Do you need assistance passing a Rhode Island criminal background check or navigating the state’s expungement laws?
Arrest records are open to the public. Therefore, anyone, including banks, landlords, and future employers, may see them at any moment. Nevertheless, a non-conviction or “not guilty” result in a trial is enough for a background check to fail.
Rhode Island has some of the most lenient expungement laws in the country. Many prosecutions and arrest records can be expunged once a set period has passed. Here’s everything you need to know about the expungement laws in Rhode Island.
What appears on a criminal record in Rhode Island?
Any case for which you’ve been criminally charged in Rhode Island will appear on your criminal record, including:
- Cases in which the defendant was convicted or sentenced to probation
- Cases where there was a dismissal (48A), no real petition, no evidence, or a not criminal conviction
- Arrests for failing to appear in court on warrants
- Criminal records in Rhode Island are open to the public. A hard copy of a criminal record may be obtained from the Bureau of Criminal Identification. In addition, visit the RI Judiciary public site to access criminal records and other online information.
What is the difference between expungement and record sealing?
Removing criminal or arrest history from a person’s record is known as expungement. The court will regard it as if it never happened after being purged. It can be effectively removed from government, local, and public records in this way.
You may also be able to get your record sealed in particular circumstances. For example, a dismissal, no real claim, no evidence, or a judgment of not guilty are examples of instances where a record should be sealed.
Expungement vs. pardon
Expungement essentially removes a criminal record from the public record database in Rhode Island. Pardons recognize the presence of a crime but grant the perpetrator “pardon.” Furthermore, pardons are sometimes a political procedure, whereas expungements are completely administrative. Therefore, expungement is probably your best choice if your ultimate objective is to eliminate the occurrence of an offense from your record.
In Rhode Island, how can I have my record expunged?
Expungement takes place in state courts in the United States. Expungements are thus left to the decision of specific state legislation.
Misdemeanors can be expunged
It is possible to have a misdemeanor wiped from your record if you had been charged as a “first-time offender.” You must have served your term or parole for 5 years without reoffending to be eligible.
After a decade has elapsed and you have not been arrested, you can seek to have between 2 and 6 offenses expunged. However, there are certain exceptions. Those convicted of DUI or domestic violence are disqualified for expungement. As well as individuals with prior criminal convictions.
Is it possible to have a violent offense dismissed?
No. While non-violent acts are forgiven in Rhode Island, violent crimes have the lowest policy for expungement. The following violent offenses are not qualified for sealing or expungement:
- Theft, robbery, or burglary
- Sexual harassment
How can I get a charge from my criminal record expunged?
To begin, make sure you match the requirements for getting a criminal history or conviction wiped. Then, if you’re concerned about your legal standing, get the top attorney in Rhode Island to go over your situation and advise you on the best way to proceed.
Second, if you’ve confirmed that you’re qualified for an expungement, you can file a request in the court where the charges against you were filed. The proper expungement forms can be found on the RI Judiciary website.
Finally, the court must decide that you have “sound moral character” and have been “effectively rehabilitated.” Therefore, it’s critical to create the greatest possible impression on the court to secure a successful expungement. That’s where having an experienced Rhode Island criminal defense attorney on your side may help.
Contact an experienced lawyer if you need assistance expelling a conviction from your criminal record. We’ll examine your case in detail, establish whether you’re eligible for annulment, and guide you through the legal procedure.