RI Expungement Blog

Discussing current issues involving the expungement of Rhode Island criminal records while providing insight and assistance those seeking expungement.

Special Rules for Expunging Rhode Island Domestic Violence Filings

Many people charged with crimes involving domestic violence end up pleading nolo contendre (Latin for no contest) to those charges.  Under Rhode Island law, a plea of nolo contendre is for many purposes the same as a plea of guilty.  However, when an individual pleads nolo contendre to a domestic violence offense and you are sentenced to a One Year Filing there are some special circumstances you should be aware of.

First, a plea of nolo contendre followed by the sentence of a One Year Filing is NOT a criminal conviction.  This is an important point that many people do not understand.  Even though you were charged with a crime and even though you admitted your guilt (through a plea of nolo contendre), you have not been "convicted of a crime" under Rhode Island law.

Second, a plea of nolo contendre followed by the sentence of a One Year Filing is not automatically eligible to be expunged like other crimes which have been filed.  The general rule regarding filings is that upon the expiration of the filing the case will be immediately expunged from your record.  Rhode Island General Law 12-1-12.1(e) requires that the individual whose case was filed wait three (3) years from the date of the filing prior to moving to expunge/seal records of the case that was filed.  The full statutory provision is below:

Therefore, this provision means that any crime involving domestic violence which has been filed must remain for three years from the date the case was filed, even though the One Year Filing is terminated after the successful completion of the first year.

Experienced Legal Representation for those seeking to Expunge Domestic Violence Filings

Attorney Matthew Marin has assisted hundreds of individuals in expunging and sealing criminal records.  If you have questions or would like a free, confidential expungement consultation you should contact us at 401-228-8271 or complete the Expungement Consultation Form on our website.  We can help you expunge the records of your domestic violence filing.  Contact Attorney Matthew Marin today.