Title 12
Criminal Procedure

Chapter 1.3
Expungement of Criminal Records

R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-1.3-4

§ 12-1.3-4. Effect of expungement of records — Access to expunged records — Wrongful disclosure.

(a) Any person having his or her record expunged shall be released from all penalties and disabilities resulting from the crime of which he or she had been convicted, except, upon conviction of any subsequent crime, the expunged conviction may be considered as a prior conviction in determining the sentence to be imposed.

(b) In any application for employment, license, or other civil right or privilege, or any appearance as a witness, a person whose conviction of a crime has been expunged pursuant to this chapter may state that he or she has never been convicted of the crime; provided, that if the person is an applicant for a law enforcement agency position, for admission to the bar of any court, an applicant for a teaching certificate, under chapter 11 of title 16, a coaching certificate under § 16-11.1-1, or the operator or employee of an early childhood education facility pursuant to chapter 48.1 of title 16, the person shall disclose the fact of a conviction.

(c) Whenever the records of any conviction and/or probation of an individual for the commission of a crime have been expunged under the provisions of this chapter, any custodian of the records of conviction relating to that crime shall not disclose the existence of the records upon inquiry from any source unless the inquiry is that of the individual whose record was expunged, that of a sentencing court following the conviction of the individual for the commission of a crime, or that of a bar admission, character and fitness, or disciplinary committee, board, or agency, or court which is considering a bar admission, character and fitness, or disciplinary matter, or that of the commissioner of elementary and secondary education, or that of any law enforcement agency when the nature and character of the offense with which an individual is to be charged would be affected by virtue of the person having been previously convicted of the same offense.

(d) The custodian of any records which have been expunged pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall only release or allow access to those records for the purposes specified in subsections (b) or (c) of this section or by order of a court. Any agency and/or person who willfully refuses to carry out the expungement of the records of conviction pursuant to § 12-1.3-2, or this section or willfully releases or willfully allows access to records of conviction, knowing them to have been expunged, shall be civilly liable.

History of Section.
P.L. 1983, ch. 224, § 3; P.L. 1984, ch. 341, § 1; P.L. 1986, ch. 198, § 7; P.L. 1990, ch. 249, § 1; P.L. 1993, ch. 153, § 2.