Retroactive application of New RI Deferred Sentence expungement Law is Unconstitutional – RI Superior Court Judge Rules

11/12/10 editors note:  On 11/12/10 the Honorable Justice Kristen Rodgers of The Rhode Island Superior Court issued a 21 page written decision. She  ruled that the amended expungement statute 12-19-9 allowing expungement of deferred sentences at the end of the deferred sentence “does not apply retroactively” to previous deferred sentences.

Stay tuned. It is up at the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.

Editors comments: The state of Rhode Island expungement Law concerning deferred sentences is a mess. This decision effectively guts the amended deferred setence statute RIGL 12-19-9..




Previous updates and Posts Concerning deferred Sentences in Rhode Island:

**8/24/10 RI  Criminal Law Update: The Attorney General of Rhode Island is objecting to the retroactivity of the new deferred sentence statute. This matter is now in front of the Rhode Island Superior Court. The issue in dispute is whether the new statute applies to plea agreements of deferred sentence prior to the new statute becoming law. Please keep abreast of new devolpments before filing to expunge a deferred sentence.

Editor Note 9/10/10: It appears that many people had their deferred sentences expunged prior to the Attorney General objecting to the expungement. The Attorney General started objecting to the expungement of deferred sentences when a person attempted to expunge a manslaughter record.


Change in Rhode Island Expungement Law re: Deferred Sentences. Deferred Sentences in Rhode Island now can be expunged  5 years after sentencing.

Jun 27, 2010 – On Friday June 25, 2010 Governor Carcieri allowed a new  RI Expungement Law to take effect. This Law allows the Expungement of Deferred Sentences 5 years after sentencing. In Rhode Island, a motion to expunge is required to expunge a Criminal Conviction.

This law will allow anyone with a Deferred Sentence in Rhode Island to expunge their criminal record after 5 years, so long as they have not been violated during the 5 year period.

Please visit RI Criminal Defense Lawyer David Slepkow’s Criminal Law Blog at You can also call David Slepkow at 401-437-1100

These Criminal records can now be expunged so long as the person stayed out of trouble and is not violated for a five year period even if the crime was severe and the person has a criminal record.

An expungement gives a person the right to tell employers and others that they have never been convicted of a crime. A person can tell a third party that they have never been convicted even if they pled guilty or nolo contendere.

This new Rhode Island law states that a person who has a record expunged is exonerated from the offense and the records are sealed. It is very important that a person expunges all eligible Rhode Island Criminal records.

It is unclear, at this time, whether the law will run retroactive. However, it appears in my opinion  that  Rhode Island Judges will allow prior Deferred Sentences to be Expunged.

Previously, RI Courts were regularly allowing expungements of Deferred Sentences. However,  the Supreme Court of Rhode Island ruled that a person had to wait 10 years after completion of the Deferred Sentence in order to be eligible for expungement. This new Rhode Island Law in 2010 essentially Nullifies and overturns the Rhode Island SupremeCourt ruling.

Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer David Slepkow 401-437-1100 is experienced representing clients in Expungement cases. Rhode Island Criminal attorney David Slepkow has over 13 years of experience in Criminal law.

Also, do not forget to have your one year filings expunged at the end of the one year. Dismissals under rule 48a, No Informations, and Not Guilty findings should also be expunged.

Certain eligible Convictions or periods of probation that are not Deferred Sentences may also be expunged.  Please contact me to determine whether you qualify for an expungement.

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Rhode Island Expungement Lawyer. Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney. 13 Years of Experience. Free initial Consultations. Evening and Weekend Appointments available. Credit Cards Accepted.

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.