Rhode Island Criminal Justice Reform Continues With Passing of Forgotten License Law

Rhode Island Criminal Justice Reform Continues With Passing of Forgotten License Law


Have you ever left your home without your wallet or purse, and only realized you did this once reaching your destination? Before Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law a bill lessening the sanctions for this mistake, a criminal charge could be pursued against those who did not have a license on their person during a police traffic stop. It is believed by those who sponsored the bill that this law led to the most charged offense in the district court level. By changing this statute, it is expected that the district court will now be able to focus less on these types of civil infractions, and more on potentially dangerous defendants.


What Was The Law Before This Reform?

Before being signed into law, it was stated that anyone who was to drive without a license on them, or that is driving with an expired, suspended, or revoked license is subject to arrest and a possible maximum conviction up to thirty days in prison for their first offense. If there is no jail time given to someone in these circumstances, an increasing amount in payable fines for every offense would be the deterrent for making the mistake again.


How Has The Law Been Changed?

For first time offenders under the new law signed in July, the maximum penalty that can be levied against a defendant is $500, the same monetary punishment as the previous law demanded. However, there is not a possibility of jail time. For a second offense the new license law would be between $350 to $500 without the possibility of jail time, much like the first offense.

Although there is a loss of jail time under the new law for first and second offenses, third and successive license violations would be considered a misdemeanor and could led to a punishment up to 90 days in prison and a fine between $500 and $1,000.


Contact RI Criminal Defense Lawyer Craig Hein

Attorney Craig 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.