Rhode Island’s Expungement of Criminal Records Procedure
June 5, 2017
“Expungement” is a legal procedure, which allows eligible and deserving individuals to have all records relating to their criminal charges removed from law enforcement departments and public records. The following sections will explore Rhode Island’s law regarding the expungement of criminal records, who is eligible to file a motion for expungement, when individuals may file a motion for expungement, and who determines if individuals are eligible and deserving of having their criminal record expunged.
UNDERSTANDING RHODE ISLAND’S EXPUNGEMENT PROCEDURE
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law, 12-1.3-2, “Any person who is a first offender may file a motion for the expungement of all records and records of conviction for a felony or misdemeanor by filing a motion in the court in which the conviction took place; provided, that no person who has been convicted of a crime of violence shall have his or her records and records of conviction expunged; and provided, that all outstanding court-imposed or court-related fees, fines, costs, assessments, charges and/or any other monetary obligations have been paid, unless such amounts are reduced or waived by order of the court.”
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO FILE A MOTION FOR EXPUNGEMENT?
Individuals that are “first offenders” are eligible of having their criminal record expunged. More specifically, a “first offender” is defined as “a person who has been convicted of a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense, and who has not been previously convicted of or placed on probation for a felony or a misdemeanor and against whom there is no criminal proceeding pending in any court.”
WHO IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO FILE A MOTION FOR EXPUNGEMENT?
Individuals that have been charged with a “crime of violence” are not eligible of having their criminal record expunged. The law states that a “crime of violence” includes “murder, manslaughter, first degree arson, kidnapping with intent to extort, robbery, larceny from the person, first degree sexual assault, second degree sexual assault, first and second degree child molestation, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to rob, assault with intent to commit first degree sexual assault, burglary, and entering a dwelling house with intent to commit murder, robbery, sexual assault, or larceny.”
WHEN CAN I FILE A MOTION FOR EXPUNGEMENT?
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law, 11-45-1, an individual commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
- Individuals may file a motion for the expungement of records relating to a misdemeanor conviction after 5 years from the date of the completion of his or sentence.
- Individuals may file a motion for the expungement of records relating to a felony conviction after 10 years from the date of the completion of his or her sentence.
WHO DETERMINES IF I CAN HAVE MY CRIMINAL RECORD EXPUNGED?
It is important to note that a judge belonging to the court that originally heard the case must determine if the individual is eligible of having their criminal record expunged. In addition, the law requires that individuals must demonstrate to the court that they are of good moral character, have since been rehabilitated, and the expungement of the criminal record is consistent with the public interest. For example, individuals may demonstrate that they meet these standards by showing proof of:
- Completion of community service
- Completion of substance abuse/and or mental health counseling
- Enrollment in college courses
Contact a Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer
Attorney Hein has been successful in defending those who have been criminally accused. Craig’s style is both aggressive and steadfast. From your first conversation with him, you will realize both his capability in the court room and ability to alleviate much of your stress. Craig has made a living out of turning problems into solutions and does not rest until he does everything possible to achieve a desirable outcome. For a free consultation please call 401-619-7214.