New Expungement Bill Approved

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.

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