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  • Ann Sheeley

Expunging Your Record Can Give You a Fresh Start in 2021

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

It’s that time of the year when we make resolutions and look for ways to improve our quality of life. This rings particularly true right now as many people have been laid off due to the pandemic and are actively seeking new employment. If an arrest, charge or conviction has been haunting you and making it difficult for you to land a job, secure housing, obtain a loan, or enroll in education and training programs, expunging your record could give you the fresh start you need in 2021.

Many individuals convicted of crimes are unaware that expunging your record in Rhode Island is even a possibility. At Sheeley Law, we understand that mistakes happen and want to help you understand the process and see if you qualify for expungement.

What is Expungement?

Simply put, an expungement order directs the court to treat certain, non-violent convictions as if they never occurred, essentially removing these arrests or charges from your criminal record. If the court grants you an expungement, any mention of the criminal matter will be removed from all court records, police department records, probation department records and the Bureau of Criminal Identification. It is important to note that expungement is different than having your records sealed, which only prohibits the public, not government entities like the police, from viewing your criminal records.

Why Should I Expunge My Record?

In today’s information age, a person’s complete life history can be found with just a simple click. It is almost guaranteed that at some point in your life, you will be subject to a criminal background check. Any previous arrest will be on your public record, which is easily accessible by current and future employers, landlords, banks and even family members. Even if you were never convicted of a crime, an arrest record can negatively impact your life.

Am I Eligible for Expungement?

Rhode Island is considered to be fairly lenient compared to other states with regards to expungement. Many criminal charges, with the exception of violent crimes, are eligible; however, you must meet certain criteria. For example, if you have a non-violent misdemeanor conviction, such as a DUI, you must wait five years before you can begin the expungement process in Rhode Island, and the records must show that you completed your sentence and probation. If, for instance, you have unpaid fines, you will need to address that before you can begin the expungement process.

To learn more about Rhode Island's Expungement Laws, please click here.

How Do I Start the Process of Getting My Record Expunged?

Past mistakes do not have to haunt you for the rest of your life. If you have a criminal record, Sheeley Law can help you start 2021 with a clean slate.

Rhode Island Expungement Lawyer Ann Sheeley has more than 25 years of experience helping people keep their private life private and protect their future. Since each person’s circumstances are unique, we recommend that you contact Ann Sheeley for a free consultation. We are available 24/7 by calling 401-619-5555 or emailing


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