Rhode Island Criminal Records
Instant Access to State, County and Municipal Records
What Are Criminal Records In Rhode Island?
Criminal records, also known as rap sheets, are official documents maintained by criminal justice agencies in Rhode Island, such as the Sheriff’s office, the criminal justice departments like the courts, and the Department of Corrections. It is one of the several police records compiled by law enforcement during criminal investigations in Rhode Island. Others include arrest records, arrest warrants, incident reports, and logs of police activities.
The information in criminal records depends on several factors and thus varies from person to person. Nevertheless, a requester can expect to find the following information in a criminal record:
- Subject’s name and known aliases
- Personal information like age, place, and birth date
- Known criminal associates
- Offense information and criminal charges faced in court
- Court of trial
- Disposition, i.e., trial outcome
- Incarceration information
- Parole eligibility
- Post-conviction status
Are Criminal Records Public In Rhode Island?
Criminal records are public records under the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act (APRA). Thus, information on a person’s arrest, trial, conviction, sentencing, incarceration, parole, probation, and supervision are accessible on request to the public. Interested persons may also visit the website of a trial court to access additional information on a particular criminal case.
Criminal records, considered public in the United States, are made available through some third-party aggregate sites. Searching with third-party websites is often easier as the information is not limited to geographic record availability. Information found on third-party websites can serve as a jumping off point for parties searching for a specific record or multiple records. Typically, requesters must provide the following information to gain access to these records:
- The record subject’s name, unless the subject is a juvenile.
- The record subjects’ last known location, including cities, counties, and states.
Third-party websites offer these search services, but they are not government sponsored. Availability of records may vary.
How To Obtain Criminal Records In Rhode Island
Online access to information on most adult criminal cases is through the public portal database maintained by the Rhode Island judiciary. A criminal record search can be initiated by clicking on the ‘‘smart search’’ box and typing the name of the individual of interest in the box provided.
Alternatively, a requester may send an in-person or mail request to the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCI). For in-person requests, the requester need only appear at the Customer Service Center with a valid government-issued photo ID and payment for the service. On the other hand, requesters sending a mail request must present a signed release from the subject of the search. Next, the requester must attach a valid identification document and payment in the form of a check or money order to the release form. Then, the requester must enclose the application packet in a self-addressed stamped envelope and mail it to the Bureau of Investigation.
Attorney General Julius C. Michaelson Customer Service Center
4 Howard Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920
The Bureau shall process the request within 7 - 10 business days of receipt. However, it may take longer to receive the criminal record depending on the volume of requests and delivery logistics. Either way, a rule of thumb is to ensure that the application packet is complete and accurate before mailing it out.
Requesters who want to perform a free public criminal record check must first contact the Bureau of Investigation before submitting a request. The Bureau will grant a fee waiver if the individual qualifies. Interested persons may also obtain free criminal records using online resources. However, the completeness and accuracy of the report obtained from free third-party sources are not guaranteed.
What are Arrest Records In Rhode Island?
Arrest records are information generated and maintained by law enforcement agencies on persons legally taken into their custody on allegation or suspicion of a crime, pending their arraignment, arrangement for bail, or their release by law enforcement. Rhode Island police reports and police records differ from arrest records. Police records do include arrest records, but they also include police logs and incident reports.
Are Arrest Records Public In Rhode Island?
It depends. Arrest records are generally public if the document’s content does not compromise active criminal investigations. On the contrary, if releasing the document comprises a law enforcement officer’s safety or civilians’, the record custodian shall withhold the document from public access.
Generally, requests for public arrest records and associated police records go to the arresting agency. By default, this would be the Sheriff’s Office or the local police department. In cases where the requester does not know the arresting agency, the request for arrest records goes to the agency that has custody of the arrestee.
Most agencies do not charge a search fee for arrest records, but the requester must pay copying fees to obtain the documents. It is possible but typically difficult to obtain free arrest records. Interest requesters must inquire of the record custodian’s fee waiver policy or demonstrate that releasing the free arrest records serves the public’s interest rather than commercial purposes. Arrest records typically contain:
- Full name of the arrestee
- Date of birth
- Arrestee’s home address (held confidential if revealing it would compromise the person’s privacy)
- Criminal charges
- Date of arrest
- Time of arrest
- Arresting officer’s name (undercover officers will not be named)
What Are Arrest Warrants In Rhode Island?
An arrest warrant is an official court order authorizing law enforcement officers to take a person into custody. Arrest warrants are issued on the grounds that law enforcement has persuaded a judge that they have reasons to believe and substantial evidence that the person named on the arrest warrant has committed an offense or is connected to a crime being committed.
A bench warrant is a type of arrest warrant authorizing law enforcement agents to take a person who has skipped a court appearance date before the court. Interested persons may obtain a copy of the arrest warrant from the agency that executed the arrest warrant or the agency empowered to execute an active warrant. For the most part, providing the subject’s name is enough to conduct the warrant search. Meanwhile, providing other information, like the subject’s birth date, known address, and year of warrant issuance, helps make an active warrant search faster.
What Are Inmate Records And Jail Records?
Jail and inmate records contain information on persons that have been sentenced by a court for a criminal offense and held in the custody of a corrections facility in Rhode Island. It may also contain information on persons in jail but have been granted probation or discharged after completing their term of incarceration or confinement in local jails.
The Rhode Island Department of Corrections maintains an online inmate lookup database of inmate or offender records online, held as publicly accessible information on inmates who were or are in correctional facilities and institutions under their administration. Members of the public have the right to perform an inmate search on anyone incarcerated in the state.
Rhode Island Sex Offender Registry
Rhode Island sex offender registry is a public database of offenders convicted of sex crimes and sexually motivated crimes in Rhode Island. The listings also provide information to the community on persons who have been convicted of level 2 or level 3 criminal sexual conduct. Level 1 sex offenders are considered low risk. Thus, information on level 1 sex offenders is usually not available online—a concerned person must visit the local police department to obtain this information.
The Rhode Island Sexual Offender law requires law enforcement agencies to collect information on sex offenders in the communities and notify the public of their release from prison, only to promote public safety. Law enforcement is obligated to notify community residents that a sex offender has been released or is about to be released to reside within their neighborhood. The information available of registered sex offenders may include
- Name of offender
- Physical description such as height, hair color, height, eye color
- Area of residence
- Criminal sexual conduct conviction
- Probation status
DUI In Rhode Island
It is illegal to drive or operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or any substance that impairs an individual’s senses and coordination. Police officers determine impairment after administering a field sobriety test and a chemical test to determine a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). Drivers with a BAC of 0.08 or more shall face DUI charges in court. Likewise, the Division of Motor Vehicles shall also suspend the driver’s license pending administrative review.
Drunk driving is a serious traffic violation in Rhode Island, and law enforcement treats it as such. Generally, the penalties for a DUI include jail time, fines, and alternative sentences like community service and completing a drivers’ education program. The court may also order the driver convicted of impaired driving to install an ignition interlock device or complete alcohol treatment.
Meanwhile, Rhode Island DUI laws have zero tolerance for underage drivers who consume any amount of alcohol. Such drivers shall lose driving privileges and must fulfill other court-imposed sanctions—including attending a training school. Furthermore, a misdemeanor DUI conviction shall remain on the individual’s driving record for at least five years, regardless of the driver’s age. A felony DUI, on the other hand, may remain on the driver’s record for life. Dismissed DUI charges and convictions for misdemeanor DUI are also eligible for expungement under limited circumstances.
What Are Misdemeanors In Rhode Island?
A misdemeanor is an offense that may be punishable by a fine of up to $1000, community service, mandatory education, and a term of incarceration not exceeding one year. Misdemeanors are classified as either Petty misdemeanors or misdemeanors in Rhode Island. Petty misdemeanor convictions typically result in less severe punishments compared to those applicable to a misdemeanor conviction. Offenses such as
- Disorderly orderly conduct
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Public indecency
What Is A Felony In Rhode Island?
Felonies are very serious offenses in Rhode Island. Penalties for felonies are usually severe, with the longest possible term of imprisonment not less than one year. Sentences may also include stiff conditions and fines. Examples of felonies include
What Are Rhode Island Parole Records?
Parole records are information that may be obtained on persons who have been granted conditional release from a Rhode Island Corrections facility or institution by the Rhode Island Parole Board. An inmate may be determined eligible for parole if they were serving a single incarceration term longer than six months and have served up to 1/3 of their sentence, that is not a life sentence, and they have not been classified as habitual offenders. The terms and conditions of parole are very strict to ensure public safety and deter parolees from returning to the community unreformed and likely return on committing the same or other criminal offenses.
Before parole is granted, the Board holds a parole hearing where it considers the input of the victims of the inmate’s criminal actions in determining whether or not to grant parole. Victims are usually notified or provided with information on the possible conditional release of the inmate.
Other considerations by the Board may include the gravity of the offense for which the inmate was convicted, behavior change, risk assessment, and so on, the decision of the Board is usually available on the RI open meetings page.
Although parolees go back into the community, they remain under the supervision of the Department of Corrections Division of Probation and Parole. The Department may even require certain parolees to wear an electronic device that confirms their whereabouts. Parole privileges may be revoked if a parolee violates the terms and conditions of their parole or committed another criminal offense.
What Are Probation Records In Rhode Island?
Probation records typically contain information on the decision of a court on the appropriate sentence for a criminal conviction. The court may grant a person who has committed an offense that could result in possible time in confinement the opportunity to serve a term under the monitoring and supervision of the Department of Corrections while they remain within the community. Probation may be the only order of the court for a criminal conviction or may be part of a sentence imposed on the offender, such as probation and a suspended prison sentence or a split sentence of part incarceration and probation under the supervision of the DOC upon release.
A probationer is subject to certain conditions, rules, and regulations, including a limited expression of their civil liberty. A violation of the conditions may result in their return to court for additional sentences, including incarceration. Probation records, unless expunged, continue to appear on the offender’s criminal and convictions records.
What Are Juvenile Criminal Records In Rhode Island?
A juvenile criminal record includes the paper and electronic information created from the point of a juvenile’s arrest, their appearance before the court, and the court’s decision on the rehabilitation of the minor. A person is considered a minor under RI criminal laws if they are below the age of 18. Rhode Island juvenile records are held strictly confidential and may only be seen by the court. Once the minor has completed probation or any other sentence ordered by the court as a penalty for a finding of guilt. Records are also automatically sealed once the case against the juvenile is completely disposed of with no successful case or declaration of guilt against the juvenile.
The State of Rhode Island does not maintain any arrest, probation convictions, or criminal record for adjudicated juveniles, provided they were adjudicated for a crime as juveniles and not tried as an adult for a serious offense such as murder. Minors whose criminal cases were transferred to an adult court receive penalties, and adult and criminal records maintained on them are made accessible to the public unless expunged or sealed.
What Are Rhode Island Conviction Records?
A conviction record forms a major part of a person’s criminal records and serves as evidence that a person has not been successful through legal trial proceedings. Conviction records originate from the court’s final judgment or pronouncements on a criminal case before them. It usually means the prosecution has been able to prove their case against the offender beyond a reasonable doubt with the damning evidence presented against them. Better yet, it may mean the offender themselves have entered a guilty plea or entered a no contest to charges plea. A conviction is usually followed by a court sentence which may include incarceration, payment of fines, probation, or community service, or such other punishments the law permits the court to deal out to the offender.