(a) Any person filing a motion for expungement of the records of his or her conviction pursuant to § 12-1.3-2 shall give notice of the hearing date set by the court to the department of the attorney general and the police department that originally brought the charge against the person at least ten (10) days prior to that date.
Terms Used In Rhode Island General Laws 12-1.3-3
- Affidavit: A written statement of facts confirmed by the oath of the party making it, before a notary or officer having authority to administer oaths.
- Bail: Security given for the release of a criminal defendant or witness from legal custody (usually in the form of money) to secure his/her appearance on the day and time appointed.
- Conviction: A judgement of guilt against a criminal defendant.
- Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- Misdemeanor: Usually a petty offense, a less serious crime than a felony, punishable by less than a year of confinement.
- person: extends to and includes co-partnerships and bodies corporate and politic. See Rhode Island General Laws 43-3-6
- Restitution: The court-ordered payment of money by the defendant to the victim for damages caused by the criminal action.
- Testimony: Evidence presented orally by witnesses during trials or before grand juries.
(b) The court, after the hearing at which all relevant testimony and information shall be considered, may, in its discretion, order the expungement of the records of conviction of the person filing the motion if it finds:
(1)(i) That in the five (5) years preceding the filing of the motion, if the conviction was for a misdemeanor, or in the ten (10) years preceding the filing of the motion, if the conviction was for a felony, the petitioner has not been convicted nor arrested for any felony or misdemeanor; there are no criminal proceedings pending against the person; that the person does not owe any outstanding court-imposed or court-related fees, fines, costs, assessments, or charges, unless such amounts are reduced or waived by order of the court, and he or she has exhibited good moral character;
(ii) That after a hearing held under the provisions of § 12-19-19(c), the court finds that the person has complied with all of the terms and conditions of the deferral agreement including, but not limited to, the payment in full of any court-ordered fines, fees, costs, assessments, and restitution to victims of crimes; there are no criminal proceedings pending against the person; and he or she has established good moral character. Provided, that no person who has been convicted of a crime of violence shall have their records relating to a deferred sentence expunged; or
(iii) Subject only to §§ 12-1.3-2(b) and (f), that in the ten (10) years preceding the filing of the motion, if the convictions were for multiple misdemeanors, the petitioner has not been convicted nor arrested for any felony or misdemeanor; there are no criminal proceedings pending against the person; and they have exhibited good moral character; and, provided that convictions for offenses under chapter 29 of title 12, § 31-27-2 or § 31-27-2.1 are not eligible and may not be expunged under this subsection.
(2) That the petitioner’s rehabilitation has been attained to the court’s satisfaction and the expungement of the records of his or her conviction is consistent with the public interest.
(c) If the court grants the motion, it shall, after payment by the petitioner of a one hundred dollar ($100) fee to be paid to the court, order all records and records of conviction relating to the conviction expunged and all index and other references to it removed from public inspection. A copy of the order of the court shall be sent to any law enforcement agency and other agency known by either the petitioner, the department of the attorney general, or the court to have possession of the records. Compliance with the order shall be according to the terms specified by the court.
(d) The defendant shall be advised at the hearing that any and all bail money relating to a case that remains on deposit and is not claimed at the time of expungement shall be escheated to the state’s general treasury in accordance with chapter 12 of title 8.
(e) In cases of expungement sought pursuant to § 12-1.3-2(g), the court shall, after a hearing at which it finds that all conditions of the original criminal sentence have been completed, and any and all fines, fees, and costs related to the conviction have been paid in full, order the expungement without cost to the petitioner. At the hearing, the court may require the petitioner to demonstrate that the prior criminal conviction would qualify as a decriminalized offense under current law. The demonstration may include, but is not limited to, an affidavit signed by the petitioner attesting to the fact that the prior conviction qualifies as a decriminalized offense under current Rhode Island law.
(P.L. 1983, ch. 224, § 3; P.L. 1988, ch. 638, § 3; P.L. 1993, ch. 153, § 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 68, art. 11, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 97, § 3; P.L. 2015, ch. 109, § 3; P.L. 2016, ch. 202, § 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 204, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 234, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 316, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 188, § 1; P.L. 2018, ch. 247, § 1.)