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Rhode Island Expungement Laws

Rhode Island Expungement Laws

Rhode Island expungement laws protect certain criminal records from being viewed by the public. Criminal records that have been expunged are no longer accessible by the general public. No evidence of a crime will show if someone searches the Rhode Island crime depository. Any individual who has had their criminal record expunged is legally permitted to deny and involvement in the criminal case. The information on the expunged record cannot harm any person seeking employment, permits, or licenses.

Expunged records may still be accessed by the court that expunged them as well as criminal investigators. The expunged record can appear in a criminal trial involving the defendant that was subject to the Rhode Island expungement. Once a record is expunged in Rhode Island, all identifiable records must be removed from the file including fingerprints, mugshots, photographs, and physical measurements.

Criminal Records

Criminal records may be expunged in Rhode Island if:

There was not a violent felony or misdemeanor committed.
It has been five years since the conviction of a misdemeanor.
It has been ten years since the conviction of a felony.

Filing a Rhode Island Expungement

Filing a request for expungment of criminal records must be done with ten days’ notice to the court, police department and the attorney general. After hearing all testimony, the court may make a decision on whether or not to grant the expungement to the defendant. If the necessary five years for a misdemeanor or ten years for a felony has passed and the person has not committed any offenses in that time, it will go a long way toward showing good moral character and increasing their chances of receiving an expungement. If passed, the expungement comes with a $100 fee that must be made. The court will notify all agencies in possession of information regarding the previously open public record and they will have to submit all information to the court.

Juvenile Expungements

Juveniles are eligible for a Rhode Island expungement. All information including names are turned over to the Rhode Island are handed over to family court. No petition is needed and the State is responsible for keeping all information regarding the juvenile private. No information regarding the outcome of the case will be made public.

Any parent, guardian, or attorney willing pay a fee is free to obtain the sealed juvenile criminal records. Once in possession, the inspection or copying of the record is under the responsibility of the parent, guardian, or attorney in control of the expunged record.


The Governor of Rhode Island has the power to pardon and expunge a criminal record except in cases of impeachment.

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