What is a Criminal Filing in Rhode Island and How Does it Work?

In speaking with a potential client this morning, I suggested that her case might be eligible for a criminal filing. Most people, including my new client, are unfamiliar with the criminal filing and need an explanation. Here it is….

First time offenders who commit minor crimes might be eligible for a criminal filing in Rhode Island. A criminal filing is one of the lightest punishments available to a defendant. A filing is held for one year and if the defendant can stay out of trouble during that time, the case is eligible to be expunged at the end of the year. Therefore, if your criminal defense attorney negotiates a filing for your penalty, you are only required to stay out of trouble for one year and the case will be thrown out and expunged as if it never happened. It is a great alternative to probation or more serious penalties.

Furthermore, a filing entered with a plea of nolo contendre (further discussed in my blog post about no contest pleas) is not a conviction in the State of Rhode Island. If you are arrested again during the period of a filing, that disposition will be revoked and you will be back in court. Furthermore, you will now be facing penalties for the new charges.

If you have been arrested and would like to know more about criminal filings in Rhode Island or would like to know if you may be eligible for this sentence, contact our office right away for a free consultation.


The Law office of Joseph Lamy has represented many criminal defendants throughout the Courts of Rhode Island. If you have been arrested, contact our office right away for a free initial consultation. Protect your rights by calling us now.