Nevada Chapter

Collateral Consequences in the State of Nevada

Treatment of Juvenile Records

What records are kept on juvenile offenders?

            In Nevada, juvenile records are defined to include both court and arrest records.[1]  A juvenile’s record begins upon arrest and develops as the case progresses through the court system.  Additional court records reflect relevant dates, facts and dispositions.  Other record keeping requirements attach if the juvenile’s case involves statutorily defined factors, such as sexual, violent, or repeat offenses.  State agencies are tasked with compiling and analyzing juvenile records and related data for statistical and policy-making purposes.  This chapter will discuss how the rules governing these records operate.

Who qualifies as a juvenile?

            In Nevada, a “child” is defined as a person under eighteen, or, a person under twenty-one who is under the juvenile court’s jurisdiction for an unlawful act occurring before that person reached the age of eighteen.[2]  A person under the juvenile court’s jurisdiction as a sex offender may also qualify as a child.[3]  Although Nevada carries no minimum age for delinquency findings, a child less than twelve years old is ineligible for commitment to a state children’s detention facility.[4]  

Where are juvenile records maintained?

            Three state agencies maintain juvenile records in Nevada.  The juvenile courts, organized by county, the Central Repository of the Department for Public Safety, and the Department of Child and Family Services (“DFCS”).  The juvenile courts make and maintain juvenile case files and restrict access to them.[5]  Juveniles transferred to adult court, or adjudicated to have committed a sex offense subject to registration and community notification, may have records included in the Central Repository.  This is a separate database for adult criminal records maintained by the Records and Technology Division of the Department of Public Safety.[6]  Criminal justice agencies and members of the public have more access to records in the Central Repository than to records kept by the juvenile courts.[7]  DFCS collects juvenile crime data quarterly from the juvenile courts.[8]  This data includes basic demographic information, charges, dates of detention, and the nature of dispositions.[9]  Local juvenile probation departments use this information to determine if racial or ethnic minorities or the economically disadvantaged are receiving disparate treatment.[10]  These departments develop recommendations for addressing disparate treatment, and submit them in an annual report to DFCS with the results of their analysis.[11]  DFCS compiles and publishes these reports annually.[12] 

Arrest and Court Records

What information is collected at arrest?

            Police will photograph and may fingerprint an arrested juvenile if police took the child into custody for a felony offense, for certain serious misdemeanors, or if police are using latent fingerprints in their criminal investigation.[13]  If the juvenile’s fingerprints do not match the latent fingerprints, the police must destroy the juvenile’s fingerprint records immediately.[14]  If the juvenile was not adjudicated delinquent, he or she may petition the court for the destruction of fingerprint records when he or she turns eighteen.[15]  If the court finds the juvenile not delinquent, it will order the photographs destroyed.[16]  Police do not collect DNA from juveniles unless they are convicted for a crime.[17]

Are juvenile records made available to the public?

            Juvenile court personnel and officers are generally forbidden from releasing the name or race of a child found to be delinquent or in need of supervision unless the proceeding has been opened to the public.[18]  However, the court may authorize the release and broadcast of the child’s name and charges if the child is charged with a felony offense and: a) has previously been adjudicated for a felony offense resulting in death or serious bodily injury; or b) has two prior felony adjudications.[19]  This information may also be shared directly with third parties, such as an employer, spouse, or potential victim under these circumstances if it relates to a violent or sexual offense.[20]  Further, a juvenile who is at least fourteen years old and found to have committed a sexual offense will automatically be subject to Nevada’s registration and community notification requirements.[21]  If the child is before the juvenile court because of an act giving rise to a civil cause of action against the child, the juvenile court may release the child’s name to a petitioner showing a good faith intent to bring such an action.[22]

What data may be distributed?

            Only officers conducting criminal investigations are allowed to inspect fingerprint records held by law enforcement.[23]  Police may submit fingerprint records to the Central Repository if the child is found delinquent and are required to if the child was found delinquent for a felony or sexual offense.[24]  Statute prohibits law enforcement from sending fingerprint information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation unless the child is adjudicated delinquent for a felony or sexual offense.[25]  Inspection of juvenile court records requires a court order, with the following exceptions:  a) traffic records are forwarded to the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”); b) unsealed records are available to the Division of Parole and Probation for investigation purposes; c) unsealed records of sex offenders are made available to the Central Repository, Parole and Probation, and for use in recidivism risk assessments; and d) data made available to DFCS for statistical research.[26]

            The Central Repository limits inspection of juvenile fingerprint records to law enforcement and research purposes.[27]  Both the Central Repository and the DFCS have the authority to collect and publish statistical data.  The Central Repository may distribute compilations of statistical data and publish reports relating to crime or the delinquency of children.[28]  The Central Repository may charge a fee for this research to persons other than law enforcement.[29] 

Jurisdiction of the Juvenile Court

How are criminal offenses committed by juveniles adjudicated?

Nevada uses the term “adjudication” to refer to dispositions involving juvenile offenders.  Juveniles may be adjudicated as a “child in need of supervision” or as a “delinquent.”[30]  A “child in need of supervision” is: a) habitually truant from school; b) habitually disobeys reasonable and lawful demands of a parent or guardian and is unmanageable; or c) runs away from home and is need of care or rehabilitation.[31]  A juvenile is delinquent if found responsible for a “violation of a county or municipal ordinance or any rule or regulation having the force of law or an act designated as a criminal offence, with certain exceptions.”[32]

How are cases transferred between adult and juvenile court?

            If a child under the age of eighteen is charged with committing an unlawful act, the juvenile court has jurisdiction unless the act is excluded under Nev. Rev. Stat. § 62B.330 or the juvenile court relinquishes jurisdiction under Nev. Rev. Stat. § 62B.390 or § 62B.400.[33]  Where a case begins in juvenile court and moves to adult court for criminal prosecution, the procedure is called “certification.”[34]  Where cases begin in adult court and move to juvenile court, or begin in juvenile court and move to another court for a reason other than criminal prosecution, the procedure is called “transfer.”[35]

            The juvenile court has no jurisdiction over crimes listed in Nev. Rev. Stat. § 62B.330.  These offenses include murder, specified violent offenses committed by a child at least sixteen years of age with a previous delinquency adjudication, and felonies resulting in death or serious bodily harm occurring at a school.[36]  After conviction in adult court, a child may not return to juvenile court for subsequent offenses.[37] 

Nev. Rev. Stat. § 62B.390 governs certification to adult court.  The statute allows for “presumptive certification” and “discretionary certification.”  The juvenile court has less latitude in deciding whether to retain jurisdiction where the state establishes the elements of a presumptive certification as specified in Nev. Rev. Stat. § 62B.390(2).  Both types of certification require the district attorney to file a motion and the court to conduct a full investigation of the matter.  The child is entitled to a hearing, counsel, access to relevant court studies and reports, and a statement of reasons if the court grants the motion.[38]  At the hearing, the district attorney must establish “prosecutive merit” by showing probable cause to believe that the child committed the offense.[39]

            Presumptive certification to adult court applies when a juvenile is at least sixteen years old and charged with either “sexual assault involving the use or threatened use of force or violence, or an offense involving the use or threatened use of a firearm.”[40]  The child may rebut the presumption by showing with clear and convincing evidence that:  a) the child is developmentally or mentally incompetent to understand the situation and proceedings or to aid his or her attorney in the proceedings; or b) the child has substance abuse, emotional, or behavioral problems that may be appropriately treated through the jurisdiction of the court.[41]  Although a juvenile may avoid presumptive certification by showing amenability to treatment, this factor alone is not sufficient to avoid discretionary certification under Nev. Rev. Stat. § 62B.390(1).[42]

            Discretionary certification may occur when a juvenile is charged with a felony offense, the juvenile was fourteen or older at the time of the offense, and the juvenile court determines that the public safety and interest would be better served by certification to adult criminal court.[43]  The court makes this determination by applying a three factor “decisional matrix” considering: “1) the nature and seriousness of the offense; 2) the seriousness and persistency of past admitted or adjudicated criminal offenses; and 3) personal considerations such as age, maturity, character, personality, and family relationships.”[44]  If the court certifies a case to adult court, the adult court receives original jurisdiction over the matter.[45]  The child may then petition for a transfer back to juvenile court by showing exceptional circumstances warranting transfer.[46] 

Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Records

Are primary and secondary schools notified of juvenile adjudications?

            Violent and sexual offenses will trigger notification requirements to primary and secondary schools.  If a juvenile is adjudicated delinquent for a sexual offense, the probation or parole officer assigned to the child is required to notify school officials where the student resides or the head executive of a private school where the child attends.[47]  If the child moves or changes schools, the officer is also required to notify school officials at the new school.[48]  If a court determines that a child enrolled in school unlawfully attempted or caused serious bodily injury, it must notify the child’s school district.[49]  School district officials are required to inform school employees if a child has unlawfully attempted or caused serious bodily injury within the previous three-year period.[50]

Can a juvenile record have an effect on getting or keeping a job?

A juvenile adjudication of delinquency is not a conviction and the employment disqualifications normally attaching to criminal convictions do not apply to juveniles.[51]  State agencies perform background checks utilizing the criminal history databases kept by the Central Repository and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  Criminal history records kept by the Central Repository do not contain information concerning juveniles unless they are subject to sex offender registration and community notification.[52]  Juvenile fingerprint records kept by the Central Repository following adjudication are not available for criminal history screenings.[53]  Law enforcement is also prohibited from sending juvenile fingerprint records to the FBI unless the child was adjudicated delinquent for a felony or sexual offense.[54]

Can a juvenile record cause eviction from public housing?

            Although juvenile adjudications do not typically result in the civil disqualifications attaching to criminal convictions, they may result in eviction from public housing.  The public housing authority is required to evict the household members of persons convicted of violating state or federal law regulating the possession, distribution, or use of a controlled substance.[55]  A juvenile adjudication for violating of one of these laws will result in eviction if the juvenile does not immediately enroll in or complete a program of rehabilitation.[56]  A second such violation will automatically trigger eviction.[57]

What effect does a juvenile adjudication have on driving privileges?

            The juvenile court has the power to suspend a driver’s license or delay a child from obtaining one, even where the action before the court did not arise from a traffic violation.[58]  Generally, these suspensions or delays last from ninety days to two years.[59]  If a child is found delinquent for driving under the influence, or of possessing, using, or distributing a controlled substance or alcoholic beverage, license suspension or delay becomes mandatory.[60]  Mandatory suspensions or delays also apply to unlawful possession or use of a firearm and to certain vandalism offenses.[61]  A child, who is at least fourteen years old and found by the juvenile court to be in need of supervision as a habitual truant is also subject to mandatory suspension or delay.[62]  The juvenile court is required to forward to the DMV any finding that a child has violated a traffic law or ordinance other than those governing standing or parking and may recommend suspension for minor traffic offenses.[63]

Can juvenile records be challenged or sealed?

            Although juvenile records are generally protected in Nevada, procedures exist to seal these records.  An order sealing a juvenile record deems all proceedings in the record never to have occurred and allows the juvenile to reply accordingly to any inquiry concerning the proceedings or the underlying acts involved.[64]  After the records are sealed, the court may only allow inspection by the subject of the records, medical or psychiatric personnel, a district attorney or defense attorney seeking to obtain information relating to persons involved in the underlying acts, or a sentencing court if the subject is less than twenty-one years old.[65]

            For most juvenile offenses, records are automatically sealed when the juvenile reaches the age of twenty-one.[66]  If a child under twenty-one and has not been referred to or adjudicated in the juvenile court for a three year period, he or she may petition the court for a record sealing order.[67]  Before ordering the record sealed, the juvenile court will hold a hearing to determine whether the child has been convicted of a felony or any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and whether the child has been rehabilitated to the satisfaction of the court.[68] 

            If a juvenile fails to petition and win an order sealing his or her records under Nev. Rev. Stat. § 62H.130 before turning twenty-one, and committed a crime specified in Nev. Rev. Stat. § 62H.150(6), he or she will be ineligible for automatic sealing pursuant to Nev. Rev. Stat. § 62H.140.[69]  When the juvenile is thirty years old, he or she may petition the court for an order sealing these records.[70]  The court will hold a hearing and grant the order if the petitioner has not been convicted of any offense, other than minor moving or standing traffic offenses, since reaching the age of twenty-one.[71]

            The subject of any criminal history information held by the Central Repository or state, municipal, county or metropolitan police agency may inspect his or her criminal history record and challenge its accuracy.[72]  If the director of the department finds the information to be inaccurate, insufficient, or incomplete in any material respect, the department must correct and disseminate the information within ninety days.[73]  The Central Repository must also remove criminal history records upon request of a subject of any criminal history information relating to an arrest, citation, or warrant for alleged criminal conduct who received a favorable disposition, such as a dismissal or acquittal.[74]

Sex Offender Registration

Are juveniles subject to sexual offender registration?

If a child fourteen years or older is adjudicated for an act that would have been a sexual offense if committed by an adult, the child becomes subject to registration and community notification as a juvenile sex offender.[75]  The juvenile court retains jurisdiction over the child until he or she is no longer subject to registration and community notification as a juvenile sex offender.[76]  Upon adjudication of a child for a sexual offense, the court is required to notify the Central Repository and inform the child and his or her parent or guardian that the child is subject to sex offender registration.[77]  The child must also submit a biological specimen to law enforcement.[78]

            As a sex offender, juveniles are required to register their name, social security number, home address, name and address of employer, license plate number of all vehicles registered or frequently driven, and “any other information required by federal law.”[79]  A sex offender’s record includes:  a physical description of the offender; photograph; fingerprints; text of the offense or offenses requiring registration; criminal history; genetic marker report; identification number from driver’s license or other identification card; and “other information required by federal law.”[80]  If an offender changes residency or primary address of employment or school, he or she must provide the new address to local law enforcement.[81] 

How is juvenile sexual offender information distributed?

            The Central Repository distributes sex offender information to the U.S. Attorney General; local law enforcement agencies in jurisdictions where the offender works, resides, attends school, or volunteers; agencies responsible for conducting employment related background checks; and anyone else requesting notification.[82]  Local law enforcement agencies distribute the information within their communities as provided in Nev. Rev. Stat. § 179D.475(2).

[1] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.100 (2009). 
[2] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62A.030 (2009). 
[3] Id.
[4] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.510 (2009).   
[5] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.030 (2009).
[6]  Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62F.220 (2009); Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 179A.075 (2009).
[7] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 179A.100 (2009).
[8] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.200 (2009).
[9] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.210 (2009). 
[10] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.230 (2009).
[11] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.230 (2009). 
[12] Id
[13] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.010 (2009).
[14] Id
[15] Id
[16] Id
[17] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 176.0913 (2009).
[18] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.020(1) (2009).
[19] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.020 (2009).
[20] Juvenile Sex Offenders:  Parole and Probation, Op. Nev. Att’y Gen. No. 2002-47 (2002).
[21] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. 62F.220 (2009). 
[22] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.040 (2009).
[23] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.010 (2009).
[24] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.010 (2009).
[25] Id.
[26] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.030 (2009).
[27] Id.
[28] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 179A.075(7) (2009). 
[29] Id.
[30] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann.  § 62A.040 (2009); Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62A.070 (2009).
[31] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62B.320 (2009).
[32] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62B.330 (2009).
[33] In re William M., 196 P.3d 456, 457 (Nev. 2008).
[34] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62B.310 (2009).
[35] Id.
[36] Id
[37] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62B.330 (2009).
[38] In re Matter of Three Minors, 684 P.2d 1121, 1123 (Nev. 1984) disapproved of by In re William S., 132 P.3d 1015 (Nev. 2006). 
[39] In re William M., 196 P.3d 456, 458; Anthony Lee R. v. State, 952 P.2d 1, 4 (Nev. 1997). 
[40] In re William M., 196 P.3d 456, 458..
[41] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62B.390 (2009) (amended in 2009 after the presumptive certification sections were held unconstitutional in In re William M., 196 P.3d 456).
[42] In re William S., 132 P.3d 1015, 1020..
[43] In re William M., 196 P.3d 456, 457-458; Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62B.390(1) (2009).
[44] In re William S., 132 P.3d 1015, 1017 (citing In re Seven Minors, 664 P.2d 947, 952 (Nev. 1983)).
[45] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62B.390(5)(a) (2009). 
[46] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62B.390(5)(b) (2009). 
[47] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62F.120 (2009). 
[48] Id.
[49] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.030 (2009).
[50] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 392.850 (2009).
[51] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.010 (2009).
[52] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 179A.070 (2009); Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62F.220 (2009).
[53] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.010 (2009).
[54] Id.
[55] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 315.031 (2009).
[56] Id.
[57] Id.
[58] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.260 (2009) (the suspension is not treated in the manner statutory required for moving traffic violations unless the suspension resulted from the child’s poor driving).
[59] Id.
[60] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.640 (2009); Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.630 (2009).
[61] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.650 (2009); Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.690 (2009).
[62] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.430 (2009).
[63] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 483.450 (2009); Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62E.700 (2009).
[64] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.170 (2009).
[65] Id.
[66] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.140 (2009).
[67] Id.
[68] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.130 (2009).
[69] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.150 (2009) (specified crimes include sexual assault, battery with intent to commit sexual assault, lewdness with a child, or a felony involving the use or threatened use of force or violence).
[70] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.150(2) (2009).
[71] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62H.150(5) (2009).
[72] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 179A.150 (2009).
[73] Id.
[74] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 179A.160 (2009) (but the Central Repository will not remove records of fugitives, those under active prosecution, those with prior convictions for a felony or gross misdemeanor, or where the case resulted in a deferred prosecution, plea bargain, or similar disposition).
[75] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 62F.220 (2009).
[76] Id
[77] Id
[78] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 179D.443 (2009).
[79] Id
[80] Id
[81] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 179D.470 (2009).
[82] Nev. Rev. Stat. ann. § 179D.475 (2009). 

Think About It - NV

A Juvenile Record Can…

PREVENT you from:

  • Getting a job
  • Getting accepted to college or graduate school
  • Joining the military
  • Becoming a U.S. citizen

In Nevada the following consequences are AUTOMATIC:

You MAY be…

  • SUSPENDED or EXPELLED from school.
  • Required to register as a sex offender.
  • EVICTED from public housing. 

Your record is NOT always private, the following may have access:

  • The general public
  • School officials
  • Potential Employers

For More Information:

Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62E.030 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62E.640 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62E.630 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62E.650 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62E.690 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62E.430 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62F.110 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62F.220 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62E.030 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 62H.020 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 315.031 (2009)
Nev. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 392.466 (2009)
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