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Rhode Island Expungement Lawyer

Rhode Island Expungement Lawyer

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Expunge Your Rhode Island Criminal Records

Below you will find links to in-depth information on expungement, and state-specific resources on expungement and criminal records.

The two types of motions that are filled to clear your records are:

  • Motion to seal
  • Motion to expunge

What is an Expungement?

Expungement is a legal process through which an arrest or conviction may be erased from a person’s criminal record.

In most cases, the first-time offender of a previous conviction requests the records of the first proceeding to be sealed and marked as unavailable through state or federal entities. Successful proceedings are labeled as expunged. The terms expungement and pardon are commonly confused. These two distinct legal proceedings serve very different purposes. A pardon represents forgiveness of the event and can only be granted by the President of the United States. An expungement expresses a complete removal of the event as if it never took place. In the United States, expungements are solely granted by judges.

What is the difference between motion to seal versus motion to expunge?

In RI, a case can either be Expunged or Sealed. The effect is the absolute same thing. If a case is Expunged/Sealed, 3 things happen:

  1. The charge is deleted from the persons B.C.I. (RI’s term for your criminal record);
  2. The Court deletes the case from the Court records (which is accessible from any computer/phone with internet and what people usually see first);
  3. The police department is ordered to destroy the physical file in their possession.

If a person pleads Guilty, or is found Guilty after Trial and thus receives a criminal sentence, the term used is Expunged.

If a person has their case dismissed, or is found Not Guilty after a Trial, the term is Sealed. No one has ever explained the true difference to me or anyone else, or why we have 2 terms, but the results are exactly the same. I guess if you were sentenced by a Judge, that needs to be erased (expunged). Whereas if your case is dismissed, its simply the Sealing of the file.

How do you qualify for an expungement in Rhode Island?

As stated in Rhode Island expungement law Title 12, Chapter1.3, Section 1 to qualify for a Motion to Seal or Motion to Expunge a individual must be a “first offender” which is defined as:

a person who has been convicted of a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense, and who has not been previously convicted of or placed on probation for a felony or a misdemeanor and against whom there is no criminal proceeding pending in any court.

What offenses cannot be expunged?

Expungement law states “crimes of violence” which includes:

  • murder
  • manslaughter
  • first degree arson
  • kidnapping with intent to extort
  • first and second degree sexual assault
  • first and second degree child molestation
  • assault with intent to murder, rob or to commit first degree sexual assault
  • burglary and entering a dwelling house with intent to commit murder
  • robbery
  • larceny

Rhode Island Expungement Laws

RIGL §12-1-12 directs that those authorized to collect identifiers of persons arrested shall destroy them within sixty days after the accused has been acquitted or otherwise exonerated. Further, chapter 12-1.3 of the R.I.G.L. calls for the expungement of criminal records when certain criteria have been met. As the central repository for criminal records, the BCI Unit must delete the record of arrest in those cases where the accused has been acquitted or exonerated. In cases of court-ordered expungements, the BCI Unit acts within sixty days of receipt of the order.

Rhode Island law sets out a procedure for a first offender to file a motion to expunge a record of conviction for a felony or a misdemeanor. Upon request, the Department of Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Identification Unit (BCI) provides the offender a copy of the conviction record at a cost. The Judicial Records Center maintains the criminal complaint which is available for copying. The foregoing information is needed to complete a motion to expunge.

By law, the motion is filed in the court in which the conviction took place. A ten-day period is necessary for the offender to give the Attorney General’s Office and the arresting police department notice that the motion to expunge is being filed. The court clerk’s office will assign a date at least ten days from the filing date.

If the motion is granted, certified copies of the court order should be provided to the arresting police department, the Department of Attorney General, and to the probation department (if applicable), in order to give notification that the record has been ordered expunged. Each agency should destroy its record.

Because the summary set forth above is for informational purposes only, it is recommended that you contact an attorney to discuss the procedures for filing such a motion. This summary information does not guarantee that the record will be expunged after a motion has been filed.

Frequently asked expungement questions

Is a pardon the same thing as expungement?

No. A pardon can only come from the President of the United States of America. It signifies the forgiveness for a crime continue reading

Can you expunge a No Contest plea?

It depends. If a defendant is not acquitted during the legal process, he or she may opt for a filing. continue reading

Can you expunge a felony in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island expungement laws state that expungement id only available to first-time offenders not convicted of a violent crime. continue reading

Do expunged records show up on background checks?

It depends. While expungement is meant to stay off public records. However, private records may contain this information. continue reading

How long do you have to wait to get your record expunged?

It depends on the classification of the crime. continue reading

What does the expungement process look like?

The expungement process steps looks like the following continue reading

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Brandon Nantais
Brandon Nantais
10:06 07 May 19
Mr. Macktaz is an outstanding lawyer. He goes above and beyond for his clients making sure they get the best possible outcome there is! He believes good people sometimes make bad mistakes. I would highly reccommend his services. He will be with you every step of the way.
Haley Nims
Haley Nims
17:00 05 May 19
Josh Macktaz is is an excellent attorney who really goes above and beyond for his client.I found him to be very trustworthy and intelligent. I had a technical probation violation. I needed a good lawyer for representation and Josh came highly recommended. He was very honest, respectful and made you feel at ease throughout the whole process. I would highly recommend him to family & friends.Thank You Josh & God Bless -Sam
Sam Wlt
Sam Wlt
18:21 01 May 19
Josh is committed to following through with his clients and ensuring they are happy. He is not only thorough but he is very responsive and cares. I appreciated his help and he adequately explained the process.
Aly Starr
Aly Starr
02:27 25 Feb 19
My Experience with Josh representing me was beyond what I could have hoped for. Josh explained his thoughts and exceptions on my case & followed through to receive the best outcome.. Cannot thank you enough Josh!
Troy McGann
Troy McGann
13:12 15 Jan 19
I highly recommend the services of Josh Macktaz. He was responsive, efficient and very realistic about my case and the associated penalties. My legal costs were exactly as he suggested on our first call (which were fair). He is very knowledgeable of the Rhode Island law and has very strong contacts at the traffic tribunal. Related, he handled minor hearings without me which saved me money and travel time. He did the best possible job for a guy in my situation. Anyone that has a drunk driving charge in RI that does not consider Josh Macktaz is risking their future and wasting their dollars.
Chad M
Chad M
23:10 13 Jan 19
My experience with Josh was beyond positive. If I could rate higher than five stars I would. Through out my entire process he was professional, straightforward, knowledgeable and understanding. It did not take long after meeting him I knew I needed him to represent me. Although my road was long Josh stuck with me every step of the way. There is no doubt in my mind without him I would not have been able to get the best possible outcome in my case. For that my family and I are forever grateful to him. He truly is a master of his craft and a fighter through and through. If you need representation look no further " This is the Man you want In your corner."
Daniel James
Daniel James
14:08 22 Dec 18
I hired Joshua Mactaz to represent me. He did an amazing job. He is very knowledgeable, hard worker and will do anything for you. I would recommend him to anyone and I would certainly have him represent me again.
Susan DeFedele
Susan DeFedele
06:41 14 Dec 18
We always dealt with Josh Macktaz directly. He walked us through every step of the process and answered all our questions. His representation for us in the court room was handled professionally and we are extremely happy with the outcome.
Cheryl DeFeo
Cheryl DeFeo
00:24 14 Dec 18
Amazing lawyer. Josh explained every step to resolving my issue and got me the best possible outcome for my case. He is very to the point and will fight to defend his clients in their toughest times. If you find yourself in trouble in Rhode Island, there is no one I would recommend more than Josh!
James McKeown
James McKeown
04:46 06 Oct 18
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Anthony Mayer
Anthony Mayer
19:38 14 Sep 18
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Chris Baccelli
Chris Baccelli
19:59 12 Sep 18
After meeting with several lawyers I chose Mr. Macktaz to represent me. His professionalism and positive attitude helped ease the stress of a difficult situation. Josh provided a detailed timeline of the court process and was clear on what my expectations should be. He was prompt in returning my calls and answered any questions or concerns that I had. I would recommend Josh to anyone in need of representation as he went above and beyond in securing the best possible outcome for my case.
Paul DiLorenzo
Paul DiLorenzo
04:31 14 Aug 18
With Joshua Macktaz, Professional... he helped in my case and I thank him for his help and I truly recommend him for any case, one of the best in the business
jose carrion
jose carrion
23:23 11 Aug 18
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Uodam Sann
Uodam Sann
15:08 10 Aug 18
I will start off by saying I knew nothing about the criminal or traffic court system until March 2018. I made a choice to have one too many and was arrested (DUI). Dealing with the embarrassment of an arrest and fear of losing my job, I "google searched for a DUI lawyer" and Josh Macktaz name appeared. Although apprehensive about using a a Google Review to determine my future, I made the call. This is my experience... 1) Mr. Macktaz made time to meet me the day I outreached him. (free consultation)2) During our initial meeting Macktaz outlined in detail what I had ahead of me; including court dates and car insurance details.3) Mr. Macktaz was at every court appearance and explained what was going to happen in court and the potential outcome.4) He was confident in what the outcome would be... and he was right!In closing... would I retain Mr. Macktaz if I ever needed criminal representation again? Yes, he would be my first phone call. He continually follows up with his clients. I never felt the need to outreach Mr. Macktaz since he called or emailed first!
22:15 03 Jul 18
Professional, experienced and extremely knowledgeable! Josh took the time to answer all my questions, and was always very responsive. He was able to put my mind at ease. He was able to get my charges dismissed and my case expunged. Best Attorney in RI!!!
15:56 09 May 18
Josh was very professional and extremely knowledgeable of my situation. He took the time to meet with me face to face multiple times to gather all the facts so he could develop the best plan possible. After collecting the facts he sat me down and he discussed all the options I had and why certain options may or may not be available in my situation. During this very difficult time, I at least felt comfortable that I received the best possible outcome and Josh is the reason why. A true professional through and through.
Neal Manaskie
Neal Manaskie
19:28 23 Apr 18
For someone who is totally new to the court system Josh took the time to sit and explain options,situations and solutions before he even a dollar was given. He made you feel protected within the court system, and I would recommend him to anyone looking for good help. He was a total down to earth and knowledgeable person someone you'd want on your side. Any help or questions I had were solved within hours by email and he kept connected with me throughout the whole process. Me and my whole family are greatful for the help! Thanks Josh !
Dylan Nunez
Dylan Nunez
02:54 22 Mar 18
Josh is unlike any attorney I've ever had contact with: and I have worked with and for several. Customer service is a key part of the great service he personally delivered. It is with great confidence that I am able to refer him. He brought me the best results possible. He also returned every single phone call. Thanks Josh!
Kathleen Whitmarsh
Kathleen Whitmarsh
17:07 13 Mar 18

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