10 Facts About Expunging Your Record in Rhode Island
By: S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.
If you have a conviction on your record, it may be in your best interest to have your record expunged. People with convictions on their record will face challenges when applying for anything that involves a criminal background check. Many individuals convicted of crimes are entirely unaware of the expungement process or the fact that expunging your record in Rhode Island is even a possibility. That’s why we’ve composed this list of facts explaining the process, guidelines, and benefits of expunging your record in Rhode Island.
- Expungement is the process of sealing the criminal record of first-time offenders. (See Restoration of Rights, Pardon, Expungement & Sealing) This means that the legal record of your arrest is “erased” and it will no longer be visible to those conducting background checks. However, your record may still be visible to government agencies, such as FBI or Immigration Departments.
- If you have a non-violent misdemeanor conviction, you must wait five years before you can begin expunging your record in Rhode Island. This is only after successful completion of your sentence and probation. If some aspect of your punishment or penalty was not completed, such as unpaid fines, you’ll need to address that before you can begin the expungement process.
- If you have a non-violent felony conviction, you must wait ten years before you can begin expunging your record in Rhode Island. This is only after successful completion of your sentence and probation. If some aspect of your punishment or penalty was not completed, such as unpaid fines, you’ll need to address that before you can begin the expungement process.
- You can only begin the process of expunging your record in Rhode Island if you have not been convicted of any crimes since the original conviction. This must be your first and only conviction to go through the expungement process.
- If you’ve violated parole terms or if you have been convicted of another crime since the first conviction, you do not qualify for expungement.
- You do not qualify for expungement if you’ve committed a crime of violence. Crimes of violence include– assault, burglary, arson, kidnapping, theft, murder or manslaughter, and robbery. The state of Rhode Island can be very forgiving in the expungement process for non-violent crimes but have a zero-tolerance policy for violent crimes.
- To apply for expungement, you’ll start by filling an order with the courts. Once you’ve filled out the necessary paperwork, you can schedule a motion for your hearing. It’s recommended to have a criminal defense attorney by your side at this stage. The paperwork for expungement can be confusing and time-consuming. You want to be sure that your completed documents are filled out accurately before you turn them into the courts.
- You must provide notice of your motion to expunge to the Department of Attorney General and the local police department that convicted you. This is an essential part of the process. The Attorney General and the police department must receive notification of the date and time of your scheduled expungement hearing.
- When expunging your record in Rhode Island, you’ll have to prove that you’re deserving of having your record sealed. You can do this by providing a few key pieces to the judge. First, you want to prove that you have good moral character and you can make morally sound decisions. You must also prove that you’ve gone through some process of rehabilitation since the conviction. You can demonstrate this by showing credit scores, proof of consistent employment, completion of educational programs, volunteer work, or proof of mental health counseling. If you’ve taken part in some required community service program or rehabilitation, you’ll want to provide some sort of certificate of completion.
- Expunging your record in Rhode Island offers you a lot of advantages. If you’re currently looking for a job or housing, more often than not, your potential landlord or employer will conduct a criminal background check. If your record is not expunged, you may face serious challenges when trying to nail down jobs or housing. In addition, you may find it difficult to apply for loans, enroll in education or training programs, find insurance, obtain a firearm, volunteer, or even adopt. Having a criminal offense on your record can have lasting effects and do a lot of damage to your future.
For More Information on Expunging Your Record In Rhode Island
If you’re concerned about having a criminal charge on your record, it’s important to explore the option of having it sealed. Rhode Island record expungement is highly beneficial for various reasons. Don’t jeopardize your future because of a mistake you made years ago. Contact Rhode Island expungement lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq today to learn more about how you can begin expunging your record in Rhode Island.