As the 2017 Legislative Session pushes towards summer, there has been a renewed push in 2017 for the passage of an updated Rhode Island Expungement law. According to a June 8th article in the Providence Journal written by Katherine Gregg, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin has championed the bill which just last week was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives. The Bill would still need to pass through the Senate and be approved by the Governor before altering the Rhode Island Expungement landscape.
The Bill would as proposed would change the way that misdemeanors are treated for expungement purposes. Currently, under the existing Rhode Island Expungement law any individual who has more than one misdemeanor “conviction” (which means the individual was sentenced to a fine, jail time, suspended jail time, or probation) can expunge that case IF it is their FIRST and ONLY criminal conviction. Therefore, individuals who have multiple misdemeanor convictions are permanently prohibited from ever expunging records related to those cases no matter how long ago they were imposed. The existing law requires that the individual wait five years, stay out of trouble for those five years, and prove to the Court that they have exhibited good moral character for those five years prior to the granting of the expungement motion.
The proposed Bill would allow a judge to expunge “up to five misdemeanors” once an individual has, for at least 10 years since the completion of their last sentence, (1) not been convicted nor arrested for any felony or misdemeanor, (2) no criminal proceedings pending against them, and (3) exhibited good moral character.
A number of crimes would not be permitted to be expunged under the proposed Bill. Those include: convictions for domestic violence, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and refusal to submit to a chemical test.
For more information about the current status of Rhode Island's expungement law, contact the Law Offices of Matthew T. Marin, Esq. Inc. for a no obligation expungement evaluation. We are available 24/7 to assist you at 401-228-8271 or on our website at www.matthewtmarin.com.