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John E. MacDonald has over two decades of experience cleaning up criminal records that are either a bar to future employment, federal benefits or have immigration consequences. Contact the Law Office of John E. MacDonald today to schedule your consultation.
In Rhode Island and many other states, the procedure for getting criminal charges cleared from your record is called Expungement. Any criminal charge except for violent crimes are eligible for expungement in Rhode Island. Under most circumstances, this process is easily completed by an attorney and involves a petition to the court asking that the record be expunged or sealed. An Order is then issued and the state removes all of the charges that were noted in the Order from the record.
However, if you received a deferred sentence prior to July 1, 2010 in Rhode Island you may have difficulty having your record expunged. Even though you were promised that you would be able to do so at the end of your deferred sentence, Rhode Island changed the law regarding deferred sentence expungements, effectively negating this process for many people in this category.
Having a criminal conviction on your record could pose as a serious threat to a person’s ability to move forward in many aspects of their future. Due to the ease of access the Internet now provides on individuals both privately and professionally it is becoming increasingly more difficult to keep certain aspects of information hidden from the general public. This challenge often becomes a large obstacle when an individual is attempting to secure employment or legitimate opportunities to make income. In the information age in which we live, a person’s complete life history can be found with just a simple click of the keyboard. Fortunately, there are solutions for legally having your criminal record cleared and permanently wiping the slate clean.
Although this process can be complicated and intrusive the benefits of having your record sealed or expunged can have a tremendous impact on your future endeavors. There are specific qualifications an applicant must meet to be eligible to have their criminal history record expunged or sealed. In many cases, the individual charged with the crime could face a circumstance where the charges were dropped or dismissed and assume that means that the records will also disappear. This is not the case. Criminal history records are considered public property and can, therefore, be legally accessed by the public.
There is also a distinct difference between having your criminal records sealed vs. expunged. Having a record sealed simply means that the public cannot access the record. However, there will still be certain government agencies who will still have access to the criminal history record in question. On the contrary, having a criminal history record expunged does not allow the public or government entities access to those records. The government agency is only notified of the expungement and must produce a court order to gain access to the record.
Our experienced criminal defense lawyers specialize in assisting clients with the sealing or expungement of their criminal conviction records. If you would like more information about this process and review the eligibility criteria with our skilled legal team contact our office. Schedule your consultation to evaluate your legal options.
If you have tried unsuccessfully to have your record expunged, or if you believe that you may fall into this category of people who received deferred sentences prior to July 1, 2010, contact Expungement Attorney John E. MacDonald at (401) 421-1440. Attorney MacDonald has secured a precedent in this matter that will allow you to vacate your plea via post-conviction relief and have your criminal records expunged. Call him now to discuss your options and determine if you are eligible for this service.
If you were given a deferred sentence in the state of Rhode Island prior to July 1, 2010, and have had difficulty getting your record sealed as promised contact Criminal Defense Attorney John E. MacDonald at (401) 421-1440.
What is a Deferred Sentence?
The short answer is that a deferred sentence is an opportunity, a second chance, to avoid the scars of a permanent criminal conviction. A longer response will tell you that a deferred sentence is a five year probationary term that upon successful completion may be immediately sealed.
How does a Deferred Sentence work?
If you receive a deferred sentence, you are given a five year probationary term. There are several conditions to this sentence including full cooperation with your probation officer, gainful employment and a waiver of extradition. There may be additional conditions imposed that are specific to your case, such as restitution, counseling or community service. If you successfully complete all terms of your deferred sentence and remain trouble-free, the charges shall be dismissed and sealed from your criminal history. In fact, you are legally exonerated from the charges. If, however, you violate any of the terms of the deferred sentence you are subject to a violation hearing and the maximum statutory sentence.
Will I have a criminal record if my case is dismissed?
In Rhode Island, anyone that received a deferred sentence prior to July 1, 2010 may no longer be entitled to the immediate sealing of their criminal history. This is the result of some recent Supreme and Superior Court decisions. Many defendants who have successfully completed their deferred sentences must still wait another 10 years to clear their criminal history.
If you were given a deferred sentence in the state of Rhode Island prior to July 1, 2010 and have had difficulty getting your record sealed as promised, contact Criminal Defense Attorney John E. MacDonald at (401) 421-1440. Attorney MacDonald has secured a precedent in this matter that will allow you to vacate your plea via post-conviction relief and have your criminal records expunged. Call him now to discuss your options and determine if you are eligible for this service.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. Also, the Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.
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