An important piece of criminal justice legislation would clarify the language surrounding the definition of “felony” and “misdemeanor” under Rhode Island law. Currently, the definition of a felony encompasses any crime which carries a fine greater than $1,000 – even if that offense does not carry a risk of a prison sentence. Because a person with a felony conviction on their criminal record can face harsh barriers in housing or job hunting, we urged the legislature to codify this much needed amendment which would statutorily decree that only those crimes carrying a potential imprisonment of a year or more may be classified as a felony.
Redefinition of Felony (S 518)
Senator Michael McCaffrey