On May 18, 2016, the Rhode Island House of Representatives will consider a new bill proposed by the Rhode Island Attorney General that would open the door for even more individuals to expunge their criminal records.
Currently, Rhode Island expungement laws allow only first time offenders to expunge one misdemeanor or felony from their criminal record. Under this proposed expungement law, current avenues for expungement and sealing would remain the same. However, a “second category” of expungement would be created, allowing individuals who have been convicted of more than one (1) misdemeanor, but fewer than six (6) misdemeanors to expunge any and all of those misdemeanors from their criminal records. Potentially, this law would allow individuals to remove up to five (5) misdemeanors from their records.
Those individuals with numerous misdemeanors would need to meet certain eligibility requirements for expungement. Namely, they cannot have any felony convictions on their records and they would have to wait ten (10) years from the date of the completion of the last sentence to remove all of the misdemeanors from their criminal record. Additionally, this new expungement avenue would exclude certain offenses including domestic violence crimes and driving under the influence (DUI).
The passage of this law would be a major victory for criminal defendants in Rhode Island, who were previously ineligible for expungement. If this bill passes, contact the experienced Rhode Island expungement lawyers at Abilheira Law right away to clean up your criminal record and get the fresh start you deserve!