Welcome to FindLaw's Cases & Codes, a free source of state and federal court opinions, state laws, and the United States Code. For more information about the legal concepts addressed by these cases and statutes, visit FindLaw's Learn About the Law.
(1) “Law-enforcement agency” means the department of attorney general; the superintendent of the state police, or his or her designee; the member, or members, of the police department of any city or town; a state or local police organization of this or any other state; the enforcement division of the department of environmental management; the office of the state fire marshal; the capitol police; a law-enforcement agency of the federal government; and any agency, department, or bureau of the United States government that has, as one of its functions, the gathering of intelligence data.
(2) “Destruction or sealing of records” means, and includes, any fingerprint, photograph, physical measurements, or other record of identification, heretofore or hereafter taken by, or under the direction of, the attorney general; the superintendent or his or her designees of state police; the member, or members, of the police department of any city or town; the enforcement division of the department of environmental management; the office of the state fire marshal; the capitol police; a law-enforcement agency of the federal government; any agency, department, or bureau of the United States government that has as one of its functions the gathering of intelligence data; or any other officer authorized by this chapter to take them, of a person under arrest.
(b) Any law-enforcement agency, subsequent to the arrest of any person, that determines that such person was wrongfully or incorrectly arrested as a result of mistaken identity or any other reason, or wrongfully fingerprinted, photographed, or otherwise has generated any record of arrest for investigatory purposes and, as a result of such wrongful arrest, no charges have been filed in any court of this state, shall, within sixty (60) days of such determination that the arrest was wrongful or without probable cause, seal all such arrest records and destroy all identifying information and indices of arrest, including, but not limited to, photographs and fingerprints. DNA samples obtained from such person shall be handled in accordance with the provisions of chapter 1.5 of title 12, “DNA detection of sexual and violent offenders” during, and related to, the investigation.
(c) Any law-enforcement agency that arrests and reports such arrest to any other law-enforcement agency shall, within sixty (60) days of making the determination that the arrest was wrongful or without probable cause, also notify all other agencies to which it has transmitted such identifying information and including, but not limited to, the state's bureau of criminal identification (BCI), the National Crime Information Identity Center (NCIC), and/or any other state or federal agency that compiles, retains, or collects any arrest or identifying information of arrestees, that the arrest was wrongful and that any and all records transmitted or generated shall be sealed and/or destroyed as provided herein.
(d) Any such person arrested and not charged shall be entitled to have all records and indices of arrest sealed and/or destroyed as provided herein regardless of any prior record of arrest or conviction that may otherwise not be eligible for expungement, pursuant to § 12-1.3-1 et seq., or sealing, pursuant to § 12-1-12 et seq.
(e) Any law-enforcement agency, upon making such determination that such an arrest was wrongful or without probable cause as provided herein, shall notify the person arrested that the charge was dismissed or that no charges have been filed and that all arrest records and indices of arrest have been sealed and/or destroyed consistent with this chapter.
(f) Any person arrested, detained, or otherwise identified as a suspect, and who is thereafter exonerated consistent with the provisions contained herein, may deny, for any purpose, that the arrest ever occurred and under no circumstances shall such an arrestee be required to disclose the arrest for any purpose including, but not limited to, any application for employment, professional license, concealed-weapons permit, or the purchase of a firearm or other weapon.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Rhode Island General Laws Title 12. Criminal Procedure § 12-1-12.2. Sealing of arrest records for wrongful arrest due to mistaken identity or any other reason--Notification - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ri/title-12-criminal-procedure/ri-gen-laws-sect-12-1-12-2/
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.