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Some defendants will have records automatically sealed

With 2017 well underway now, Nebraska residents will want to be sure they understand some of the new laws that have been put into effect in their state. One new law in particular may well prove to be very beneficial to people who are arrested and charged with crimes but who are never convicted of those crimes. In fact, it may just help these defendants have a better chance of putting their lives back together after an arrest and moving forward in positive ways.

The law will automatically seal all criminal records for people when their cases end in anything other than a conviction. There are some parameters and those include the lack of any active appeal. If an appeal has been initiated, a record will not be sealed. Also, the law does not apply retroactively. That means anyone who was charged with a crime before 2017 but was never convicted will not have their case automatically sealed. They can, however, request that their record be sealed.

Going forward, if applying for a new job, housing or a loan and an application asks a person if he or she has ever been charged with a crime, the applicant can legally indicate that he or she has not been charged with a crime. That said, if the person has been charged with any other crime and that record is not sealed, the request to the application question would have to be affirmative.

After a criminal arrest, talking to a lawyer may be helpful. This can let Nebraska residents understand any new laws that may impact them.

Source: Rapid City Journal, "Nebraska courts will seal criminal cases that end in acquittal, dismissal under new law," Zach Pluhace, Jan. 3, 2017

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