Expungement

Rhode Island law allows a person who made a one time mistake to expunge and permanently erase their criminal record if they meet certain statutory requirements.

A Motion to Expunge can be filed if:

  • The conviction was not for a crime of violence
  • A misdemeanor, five (5) years have passed since the completion of the sentence
  • A felony, ten (10) years have passed since the completion of the sentence
  • There has been no other criminal arrests or convictions
  • There are no criminal proceedings pending

The Court will weigh the facts of the case and consider the following:

  1. Whether you are a person of good moral character;
  2. Whether you are rehabilitated to the satisfaction of the Court;
  3. Whether expungement of your criminal record serves the public interest.

If all of the above requirements are met, the Court is likely to grant the Motion upon payment of minor fees and Court costs.

Effect of Expungement

Rhode Island General Law 12-1.3-4 provides that any person having his or her record expunged will be free from any and all penalties or disabilities resulting from the previously convicted crime.

With certain exceptions, when applying for a job or if testifying as a witness in Court, a person whose record has been expunged may rightfully state that he or she has never been convicted of a crime.