attorneys in the Las Vegas area, how can you know which attorney to choose?
Goodwin Law Group Will Work for You
If you are charged with DUI in or near the Las Vegas area, or if you need to have a driving under the influence arrest or conviction record expunged, you can count on Las Vegas attorney Charles Goodwin and the team at Goodwin Law Group to bring the matter to its best possible resolution.
Attorney Charles Goodwin is a member of the National College for DUI Defense. His practice focuses on defending those who are charged with DUI. Whether you’re fighting a DUI charge or having a DUI record sealed, attorney Charles Goodwin knows how to win the justice you need.
When you call Goodwin Law Group – at 702-819-8242 – you’ll be provided with a no-cost, no-obligation case evaluation. You’ll receive personalized advice and learn how the law applies to your own case. Goodwin Law Group will defend and represent you aggressively and effectively.