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Expungement of DUI in Rhode Island

A motion for expungement is a request to remove all records and information relating to the conviction and/or probation from the person’s active files. If the individual is a first offender of the charge, he or she may file a motion for expungement for the felony or misdemeanor conviction as long as the motion is filed in the court the conviction took place and the conviction has nothing to do with a crime of violence (i.e., murder, manslaughter, etc.). A person may file a motion for the expungement of records relating to a misdemeanor conviction after 5 years from the date of completion of the sentence. However, for a felony conviction, the person may file after 10 years from the date of completion of the sentence.

When a person files a motion for expungement, he or she must notify the department of the attorney general and police department of the hearing date at least 10 days in advance to the actual hearing date. The court may grant the motion for expungement if, 1) within the 5 years, the conviction was for a misdemeanor or within the 10 years, the conviction was for a felony, the petitioner 2) has not been convicted or arrested for any further felony or misdemeanor, 3) has no criminal proceedings pending, 4) exhibited good moral character, and 5) has been rehabilitated to the court’s satisfaction and finds that the expungement would be consistent with the public interest.

Once the court grants the motion, the petitioner will pay a $100 fee, and the court will order all records relating to the conviction to be expunged, meaning that all references to the charge will be deleted. Once the person has his or her records expunged, the individual will be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from that particular crime, but if the individual is convicted of any subsequent crime, the expunged conviction may be considered as a prior conviction. In other words, an expunged DUI conviction may be used to calculate a harsher sentence to an individual who has been convicted of another DUI charge, so the individual may be considered a second offender. However, those who have no subsequent convictions may state that they have never been convicted of that crime, except for individuals applying for a law enforcement agency position, an admission to the bar of any court, a teaching certificate, a coaching certificate, or an operator or employee of an early childhood education facility, who must disclose his or her conviction.

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