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Rhode Island Criminal Records

Compiled by various law enforcement during criminal investigations, Rhode Island Criminal Records provide valuable information about an individual's involvement in illegal activities.

These documents are crucial in maintaining public safety and ensuring transparency within the legal system. They are also a key component in safeguarding communities and upholding the principles of justice, enabling law enforcement agencies and the public to make informed decisions.


The content of criminal records can vary depending on various factors related to each person. However, individuals interested in obtaining these records in Rhode Island may expect to find the following information:


  • The subject's personal information, such as name, birth date, and race
  • Any known aliases
  • Fingerprint
  • Photograph
  • Court of trial
  • Incarceration information
  • Disposition
  • Outstanding warrants
  • Parole and probation status
  • Sex offender registration
  • Post-conviction status


The primary legislation that makes these records publicly accessible is the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act (APRA). Under APRA, the government must disclose public records, including criminal ones, to anyone requesting them. 


By making these records publicly accessible, the law enables individuals to exercise their right to know and helps to prevent potential harm. Access to these records allows people to assess the background of individuals they may interact with, whether a new neighbor, a prospective employee, or someone they are considering entering into a personal relationship with.


What Are the Types of Crimes in Rhode Island?

Legal professionals and law enforcement personnel recognize the significance of comprehending the various types of crimes documented in criminal records. This understanding plays a crucial role in promoting awareness and ensuring the efficient administration of justice.

In Rhode Island, individuals seeking access to these records must also familiarize themselves with the crimes they may encounter. The following offenses are commonly observed when examining Rhode Island Criminal Records:



Felonies in Rhode Island are severe criminal offenses punishable by imprisonment for more than one year. These crimes are generally considered more potent than misdemeanors and often involve violence, significant property damage, or committing certain prohibited acts.

Unlike some states, Rhode Island does not have specific classifications for felonies when determining sentences. Instead, the state's criminal rules establish the minimum and maximum penalties for each type of felony. It means that the court has discretion in determining the appropriate term of imprisonment within the boundaries defined by law.


While the court has flexibility in assigning sentences for most felonies, Rhode Island has developed sentencing standards that magistrates may utilize when deciding on the appropriate punishment. These standards provide guidelines for the most commonly occurring felonies, assisting magistrates in ensuring consistency in sentencing.


Here are a few examples of felony crimes in Rhode Island and the corresponding penalties to provide an understanding of the range:


  • Possession of illegal drugs (3 years in prison and a $500 to $1,500 fine)
  • Driving under the influence (DUI) that results in death (15 years imprisonment, five years of license suspension, and a $5,000 to $10,000 fine)
  • First-degree sexual assault (10 years up to life in prison)
  • Criminal attack or battery (6 to 20 years to life imprisonment)



Misdemeanors in Rhode Island refer to crimes that are less severe than felonies but still constitute violations of the law. While they are less intense, misdemeanors are still violations of the law that can result in legal consequences. These offenses typically carry penalties of up to one year in jail, fines, probation, or a combination thereof.


Rhode Island has two types of misdemeanors, which are as follows:


Petty Misdemeanors

In Rhode Island, petty misdemeanors are considered less serious offenses than other crimes. They typically involve minor or non-dangerous law violations and carry lesser penalties.

Despite being lower-level crimes with less severe punishments, individuals charged with petty misdemeanors in Rhode Island could still face consequences such as up to six months in jail, fines, or other non-custodial penalties. These non-custodial penalties may include community service or attending educational programs.


Examples of petty misdemeanors in Rhode Island include:


  • Abandoning or neglecting a spouse or children
  • Engaging in disorderly conduct
  • Possessing small amounts of marijuana
  • Underage drinking


Misdemeanors (Regular)

This misdemeanor in Rhode Island includes more dangerous crimes than petty misdemeanors. Convictions of these offenses in Rhode Island carry a maximum sentence. If someone is found guilty of a crime, they can spend up to one year in jail and pay a $1,000 fine.


Here are some examples of crimes in Rhode Island considered misdemeanors, along with the punishments set by law:


  • Hazing (30 days to a year in jail and up to a $500 fine)
  • Personal usage of more than one ounce of marijuana (1 year in jail and a penalty of $2 to $500)
  • Theft of property valued $1,500 or less (1 year in jail and a $500 fine)
  • Simple battery or attack (1 year in jail and a fine of $1,000)


How Does Probation Work in Rhode Island?

Probation is a widely used criminal justice practice that aims to supervise and rehabilitate convicted individuals while allowing them to remain in the community.


In Rhode Island, probation is a legal arrangement in which individuals convicted of a crime are released into the community under certain conditions instead of serving time in prison.

The primary objective of probation is to provide an opportunity for rehabilitation and reintegration. It also allows offenders to maintain employment, support their families, and contribute positively to society while being under the supervision of the criminal justice system.


After an individual is found guilty of a crime in Rhode Island, the court may determine that probation is an appropriate alternative to imprisonment. The magistrate has the discretion to sentence the offender to probation, considering the nature of the offense, the offender's criminal history, and any mitigating or aggravating factors.


Before imposing probation, the court may order a pre-sentence investigation conducted by the probation officer employed by the Rhode Island Department of Corrections (RIDOC).

This investigation gathers information about the offender's background, criminal history, family situation, employment status, and substance abuse or mental health issues. The probation officer assigned to the case prepares a comprehensive report that assists the court in determining suitable conditions for probation.


Once the court decides to impose probation, it sets specific conditions that the offender must comply with during the probationary period. These conditions may include standard conditions of probation that relate to everyone and, in some situations, mandatory requirements that the judge orders.


Individuals who breach the terms of their probation are taken back to court, and the judge can impose new orders or send the person to prison, even if they have never been incarcerated.


How To End Probation Early in Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, offenders may end their probation early through Rule 35(c) of the Rhode Island Superior Court Rules of Criminal Procedure.


To be eligible for early termination from probation under Rule 35(c), probationers must meet specific criteria and demonstrate their readiness to be released from supervision. While the specific requirements may vary on a case-by-case basis, common factors that the court considers include:


  • The probationer must have served probation for at least three years.
  • Over the past three years, the court has not deemed the probationer a violator.
  • Probationer has no active no-contact order.
  • The probationer has fulfilled all probation requirements, including counseling, community service, restitution, and fines.
  • The probationer has no current revocation proceedings.
  • The probationer is not on parole or probation in any other state.
  • The probationer is not currently serving probation concurrent with or after their present case, imposed separately from the case they are attempting to end.
  • The probationer has no charges ongoing in Rhode Island or any other state.


How Does Parole Work in Rhode Island?

Parole in Rhode Island is a legal concept that allows eligible inmates to serve the remainder of their sentence within the community, under specific conditions and supervision, instead of remaining incarcerated. It serves as a means of transitioning offenders from a correctional facility to society, encouraging rehabilitation, and reducing prison overcrowding.


The parole process in Rhode Island begins with identifying inmates who may be eligible for parole consideration. The Rhode Island Parole Board (RIPB), an independent agency responsible for parole decision-making, reviews each case to assess an inmate's suitability for release.


Upon determining an inmate's eligibility for parole, RIPB conducts a thorough review and evaluation, considering the individual's readiness for community reintegration. They will also base their decision on assessing the inmate's risk level, potential for successful reintegration, and public safety considerations.


If parole is granted, the responsibility of supervising parolees falls under the RIDOC, which will also establish specific conditions that parolees must follow during their parole period. 

These conditions may include mandatory participation in rehabilitative programs, maintaining steady employment, undergoing regular drug testing, attending counseling sessions, and refraining from contact with victims or co-conspirators.


If a parolee fails to comply with these conditions, there can be consequences, including revocation and being sent back to prison.


How To End Parole Early in Rhode Island

Like probation, Rhode Island allows parolees to terminate their parole period early. According to section 3-8-35 of the Rhode Island General Laws, the RIPB has the authority to conclude a parolee's supervision before the scheduled end of their sentence. 


This process can occur if the parolee has been under monitoring for a minimum of seven years and fulfills the following criteria:


  • The minimum time on supervised parole has passed.
  • The individual followed all rules inside and outside of the state.
  • The parolee has been and remains employed at the time of the request.
  • After seven years of supervision, the person has not committed a new crime or severe parole violation.


However, only eligible parolees in Rhode Island, who are not serving life sentences for a specific crime, can seek early termination of their parole.


To initiate the process, eligible parolees must submit and complete an application form with their signature to their parole officer for consideration.


How Does Expungement Work in Rhode Island?

Like any other state, Rhode Island allows individuals who committed crimes in the past to start afresh through expungement, which is a legal process enabling eligible individuals to remove certain offenses on their criminal record.


To initiate the expungement process in Rhode Island, an individual must file a petition with the court in the jurisdiction where the offense occurred. 


The petitioner must complete the necessary forms and provide accurate information regarding the crime, arrest, and conviction. It is essential to include all relevant details to ensure the expungement request is considered thoroughly.


Once submitted, the court will schedule a hearing where the petitioner and their legal representation, if any, will present their case before a judge. 


At the hearing, the judge will deliberate various aspects, such as the nature of the offense, the petitioner's criminal history, their behavior since the crime, and the impact of expungement on public safety and the individual's rehabilitation.


If the judge grants the expungement, the court will treat the criminal conviction as if it had never occurred, removing it from an individual's criminal record.


However, expungement in Rhode Island is only possible for certain arrests or sentences, such as misdemeanor crimes and non-violent felonies. Offenses involving violence, including sexual assault, murder, burglary, kidnapping, and arson, are not eligible for expungement.


Additionally, Rhode Island has specific requirements that individuals must meet to be eligible for expungement. These requirements vary depending on the offense committed and the time that has passed since the conviction or completion of the sentence.


To determine eligibility, interested individuals may complete an online form to assess if they can expunge their Rhode Island Criminal Records.


How To Obtain a Criminal Record in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, obtaining criminal records is essential for various purposes, such as background checks, employment verifications, and legal proceedings. Fortunately, the state offers several ways for people to get criminal records.


One of the most accessible methods is to request records directly from the Rhode Island Judiciary, which maintains a comprehensive database of criminal records that one may access.

For this method, individuals may visit the judiciary website and find the Self-help Center Public eService Access section. From there, they can click on the Rhode Island Judiciary Public Portal, which will take them to the platform.


Once on the portal, interested individuals can click on the "Smart Search" option. They can enter a record number or the last, first, middle, and suffix names of the person they are searching for.


After entering the required information, the portal will display a list of search results that include records of individuals, such as their case number, status, location, and date of birth.


Another way to obtain Rhode Island Criminal Records is by sending a request to the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI) through mail or in person.


For mail requests, interested individuals must present a notarized and signed release from the subject of the search. Before mailing the application package to BCI, they must include valid identification, payment, and a self-addressed stamped envelope.


On the other hand, for in-person requests, seekers only need to visit the Customer Service Center with a legal government-issued photo ID and pay a fee.


However, one must first register through a text message or by scanning the QR code displayed on the parking lot signage. After signing up, they will receive a welcome text and must wait for a second text message before entering the building.


What Are the Criminal Background Check Laws in Rhode Island?

Like other states, Rhode Island has established specific criminal background check laws to ensure its residents' safety and well-being. These laws govern the process of obtaining Rhode Island Criminal Records and dictate the responsibilities and obligations of employers, organizations, or anyone performing a background check in the state.


In addition to federal laws like Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Rhode Island has specific regulations.


According to section 28-5-7 of the Rhode Island General Laws, businesses are not allowed to inquire about charges or convictions on job applications or before conducting interviews. Also, this law makes it illegal for employers to ask candidates for employment about arrests that did not end in convictions, either on the application or during or after an interview.


However, employers in industries with federal or state presumptive disqualifications and law enforcement agencies can ask about criminal past on applications.


In Rhode Island, these rules protect vulnerable people and give individuals with criminal records a fair chance at getting jobs and reintegrating into society. By complying with these regulations, employers and organizations contribute to a safer and more inclusive community in the state.


Counties in Rhode Island

Police Departments and Sheriffe Office in Rhode Island

Providence County Sheriff's Office670 New London Avenue, Cranston, RI
Kent County Sheriff's Office222 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI
Washington County Sheriff's Office4800 Tower Hill Road, South Kingstown, RI
Newport County Sheriff's Office45 Washington Square, Newport, RI
Bristol County Sheriff's Office240 High Street, Bristol, RI