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Nevada Arrest Records

Arrest records are official documents or reports that law enforcement officers generate in the course of an arrest. Typically, arrest records contain information about a person’s arrest, including detailed accounts of the event, any outstanding warrants, and charges. It is important to note that arrest records are not Nevada criminal records. Whether a person gets charged to court or convicted for an offense or not, the arrest information will form part of the person’s record.

In Nevada, arrest records are public records, accessible to members of the public on request. The courts and the Department of Public Safety maintain arrest records in the state, and interested parties may obtain said records from these agencies. Nevada laws allow eligible arrest records to be sealed or removed from public access.

Nevada Arrest Statistics

The Department of Public Safety collects data from criminal justice agencies across the state to contribute to the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program. The program aims to collect and present statistical crime data to provide criminal justice administrators and practitioners with a better understanding of crime in the state. In Nevada, the UCR is within the Records Bureau of the Department of Public Safety.

In 2019, law enforcement agencies in Nevada made one arrest every three (3) minutes and 31 seconds. The total number of arrests made that year came to 149,028, out of which 11, 448 were juvenile arrests. The Crime in Nevada 2019 report groups arrest data by many factors, including age, gender, race, and ethnicity. Out of the 11 448 persons under 18 years old arrested in Nevada, 2,248 were arrested for index crimes such as murder, rape, robber, manslaughter, motor vehicle theft, larceny, burglary, arson, and aggravated assault. For drug abuse violations, there were 1,811 juveniles arrests and 4,154 arrests for miscellaneous offenses such as drunkenness, vagrancy, loitering and curfew violations, and disorderly conduct.

Adult arrestees made up a large percentage of the total number (137,580 out of 149,028). The offenses for which persons aged 18 and above were most arrested include index crimes (15,961). Others were fraud, stolen property, vandalism, forgery, weapons possession, and embezzlement (24,860). The list also includes miscellaneous offenses against the family and children, driving under the influence, liquor laws, suspicion, vagrancy, disorderly conduct, drunkenness, and all other offenses except traffic (82,339).

What is an Arrest Record in Nevada?

Nevada arrest records are reports generated by arresting officers after an arrest. Typically, arrest records contain important information about an arrest, including the alleged offense, the arrestee’s personal information, and the arresting officer’s account of events. Law enforcement officers arrest individuals on suspicion of criminal behavior or violations of the state’s criminal code.

In some cases, arrests do not result in charges or convictions. Nevertheless, arrest records form an essential part of a person’s criminal record. Arrest records are also vital parts of the criminal justice processes maintained by the courts and other criminal justice agencies such as the Department of Corrections and the Department of Public Safety.

What is Contained in an Arrest Record?

Arrest records contain information about an arrest, including such details as:

  • Physical description: the record subject’s weight, height, eye color, hair color, marks, tattoos, and other physical distinguishing features appear on arrest records
  • Personal information: the arrestee’s first and last names, phone number, residential address, social security number, and other personal information can typically be found in arrest records
  • Booking information: arrest records contain the arrestee’s fingerprints, photographs, booking number, arrest location, date and time, bail, holding facility location, court dates, warrants, and charges.
  • Arrest details: a detailed account of the arrest, including the alleged offense for which the record subject is arrested, and any witness accounts
  • The arresting officer’s name and signature
  • The issuer of the arrest warrant
  • Information about police interrogation in connection to the arrest

Are Arrest Records Public in Nevada?

Arrest records are public in Nevada, and the state’s Public Records Act provides this. The Act exists to facilitate public access to government information to ensure transparency and accountability on the government’s part. Anyone may request access to and copies of public records at any time during work hours in Nevada.

State laws mandate government agencies to respond to public records requests no later than five (5) days after the submission. If an agency does not have a requested record, the agency must notify the requesting party with a written notice. Requesting parties may appeal records request denials to the district court in the county where the record is maintained.

Who Can Access Arrest Records?

As provided by NRS 239.010, arrest records are public records; therefore, any member of the public may access them. However, it is important to note that there are several exemptions to the Nevada public record act. One of them is that exempted records are only accessible to authorized persons. Examples of exempted records are confidential records, financial records, and Commission on Judicial Discipline proceedings. Others are support orders, trade secrets, financial information, and records exempted by federal and other state statutes. Individuals may also not access records that will constitute a violation of the subject’s privacy if made public.

How Do I Lookup Someone’s Arrest Records in Nevada?

The Department of Public Safety is the repository for arrest records in Nevada, and interested parties may look up arrest records by submitting requests to the department. These requesting parties may submit records requests online through the Nevada Department of Public Safety Records Center. The center provides access to the criminal history repository and special services, documents from the Nevada Highway Patrol and the Capitol Police. To request arrest records, interested parties must first create user accounts.

Alternatively, requesting parties may complete and submit a Public Records Request form by email or fax to access arrest records. Persons interested in looking up arrest records must ensure that their requests are specific and include details such as:

  • The requesting party’s name and phone number
  • The request date
  • A detailed description of the record in question, including the subject record’s name and offender ID
  • Whether the requesting party intends to inspect the requested record or receive copies
  • The format in which the requesting party wants the record
  • The method of transmission (mail, in person, or email)

There may be fees associated with accessing arrest records through the DPS’ public records service; however, the department only charges for records requests that exceed $25 and records that require more than two (2) hours of department staff time to fulfill. The latter is known as extraordinary requests. The DPS charges $0.50 per page copied on extraordinary requests in addition to regular copying charges. Requestors also handle postage costs. Requesting parties must make payment with exact cash, money order, or check in person or by mail. Alternatively, the requestor may pay online with credit cards.

Persons interested in obtaining arrest records from the DPS in person may visit the department at the following address:

Department of Public Safety
Public Records Official
555 Wright Way
Carson City, NV 89711
Phone: (775) 684-4556

Interested parties may also lookup arrest records at criminal courts or local police departments in Nevada. Typically, these requests come at no charge. However, the department or court may charge fees to produce copies of arrest records.

Another way to look up arrest records is through a Criminal History Records Request from the DPS’ Records, Communication, and Compliance Division. However, only record subjects may perform these requests. Requesting parties may inspect criminal records or request copies of the records.

How to Subpoena Arrest Records in Nevada

A Subpoena Duces Tecum is a court order that compels the recipient to produce certain documents that are relevant to a court case. There are not many cases where the need to subpoena an arrest record may arise, and while arrest records are public records, the public’s right to access them is not absolute. Some information is confidential and thus exempt from public access. Examples of confidential information include social security numbers, financial information, trade secrets, and information for which public access may constitute an unwarranted breach of privacy to the subject.

When confidential or exempt information is part of an arrest record, such information may only be available to authorized parties such as law enforcement agencies for criminal justice purposes. However, suppose an arrest record is required in other criminal justice processes such as a court case. In that case, a case party may subpoena the agency that maintains the record to produce the record.

A subpoena must list the documents to be produced in court and the date, time, and venue of the presentation. Peace officers, sheriffs, process servers, or any other person aged 18 and above who is not a case party may serve a subpoena. Typically, subpoenas are served by delivering copies to the respondent in person, at their place of residence, or anywhere within Nevada. It is also possible to serve subpoenas by mail; however, proof of service, which is a certificate of mailing, must be filed with the court within two (2) days.

If the court finds a subpoena unreasonable, the court may withdraw or quash the subpoena.

How to Search for an Inmate in the Nevada Prison System

Persons interested in searching for inmates in the Nevada Prison System may begin by visiting the Department of Corrections Inmate Search website. Through the Inmate Search database, the Department of Corrections provides public information about inmates. To search for an inmate on the Inmate Search website, requesting parties may use the inmate’s first and last names or offender ID. Requesting parties may simply enter the requested information in the appropriate field.

Users must bear in mind that offender ID may be the more accurate search criteria. Multiple inmates may have the same name, but the offender ID is unique to each inmate. A search with a precise offender ID is more likely to return exact results. Requesting parties may need to filter through results that name searches return.

The information available may not include the inmate’s location, status, or classification. However, an offender’s status in each incarceration facility may be confirmed by using the contact details the department provides on its website. To find information about an inmate’s location, if the location is unknown, interested parties may contact the Family and Community Services Division of the Department of Public Safety.

Some local government authorities and agencies such as the Department of Public Safety in counties and towns also allow requesting parties to search for inmates using the databases on their websites. Las Vegas and Clark County are examples of these authorities. Requesting parties must remember that data obtained from these websites are for personal use only. Commercial or official uses are not allowed.

Additionally, due to court hearings, plea bargainings, jury trials, human error, and other unforeseen circumstances, information available on the websites may change without notice. To get up-to-date inmate information, requesting parties may call the local authorities or visit their offices in person.

How Do I Find Out if Someone Was in Jail in Nevada

Inmate information is available on the Department of Corrections Inmate Search website. Interested parties may also contact the detention center where the person was incarcerated directly to find out about the person’s status or location. However, requesting parties must note that the Department of Corrections does not have information about inmates on parole or probation.

For information about persons under parole or probation, requesting parties may contact the Parole and Probation Division of the Department of Public Safety. This division supervises offenders and helps them reintegrate into society as productive members. The division also offers information about wanted fugitives.

Requestors may also obtain information about inmates under the Compassionate Release program from the Family Services Division of the Department of Public Safety. Also, information about juvenile offenders is only accessible to authorized persons, including law enforcement agencies, the attorney representing the juvenile, district attorneys, the juvenile’s parents or guardians, a school district, and other persons or entities authorized by court order or state laws (NRS 62H.025).

How Long Do Nevada Arrest Records Stay on File?

In Nevada, arrest records stay on the subject’s file until the court grants a sealing order. Sealing merely removes records from general or public access, unlike expungement, which leads to the destruction of the records in question.

Nevada has records retention schedules that guide records management. Retention schedules are guidelines on how long records are to be kept in each agency or department and how long each record must be accessible for law enforcement and criminal justice purposes or other future uses. The schedules also specify how a record should be destroyed when there is no longer a need for it. In Nevada, records without retention schedules are kept indefinitely.

Nevada laws specify a minimum retention period of seven (7) years for certain inmate records in the state records retention schedules for government agencies. These records include fingerprints, physical description, and mug shots, which may all be part of an arrest record. Upon the expiration of seven (7) years, the Department of Corrections may transfer these files to the state archives for permanent retention. The state retention schedules do not specify retention periods for arrest records.

In its local government records retention schedules, Nevada mandates law enforcement agencies to maintain files containing information about arrests and booking records for the duration of the statutes of limitation of the underlying offense or charge, especially where the arrest involves a criminal incident. The records may also be destroyed only when a court of record orders its destruction. If the record contains confidential information, it must be destroyed in such a way as to prevent a reconstitution of the confidential information.

Copies of inmate arrest records must be retained for 85 years from the inmate’s release or five (5) years after the inmate dies. Arrest records involving juvenile incidents are to be retained permanently but sealed as soon as the subject is 21 years old. The records may also be sealed earlier than that by a court order.

What is the Difference Between an Arrest Record and an Arrest Warrant?

Arrest records and arrest warrants are official documents generated in the course of an arrest. While the court issues an arrest warrant before an arrest, an arrest record is generated by a law enforcement officer after an arrest. An arrest record is a detailed report of the arrest and the surrounding details, including the alleged offender’s name, address, contact details, gender, race, and other physical identifying details. It must contain the arresting officer’s name and signature.

On the other hand, an arrest warrant is only issued when the court determines that there is probable cause for arrest. When an officer requests a warrant from the court, the officer must back the request with an affidavit. After the court considers the evidence and affidavit and determines probable cause for arrest, the court may issue an arrest warrant.

Judges and magistrates are the only officers that can issue arrest warrants. The warrant must include the issuing officer’s name, designation, and signature to be valid. Following an indictment, a grand jury may also issue a warrant. In Nevada, warrants may be executed within such time frames as specified on the document. Warrants ensure that law enforcement officers can carry out their duties without infringing on the arrestee's fourth amendment rights, which protect citizens from “unreasonable searches and seizures” by the government through its agencies.

What is the Difference Between an Arrest Record and a Criminal Record?

Arrest and criminal records are essential components of criminal justice processes. Although both types of records have overlapping functions, they are different in composition and use. An arrest record is a report that law enforcement officers generate after an arrest. Arrest records contain details about an arrest, including the date and time, the subject’s identity, criminal charges against the arrestee, the arresting agency, booking information, including fingerprints and photographs, detention, and bail.

While arrest records form a vital part of a person’s criminal record, they are not the entire record. Criminal records are much more comprehensive and for persons who have been registered in the Nevada Justice System as criminals. Arrest records are not proof of guilt; a person may be arrested and released without any charge or conviction. Persons without criminal convictions or charges typically do not have criminal records.

Arrest records originate in one law enforcement agency as law enforcement officers usually generate them. On the other hand, criminal history records are compilations of data from different law enforcement agencies such as the police, the prison system, and the state’s motor vehicle department. They often contain information about the subject’s traffic offenses, violations, correctional supervision status (whether on parole or probation), current and past convictions, indictment, dismissals, and sentences.

How to Obtain Arrest Records for Free in Nevada?

Nevada offers different ways to obtain arrest records, including fingerprint criminal history requests and civil name checks for employers. However, the Department of Public Safety charges fees for these services. Persons interested in obtaining arrest records at no charge may visit court clerks in the county where the arrest record originated. Requesting parties may also visit local law enforcement offices such as police departments and sheriff's offices to look up arrest records at no charge.

Alternatively, interested parties may request arrest records for free using the state’s Offender Search website. The database allows requesting parties to search by offender ID or name. To search, requesting parties may simply enter the required data in the appropriate fields. Interested parties may also visit local police departments or criminal courts in-person to access arrest records.

How to Search for a Nevada Arrest Record Online Using a Third-Party Search Service

Third-party search services serve as faster and sometimes less expensive alternatives to government-owned record request services. Processing times for government record searches are longer, while third-party search services often return instant results.

Parties interested in searching for Nevada arrest records online using third-party search services may visit their preferred service provider and input required details into the appropriate fields. Requesting parties can expect to submit information such as the record subject’s name, date of birth, or date of arrest. Some third-party search services offer information for free, while others may require subscription or one-time payments to access information.

What Can I Do if My Arrest Record Has a Mistake?

Persons who believe there may be errors on their arrest records may request to correct the errors. Requesting parties may mail in correction requests or present them in person to the Records, Communications, and Compliance Division of the Department of Public Safety at the following address:

Department of Public Safety
Records, Communications and Compliance Division
333 West Nye Lane, Suite 100
Carson City, NV 89706

Upon receiving such requests, the Records, Communications, and Compliance Division research the records in question. If the division determines incorrect information on the record, the division updates the record and notifies the requesting party. The division also notifies the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) of the corrections. It is important for requesting parties to note that the Records, Communications, and Compliance Division only corrects errors on records generated in Nevada agencies. Persons interested in correcting errors or arrest records generated outside Nevada must contact the criminal history records departments of the originating state and the FBI.

How to Expunge Arrest Records in Nevada

Nevada laws do not allow for the expungement of records. However, it is possible to request the sealing of a record. While expungement completely deletes a record, sealing only removes the records from public access and general information sources. Sealed records may be re-opened for use in other law enforcement or criminal justice processes.

According to NRS 179.255, parties interested in sealing non-conviction arrest records may petition the court any time after the court dismisses any charges or declines prosecution. Where there are no charges, the record subject may petition the court eight (8) years after the arrest, any time after the applicable statute of limitations runs out, or at the time agreed by case parties. If the court sets aside a conviction, the record subject may petition the court to seal the arrest and other associated records any time after the court sets aside the conviction.

The petitioner must file the petition in the court where the charges were dismissed, the conviction was set aside, or where the court declined prosecution. Current and verified records from Nevada’s Central Repository of Criminal History must accompany the petition to the court. The petition must also include the case disposition where applicable. A petitioner must also include information that identifies the arrest record to be sealed, including:

  • Any dismissed or acquitted charges.
  • The petitioner’s date of birth
  • Date of arrest

Upon receiving a petition to seal arrest records, the court notifies the arresting agency and relevant prosecuting attorney. The court may order the record sealed if the prosecution does not oppose the sealing.

Petition requirements for sealing conviction records are the same as for non-conviction records; however, the offense the person seeks to seal the arrest record must be eligible for sealing. NRS 179.245 lists offenses for which records do not qualify for sealing. For conviction records, eligible persons may petition the court for sealing after:

  • Ten years from the release date for Class A felonies
  • Five (5) years from the date of release from custody or discharge from probation or parole Class B, C, or D felonies
  • Two (2) years from the date of release from custody or discharge from probation or parole for Class E felonies
  • Two (2) years from the date of release from custody or discharge from probation or parole for gross misdemeanors
  • One (1) year from the date of release from custody, or discharge from probation or parole for other misdemeanors

Sealing arrest records may take two (2) to four (4) months.