What are Nevada Arrest Records?
Arrest records consist of documents gathered by law enforcement agencies and the courts whenever a person is arrested for a crime. Most arrest and other criminal records for offenses committed in Nevada are accessible on the Nevada Public Record Center website at http://www.publicrecordcenter.com/nevadapublicrecord.htm or on a particular county sheriff's website. There are also numerous private sites offering access to criminal records for a fee.
Nevada arrest records contain information on the subject's identity, arresting agency, criminal charges, indictments or information, dismissals, acquittals, sentences, correctional supervision and status of the offender if on parole or probation. You will not find investigative information, records of traffic offenses or violations, information regarding juveniles or records of public judicial proceedings.
If you are suspicious of a neighbor or of someone you are dating, an arrest record may offer some insight on that individual but you should check to see if there was a dismissal, acquittal or if the person had a conviction. An arrest record is not evidence of guilt and a great number of arrests do not end up with any charges filed for a variety of reasons including faulty eyewitness identification or an accuser's motive to fabricate facts.
Who May Access Nevada Arrest Records?
Any member of the public can obtain a copy of your arrest or criminal history record pursuant to NRS 179A.100.5(b). You can also receive a Notice of Absence of Criminal Record. Arrest records can be obtained by submitting the following:
- ID form DPS-006
- A rolled 10-print fingerprint card
- Money order or cashier's check for $21 to Department of Public Safety Records
- Bench Warrants
- Traffic Citation Warrants
The request is through the Department of Public Safety Records Bureau. If your request is for records before 1987, you have to make your request to the arresting agency.
You are required to undergo a criminal background check in Nevada if your job application concerns working with children, the elderly or the disabled. Your written waiver is needed to access FBI records; otherwise, only conviction records will be sent, if any.
What is an Arrest Warrant?
Arrest warrants allow police to arrest and detain the person named or clearly described in the warrant. Warrants are generally obtained by a police officer or district attorney presenting evidence before a judge, usually by affidavit from a reliable source, demonstrating probable cause or a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed and that the person named or described in the warrant committed it. The warrant must be properly signed by a judge, state the name of the county or municipality issuing it, describe the criminal offense, and command that the person named be arrested and brought before the nearest judge or magistrate.
An arrest warrant can also be issued by a grand jury following an indictment.
In Nevada, warrants issued for felonies and gross misdemeanors may be executed at any time and any place including your home, business or other public place. For misdemeanors, unless the judge indicates otherwise on the warrant, they may only be executed between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. There are exceptions if the individual is detained for some other reason such as a traffic stop and the warrant is discovered; if the person is already in custody; if the offense is for violation of a protective order or is for a domestic violence offense.
If you are arrested, you are required to be taken before a judge within 72 hours.
Bench warrants differ from arrest warrants in that they are issued by the presiding judge authorizing police or a peace officer to arrest you on sight or at your home or business or any other location for your failure to make a court appearance.
You will be arrested if you are detained for any reason for failure to pay a traffic ticket and a traffic citation warrant has been issued.
How to Find Out If You Have an Arrest Warrant
If you suspect you have an active arrest warrant for you, you can easily check by calling the courthouse where the warrant may have been issued. If your warrant may have been issued in Clark County, home of Las Vegas, simply go to http://www.clarkcountycourts.us/lvjc/warrants.html for contact numbers and information on how to resolve an active or outstanding warrant.
You can also have a criminal defense attorney find out for you. Most attorneys will not charge you for this service.
What to Do if You Have an Arrest Warrant
If you have any kind of active warrant, you can resolve it by paying the full bail amount that is on the warrant or by scheduling a court appearance. For traffic citations, go to the Justice Court Traffic Office; for criminal warrants, you can have an attorney schedule a court appearance for you.
In Las Vegas, you can schedule a court appearance on your own by completing a Motion to Place on Calendar a Proceeding to Recall or Quash the Warrant. If you are arrested, you may be released if bail is available and arrangements are made with a bondsman. In serious cases such as parole violations or violent felonies, a judge may issue a no-bail warrant.
In nonviolent or less serious cases, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the district attorney's office or the judge before whom you appear to release you without bail, to reduce the bail or to release you on your own recognizance (O.R.).
Can an Arrest Warrant Get Dismissed?
Occasionally, your attorney can get a judge to have your arrest warrant dismissed if it was procured on false information.Also, police may decide to do an illegal search of your home or office and uncover incriminating evidence. If the warrant did not authorize the search, then any such evidence may be excluded as being violative of your 4th Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures.
Further, if your arrest was illegal, then your attorney can file a writ of habeas corpus withthe court on the basis that your arrest was illegal.
How to Search for an Inmate in the Nevada Prison System
There are a number of sites available for you to search for an inmate in the Nevada correctional system. Clark County, which includes Las Vegas, has a website at http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/ where you do an online search for any inmate over the age of 18 or who is not in protective custody. Information on an inmate will not be given by email. The Nevada Department of Corrections has its own site at http://www.doc.nv.gov/ where you can also find an inmate being held in any part of the state. The site also informs you how to deposit money in an inmate's account and how to contact someone who is incarcerated and visiting information.
Expungement of Arrest Records in Nevada
Unlike most states, Nevada has no statute regarding the expungement of criminal records, including arrest records, but does allow for sealing of such records under certain circumstances. An expungement is the deleting or erasure of criminal records from public viewing. Sealing records is no different from expungement except that your sealed records are still available for access by law enforcement agencies.
You can have your arrest records sealed if you were later acquitted or had the charges dropped or dismissed. To do so, you must obtain a verified record of your arrest from the Central Repository for Nevada Records of Criminal History and from the arresting law enforcement agency. You must also list those agencies or custodians of records that you believe have possession of such records since the order to seal your records must be directed to them.
Although an arrest record does not disqualify you from enjoying basic civil rights like voting, running for public office, owning or possessing a firearm or obtaining a professional license, getting it sealed will at least not give a prospective employer or landlord an excuse not to hire you or rent you a residence. You can also truthfully state under oath that you have never been arrested.
There is no federal or state law prohibiting employers or others from using such information against you but the EEOC, or Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as the Nevada Equal Rights Commission have stated that using an arrest record to deny you employment may create an adverse impact against certain protected groups.