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Proposed 2017 Bill Would Allow Rhode Islander’s to Expunge More than One Misdemeanor Conviction

Posted by Matthew Marin | Jun 11, 2017 | 0 Comments

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

About the Author

Matthew Marin

Attorney Matthew T. Marin is a highly skilled criminal defense lawyer with an outstanding track record in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. With expertise in DUI/DWI, drug offenses, domestic violence, and white-collar crimes, he is dedicated to providing personalized and effective representation for his clients. A "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and a member of the National College for DUI Defense and the National Trial Lawyers Top 100, Attorney Marin is committed to staying current with the latest legal developments and giving back to his community through pro bono work.


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Attorney Marin Named A SuperLawyer for Ten Consecutive Years 2014-2023

Attorney Matthew Marin has been named a Rhode Island SuperLawyer for 10 consecutive years from 2014 thru 2023. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Rhode Island are selected by the Research Team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers selects lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their practice area.

Rhode Island Members of the National College for DUI Defense

Attorneys Matthew Marin and Kensley Barrett are both Rhode Island General Members of the National College for DUI Defense. Members represent some of the most experienced and cutting edge DUI defense attorney's throughout the Country. Nationwide, DUI laws are extremely complex and constantly changing and the College facilitates the exchange of innovative defenses throughout the Country.