Rhode Island Expungement Lawyer

Rhode Island Expungement Lawyer

After any criminal case is involved, it is essential to try to get your case expunged or sealed off your record. While both Motions to Expunge and Motions to Seal result in clearing the case from your criminal record, it is important to understand which needs to be filed in your case.

A Motion to Expunge applies in cases where you have been convicted of a crime. A Motion to Seal applies in cases where you have been exonerated of a crime, usually pursuant to a dismissal or 48A.


In Rhode Island, expungement is only available for first-time offenders who are not convicted of a violent crime. Expungement details are outlined in the Expungement of Criminal Records Statute, Rhode Island General Laws Title 12, Chapter 1.3).

You are still considered a first-time offender if you were convicted of multiple charges stemming from a single arrest. However, you are not considered a first-time offender (and thus not eligible for expungement) if you were convicted of multiple charges stemming from different arrests.

Crimes that are not eligible for expungement, because they are considered “violent”, include: larceny from a person, burglary, robbery, murder, manslaughter, first or second degree sexual assault, first or second degree child molestation, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to rob, assault with intent to commit first degree sexual assault, first degree arson, kidnapping with intent to export, etc.

It’s important to understand that you must wait a certain period of time before applying for expungement. This period varies depending on the crime.

See sample expungement form(s).

Expungement Form- District Court
Expungement Form- Superior Court