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1) What is Petit Larceny in Nevada?

A petit larceny charge is applied to thefts of property with a value of under $650. Shoplifting is the most common petit larceny crime. In Nevada the legal definition of “shoplifting” is when someone “intentionally steals, takes or carries away” store property. The legal name for shoplifting is “larceny.” The seriousness of the charges depends on the value of the goods allegedly stolen. If the value of goods is under $650 the charge will be petit larceny. Over that amount is considered grand larceny.

2) Petit larceny charge

A petit larceny charge is considered a misdemeanor, the least serious category of crime in Nevada.

3) Can a petit larceny charge be dismissed?

If it is a defendant’s first offense it may be possible to have the charges dismissed. Typically, the defendant will have to pay a fine, pay restitution, and complete a Petit Larceny Course. Our Petit Larceny course is an 8-hour class that is 100% online, easy to complete, cheap and convenient. To learn more about the course, click herePetit Larceny Course. To purchase the course, click here.

4) Trial or no trial?

Anybody who is charged with a crime in Nevada has the right to a trial. However, a person with a misdemeanor charge is entitled only to “bench trial”, and not a jury trial. A bench trial (also called a “trial by court”) is a trial where the presiding judge renders the verdict and any sentence. At this time Nevada law recognizes the right to a trial by jury only if the defendant is facing more than six months in jail.

5) Petit larceny charge – first offense

According to NRS 193.150, punishment for a misdemeanor in Nevada is imprisonment (not more than 6 months), a fine (not more than $1000), or both. The court may order these punishments be substituted by community service according to NRS 176.087. The person convicted may also be ordered to take a petit larceny course.

6) Petit larceny charge – second or greater offense

A person charged with two or more misdemeanors will have a maximum sentence exceeding six months. This greater sentence allows for a request for a jury trial

7) Effects on an immigrant’s legal status

Most misdemeanor convictions will not affect an immigrant’s legal status. But stealing and fraud may be considered crimes involving moral turpitude and result in deportation.

8) Effects of arrest and/or conviction of shoplifting or petty theft

Even though misdemeanors are often minor, a criminal record may cause discrimination by creditors, licensing boards and employers.  Having a record sealed can prevent an arrest or conviction from appearing on a background check.

9) Sealing versus Expunging

Sealing a criminal record makes it invisible, although the record still exists. Expungement is the removal of the record. Some states offer record expungement, but Nevada does not. From a practical point of view, there is little difference between sealing and expunging. They both prevent (most) potential employers and the general public from finding a person’s criminal record of a petit larceny charge.

10) Sealing records

Nevada criminal records of arrest and/or conviction which are sealed do not appear on background checks. Defendants acquitted at trial or whose case is dismissed pretrial can petition for a record seal immediately. According to NRS 175.245. Otherwise, the waiting period for a misdemeanor is typically one year.

11) Other record seal considerations

Most Nevada juvenile records are sealed automatically on the person’s 21st birthday. For adults the waiting period begins only after the case “closes”. A case is considered closed only after the defendant has completed all terms of the sentence. In Nevada this includes paying all fines, completing required classes, serving any jail time, and/or completing the terms of probation.

12) If records are sealed

Once records are sealed, a person can legally deny ever having had an arrest or conviction in Nevada. This is true during a job interview as well as when questioned under oath. A record seal also restores the person’s rights to vote, serve on a jury, and hold office.

If you have a petit larceny charge in Nevada, ask your lawyer about having the charges dismissed by taking our 8-hour online course. It’s quick, easy, and cheap!

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You can find a lot of information regarding sealing records in Nevada here (scroll down below the red image of “criminal record seal:)

Some Nevada courts have posted information online for sealing records: