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Legal Statutes: Rhode Island

UPDATED May 25, 2017

Rhode Island Statutes

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Chapter 1. Identification and Apprehension of Criminals

back to top12-1-12. Destruction or sealing of records of persons acquitted or otherwise exonerated

(a)(1) Any fingerprint, photograph, physical measurements, or other record of identification, heretofore or hereafter taken by or under the direction of the attorney general, the superintendent of state police, the member or members of the police department of any city or town or any other officer authorized by this chapter to take them, of a person under arrest, prior to the final conviction of the person for the offense then charged, shall be destroyed by all offices or departments having the custody or possession within sixty (60) days after there has been an acquittal, dismissal, no true bill, no information, or the person has been otherwise exonerated from the offense with which he or she is charged, and the clerk of court where the exoneration has taken place shall, consistent with § 12-1-12.1, place under seal all records of the person in the case including all records of the division of criminal identification established by § 12-1-4.

(2) Any person previously convicted of any felony offense shall not be entitled to relief under this section except for those records in cases of acquittal after trial.

(3) Any person who shall violate any provision of this section shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100).

(b) Requirements of this section shall also apply to persons detained by police, but not arrested or charged with an offense, or to persons against whom charges have been filed by the court, and the period of such filing has expired.

(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, any person who has been charged with a complaint for a crime involving domestic violence where the complaint was filed upon a plea of not guilty, guilty or nolo contendere pursuant to § 12-10-12, must wait a period of three (3) years from the date of filing before the records associated with the charge can be expunged, sealed or otherwise destroyed.
P.L. 1984, ch. 341, § 2; P.L. 1987, ch. 390, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 638, § 1; P.L. 1996, ch. 386, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 438, § 1; P.L. 2001, ch. 303, § 3; P.L. 2013, ch. 301, § 1, eff. July 15, 2013; P.L. 2013, ch. 416, § 1, eff. July 15, 2013.