As reported by Katherine Gregg in the June 3, 2010 Providence Journal,
the Rhode Island House voted to approve the proposed expungement bill.
Under current Rhode Island law, first time offenders are allowed to permanently
seal their records after a certain period of time has passed, if they
met certain statutory requirements. The new bill would affect people who
are given deferred sentences. A deferred sentence means a defendant pleads
guilty or nolo contendere (no contest), but avoids a trial. The approved
bill would automatically seal a record of someone given a deferred sentence,
if that person stays out of trouble for the next five years, regardless
of the crime charged. An earlier version of this bill passed, but was
vetoed by Governor Carcieri in 2008. The approved bill will now be voted
on by the Rhode Island Senate.