More Details about RI Expungement here.
|Expungement in Rhode Island (RI)! What Criminal Records Can Be Erased? Unraveling the Myth!|
|By: David Slepkow|
|Article ID: 862043
|Article Submitted: August 24, 2008|
|Category: Legal :: Criminal Law|
|Article Word Count: 1321|
|Everything you need to know about Expungements in Rhode Island by a RI Lawyer!This article was written by Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer David Slepkow 401-437-1100Background InformationRhode Island (RI) has some of the most liberal expungement laws in the United States. If you are eligible for an expungement, why not get those menacing and harmful criminal records erased, sealed or destroyed! If a criminal record is expunged you are legally allowed to tell others that you have no record.This article is an in depth and in detail explanation of Expungement law in RI as of August 2008. Expungement law and policy is in a state of flux. The legislature is attempting to make expungement policy even more liberal, while the governor is trying to make it more difficult to expunge records. Even the Supreme Court of Rhode Island (RI) has recently weighed in on expungment matters. These three branches of government are in disagreement concerning expungement policy. Please research potential recent changes to expungement law.In order to get a Criminal record expunged in Rhode Island, a motion must be filed and a Court hearing is required. You should contact a Rhode Island Criminal Law Expungement Attorney / Lawyer.Expungement of Dismissed records
The general rule is that dismissed criminal charges (48a) can always be expunged. Many people don’t realize that records of alleged crimes that are dismissed should be expunged / erased. Even though the case was dismissed, there is still an indication on the Rhode Island criminal computer records and on your Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI) report that you were charged with the criminal offense.
The public can easily view the dismissed records and other rhode Island criminal records at http://courtconnect.courts.state.ri.us
Many people will assume that you did something wrong even if the case was dismissed. Some people will assume that you just “got off on a technicality” or that you are a bad character by the very fact that you were charged.
You cannot expunge a dismissal, not guilty finding or no information if you have a prior felony conviction. This Law uses the strict definition of a conviction which is jail, suspended sentence or a fine.
If you can wait long enough to get the felony charges expunged (10 years after the conviction) then afterward you can expunge the dismissals and not guilty finding or no information.
All legal article written by Rhode Island Attorney David Slepkow can be found at http://www.slepkowlaw.com/ri-law.htm
Are there dismissed charges that cannot be expunged immediately?
A dismissed charge may not be able to be expunged if the related charges cannot be expunged. For example, if you were charged with three offenses related to the same incident and 2 were dismissed but the third you recieved a sentence of probation. You would have to wait until the probation charge could be expunged until the other dismissed charges could also be expunged. The reason for this is because you cannot destroy portions of a file! I believe the primary reason for this rule is because it is logistically impossible to expunge a charge when there are other records in a related incident that cannot be expunged.
For example, John was charged with domestic assault, failure to relinquish telephone and disordely conduct arising out of a domestic dispute with his wife related to their pending divorce. John recieved probation on the disorderly conduct. The assault and failure to relinquish phone charges were dismissed. John would not be allowed to expunge the two dismissed charges and would need to wait five years after completion of the probation to dismiss all the charges.
All criminal Law articles written by Rhode Island Criminal Lawyer David Slepkow can be found at www.slepkowlaw.com/ri-criminal.htm
Expungement of Not Guilty findings.
The general rule is that not guilty findings after trial by a judge or jury can be expunged. However, if the not guilty finding relates out of the same incident for another charge which cannot be expunged then the not guilty finding cannot be expunged until the other charges can be expunged.
Pursuant to Rhode Island Law the following types of cases can always be expunged: Dismissals, No information, Not Guilty unless there is a prior felony conviction ( suspended sentence / jail or fine)
Expungement of one year filings
A filing is a penalty that is typically offered for first time offenders for relatively minor misdemeanors. A filing is the lowest form of penalty available and is always better than probation for an accused. A filing is when the case is put aside for a year and if the person stays out of trouble for a year then the case is eligible to be expunged and destroyed at the end of the year.
If a person gets in further trouble during the filing period then the person may be “violated” and the person sentenced again for violating the filing. A person must be very careful to stay out of trouble during the filing period. If the person is charged with a new crime, the person will be brought before the Court as a violater as well as charged with a new crime.
At the initial arraignment, a person with a filing can be held for 10 days without a hearing.
If the person takes a plea deal on the violation of the filing or probation and a plea agreemeent on the new charge then neither of the charges can be exunged.
If a person is not violated during the filing period then a filing can be expunged even if there are other offenses after the filing.
Be careful, do not forget to have your filing expunged at the end of the year! It is not automatic. A certified copy of the expungement order must also be sent to the Rhode Island Attorney General ‘s office and the local police department that pursued the criminal charge.
Remember, Under RI Criminal Law, A plea of nolo contendere with a filing and no fine is never a conviction.
Expungement or convictions, suspended sentences, deferred sentences, jail sentences or probation
A misdemeanor or felony conviction is any sentence with a fine, suspended sentence or period of incarceration. Even though probation does not constitute a convictions under Rhode Island Law it is treated the same way as convictions for expungement purposes.
A misdemeanor case with the following sentence can be expunged five years after the completion of the sentence or probationary period: probation, suspended sentence, fine, jail.
A felony conviction, suspended sentence or probation sentence can be expunged ten years after the completion of the sentence or probationary period. Under the current state of Rhode Island law you cannot have any conviction, suspended sentence , fine or probation expunged if you have another conviction, suspended sentence , fine or probation on your record.
Expungement of felony deferred sentences
If a person receives a 5 year deferred sentence on a felony charge, the person can have the deferred sentence expunged at the end of the 5 year period. A deferred sentence can be expunged so long as the person was not violated during the 5 year deferred period. A person with a another conviction or arrest can have the deferred sentence expunged so long as they were not violated during the five year period. Editor NOTE 9/10/10 The Attorney General is now objecting to the retrocactivity of the deferred sentence statute. The matter is now before the Rhode Ilsand Supreme Court.
Crimes of Violence issues
Certain crimes of violence can never be expunged and R.I.G.L § 12-1.3-1. states:-”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.
Noticeable absent from the definition of crimes of violence is “assault.” It could be argued that assault is not a crime of violence as it relates to expungement. If the legislature intended that assault could not be expunged they would have included it in the list.
Legal Notice per RI Rules of Professional Responsibility:
The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer/ attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.
David Slepkow is a Rhode Island lawyer concentrating in criminal law, dui / dwi, breathalyzer refusals, restrianing orders/ no contact orders, divorce, family law, child custody / support / visitation and personal injury.
David Slepkow is a Rhode Island lawyer concentrating in divorce, criminal law, family law, child support,custody and visitation. David has been practicing for over 15 years and is licensed in rhode Island , Massachusetts and Federal Court.
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