Title 12
Criminal Procedure

Chapter 1.5
DNA Detection of Sexual and Violent Offenders

R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-1.5-8

§ 12-1.5-8. DNA sample required upon arrest or conviction for any crime of violence.

(a) Every person arrested for a crime of violence as defined in § 12-1.5-2, who pleads guilty or nolo contendere, or is convicted of any felony shall have a DNA sample taken for analysis as follows:

(1) Every person who is sentenced to a term of confinement to prison, for any crime of violence as defined in § 12-1.5-2, or any felony shall not be released prior to the expiration of his or her maximum term of confinement unless and until a DNA sample has been taken;

(2) Every person convicted of any crime of violence as defined in § 12-1.5-2, or any felony, or who is sentenced thereon to any term of probation, or upon whose case sentencing is deferred shall have a DNA sample taken for analysis by the department of the health as a condition of any sentence which disposition will not involve an intake into prison.

(b) Every person arrested for any crime of violence as defined in § 12-1.5-2 shall, at the time of booking, have a DNA sample taken for analysis and included in the Rhode Island DNA database and DNA databank respectively as required by this chapter and every such person shall be notified of his or her expungement rights under § 12-1.5-13 at or near the time the DNA sample is taken.

(1) The DNA sample shall be submitted by the arresting authority to the department of health. The department of health shall not test or place the sample in the statewide DNA database prior to arraignment unless one of the following conditions has been met:

(i) The arrestee appeared before any judicial officer for an arraignment and the judicial officer made a finding that there was probable cause for the arrest; or

(ii) The defendant was released and then failed to appear for the initial hearing, or escaped custody prior to appearing before a judicial officer.

(2) If all qualifying criminal charges are determined to be unsupported by probable cause:

(i) The DNA sample shall be immediately destroyed; and

(ii) Notice shall be sent by the prosecuting authority to the defendant and counsel of record for the defendant that the sample was destroyed.

(3) The arrestee requests or consents to having their DNA sample processed prior to arraignment for the sole purpose of having the sample checked against a sample that has been processed from the crime scene or the hospital, and is related to the charges against the person.

(4) A second DNA sample shall be taken if needed to obtain sufficient DNA for the statewide DNA database system or if ordered by the court for good cause shown.

(c) All DNA samples taken pursuant to this section shall be taken in accordance with regulations promulgated by the department of health.

(d) The director of the department of health shall promulgate rules and regulations governing the periodic review of the DNA identification database to determine whether or not the database contains DNA profiles that should not be in the database, including the steps necessary to expunge any profiles that the department determines should not be in the database.

(e) The requirements of this chapter are mandatory. In the event that an arrestee’s DNA sample is not adequate for any reason, the arrestee shall provide another DNA sample for analysis.

(f) A sample does not need to be collected if the person has previously provided a sample sufficient for DNA testing pursuant to the provisions of this section.

History of Section.
P.L. 1998, ch. 33, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 120, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 109, § 13; P.L. 2014, ch. 176, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 192, § 1; P.L. 2022, ch. 210, § 1, effective June 27, 2022; P.L. 2022, ch. 211, § 1, effective June 27, 2022.