Selected State Statutes: Rhode Island

Statutes: Rhode Island

View all

12-10-12. Filing of complaints

(a) Subject to any other provisions of law relative to the filing of complaints for particular crimes, any judge of the district court or superior court may place on file any complaint in a criminal case other than a complaint for the commission of a felony or a complaint against a person who has been convicted of a felony or a private complaint. The court may in its discretion require, as a condition of the filing, the performance of services for the public good or may attach any other conditions to it that the court shall determine; provided, in cases where the court ordered restitution totals less than two hundred dollars ($200) to an injured party pursuant to this section or § 12-19-34, the court shall require that full restitution be made at the time of sentencing if the court determines that the defendant has the present ability to make the restitution.

(b) Express conditions of any filing in accordance with this section shall be that the defendant at all times during the one year keep the peace and be of good behavior and shall have paid all outstanding court-imposed or court-related fees, fines, costs, assessments, charges, and/or any other monetary obligations unless reduced or waived by order of the court. A violation of these express conditions, or any other condition set by the court, shall be deemed a violation of the filing and the matter that was filed may be resurrected by the court. A determination of whether a violation has occurred shall be made by the court in accordance with the procedures relating to a violation of probation, §§ 12-19-9 and 12-19-14.

(c) In the event the complaint was originally filed under this section subsequent to the defendant's plea of guilty or nolo contendere to the charges, the court, if it finds there to have been a violation, may sentence the defendant. In the event the court filed the complaint under this section while the defendant maintained a plea of not guilty, if the court finds there to have been a violation, it may proceed to the further disposition of the complaint according to law. If no action is taken on the complaint for a period of one year following the filing, the complaint shall be automatically expunged. No criminal record shall result; provided, that in any civil action for a tort, a plea of guilty or a finding of guilty should be admissible notwithstanding the fact that the complaint has been filed.

(d) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, in the event a complaint for a crime involving domestic violence was originally filed under this section subsequent to the defendant's plea of guilty or nolo contendere to the charges, the court, if it finds there to have been a violation, may sentence the defendant. In the event the court filed the complaint for a crime involving domestic violence under this section while the defendant maintained a plea of not guilty, if the court finds there to have been a violation, it may proceed to the further disposition of the complaint for a crime involving domestic violence according to law. If, for a period of one year after the date of filing, the defendant is not charged with a violation pursuant to subsection (b) of this section, the filed complaint for the crime involving domestic violence shall be automatically quashed and shall not be resurrected. If, for a period of three (3) years after the date of filing, the defendant is not charged with a crime involving domestic violence, or if so charged, is acquitted or the complaint is dismissed, all records relating to the filed complaint for a crime involving domestic violence shall be expunged without the requirement of filing a motion pursuant to chapter 1.3 of title 12. No criminal records shall result, unless in any civil action for a tort, in which a plea of guilty or a finding of guilty is admissible notwithstanding the fact that the complaint has been filed. Provided, however, that in sentencing a defendant for a crime involving domestic violence of which the defendant was charged within three (3) years after the filing of a prior crime involving domestic violence to which the defendant pleaded guilty or nolo contendere, the court may take the plea into consideration.

(e) The defendant shall be advised that any and all bail money relating to a case that remains on deposit and is not claimed at the time of expungement shall be escheated to the state's general treasury in accordance with chapter 12 of title 8.