Rhode Island Law allows for liberal expungement of DUI arrests and convictions. With some exceptions, most individuals charged and convicted with first offense driving under the influence in Rhode Island can, at some point in the future, expunge the record of that case. The expungement of your Rhode Island DUI case is extremely important for a number of different reasons. First, employers, friends, family, and strangers can access and view records related to your DUI arrest until you take steps to have the case expunged or sealed from your record. Second, if you were to get into trouble in the future many State's have indefinite look back periods which means that you could be charged with a second offense DUI for an arrest in Rhode Island that occurred years ago. Lastly, expungement of your Rhode Island DUI conviction can improve your insurance rates and possibly your credit score.
Expungement of a Rhode Island DUI Conviction
There are several limitations on the ability to expunge your Rhode Island DUI conviction. If you have been “convicted” of a DUI, this means that you have been found guilty after trial or plead no contest to the charge of misdemeanor DUI. You need to WAIT AT LEAST FIVE YEARS FROM THE DATE OF YOUR CONVICTION prior to expunging your DUI conviction. To expunge the conviction, you cannot have any other criminal convictions.
Sealing of Rhode Island DUI Charges that have been Dismissed
If you were charged with a DUI and the charge was dismissed or you were found not guilty after trial, you have the right to have the case sealed from your record. The one limitation to this right is that you cannot seal your Rhode Island DUI case that was dismissed if you have been convicted of any felony charges previously.