Rhode Island makes criminal records public, to an extent. Generally, you will be able to view your own records. However, others usually need written permission from the record holder to view their full criminal record. Rhode Island criminal records can be obtained in person or via mail. Read on to learn more about criminal records in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Criminal Records: The Basics
Criminal records in Rhode Island can be obtained by the record holder themselves or by a third party. Unlike many other states, Rhode Island does not offer an online criminal record request system. As previously mentioned, criminal records in the state can be obtained through the mail or in person.
A Rhode Island criminal record will include a wide variety of relevant information, including:
- Full legal name
- Any aliases
- Current and previous addresses
- All convictions
- All arrests
- All acquittals
- All warrants
- Color picture
- Personal characteristics (height, weight, hair color, eye color)
Note that a Rhode Island criminal record will not include federal cases or cases from other states.
How Criminal Records are Used in Rhode Island
Criminal records in Rhode Island are most often used for background checks. These background checks are commonly used by prospective employers to evaluate applicants. Government agencies may also perform background checks when someone applies for a government-issued license, such as a pistol permit. Non-government licenses, such as law licenses and medical licenses, may also require a criminal background check. Generally, the record holder must give written consent to access their records as part of a background check. Applying for certain licenses may include giving consent for a background check.
In addition to background checks, criminal records are also used by law enforcement in the performance of their duties. Law enforcement officers can access criminal records whenever they need to without needed to get consent.
Accessing Someone Else’s Criminal Record in Rhode Island
It is possible to access someone else’s criminal record in Rhode Island. However, you must have their written consent. Also, you must have a valid reason to need to access their criminal records. Not only do you need written consent, but you must also get the written consent form notarized. Also, you will need to submit a valid copy of your driver’s license, state-issued ID card, or passport. Third-party criminal record requests are accepted in person at the following address:
4 Howard Avenue
Cranston, RI 02920
Mailed requests should be addressed to this location, as well. The fee is $5, which can be paid with all major credit and debit cards (in-person only) as well as with checks and money orders.
Submitting a Request for a Rhode Island Criminal Record
If you want to request your own criminal records, you must do so in person or via mail at the address listed above. You will need to provide a signed and notarized release form a copy of your valid government-issued ID, and a $5 payment.
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