Rhode Island Expungement Laws

This guide aims to provide clear, detailed information on how to approach expungement, including official resources and step-by-step instructions.

Navigating the legal system to expunge a criminal record in Rhode Island can be complex. Whether you're looking to clear your record of a minor offense or seeking information on behalf of someone else, this guide is designed to assist you through the Rhode Island expungement process.

Understanding Expungement

Expungement is the legal process of erasing or sealing a criminal record from public view. In Rhode Island, not all records can be expunged, and the eligibility for expungement depends on various factors, including the nature of the crime, the time elapsed since the offense, and the individual's criminal history.

Official Resources:

Step-by-Step Guide to Expunging a Criminal Record in Rhode Island:

  1. Determine Eligibility: Review the Rhode Island expungement laws to understand if your record qualifies for expungement. Consider consulting with a legal expert for a thorough evaluation.

  2. Obtain Your Criminal Record: Before you can petition for expungement, you need to have a copy of your criminal record. This can usually be requested from the Rhode Island Bureau of Criminal Identification (BCI).

  3. File a Motion: If you're eligible, the next step is to file a motion for expungement with the court that handled your case. The necessary forms and specific instructions can be found on the official Rhode Island Courts website, particularly for Marijuana Possession Expungement.

  4. Attend the Hearing: Once your motion is filed, the court will schedule a hearing. You must attend this hearing, where the judge will consider your request for expungement.

  5. Follow Up: If the judge approves your expungement, ensure that you receive official documentation confirming the expungement. It may also be necessary to follow up with various agencies to confirm that the record has been expunged from their systems.

Additional Resources:

Frequently Asked Questions:

  • How long do you have to wait to get your record expunged in Rhode Island? The waiting period for expungement in Rhode Island varies based on the offense. Typically, it ranges from three to ten years after the completion of your sentence, including probation.

  • What is the clean slate law in Rhode Island? The "Clean Slate" law refers to legislative efforts aimed at broadening eligibility for expungement to include more types of offenses and reducing waiting periods.

  • What is a motion to expunge in Rhode Island? A motion to expunge is the formal request filed in court asking for the expungement of a criminal record.

  • What is the ban the box law in Rhode Island? "Ban the Box" refers to laws that prohibit employers from asking about criminal history on initial job applications, designed to improve employment opportunities for individuals with criminal records.


Expunging a criminal record in Rhode Island can offer a fresh start for many individuals. By following the outlined steps and utilizing the provided resources, individuals can navigate the expungement process with greater confidence and clarity. Remember, while this guide offers a comprehensive overview, consulting with a legal professional can provide personalized advice tailored to your specific situation.

About the author
Von Wooding

Von Wooding

Counsel Stack develops grounded language models equipped with research, retrieval, and drafting tools. We offer legal leads, pre-built intelligent applications, and white label solutions.

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