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A new law enacted on June 18, 2013 now creates an avenue for Traffic Court records to be erased and the memories of tough times can be brought to a close. The Act, introduced by Senators McCaffrey and Lynch, has amended the Rhode Island law in a way that many find helpful.
The language of the statute is as follows:
“31-41.1-10. Expungement. -- All violations within this title which are in the jurisdictionof the traffic tribunal or of a municipal court shall by operation of law, after three (3) years,following adjudication of the violation and after expiration of any mandatory state or federalrecord-retention period, be expunged from the records of the traffic tribunal or theMunicipal court and from the records of the division of motor vehicles, except for those offensesrelated to alcohol as provided in section 31-27-2.1, which shall be expunged after five (5) years.These expungements shall be in addition to and not in place of any expungementprovided for by chapter 1.3 of title 12”.
This new Act will allow for the record of a traffic offense to be purged from the files of the agencies entrusted with their keeping. This will allow citizens to move on after what can be an incredibly expensive, stressful and inconvenient time in their lives. The (3) year waiting period will expedite and memorialize the process for which a file can be permanently erased, without waiting for a motion to be filed or action to be taken. This new Act helps create a system of renewal in which drivers will not be plagued by that traffic offense that “happened a few years back.” In this new system, many drivers will realize a benefit later in their lives, after years of safe driving.
As a cautionary instruction, motorists should ensure that their driving abstract has been properly purged by ordering a copy on line at: www.ri.gov/dmv/mvr/citizen/. In the event that your record has not been erased, a motion for corrective action should be filed at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal. Happy and safe driving to all.