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Assault Three Ways

Posted by Ken Barrett | Apr 30, 2019 | 0 Comments

In Rhode Island, there are more than two dozen ways one can commit an assault under the criminal code. Below we discuss some of the more common assault offenses. For an introduction to assault and battery, please see our previous blog post on the subject.

Domestic Abuse by Strangulation

Domestic abuse cases are defined, in part, by the relationship between the alleged assailant and the alleged victim. Under Rhode Island Statute § 11-5-2.3, anyone who makes an assault, a battery, or both, by strangulation on a family or household member is subject to up to 10 years in prison. “Family or household member” includes:

  • Spouses
  • Former spouses
  • Adult persons related by blood
  • Adult persons related by marriage
  • Adult persons presently residing together
  • Adult persons who have resided together in the past three years
  • People who have a child in common, or
  • People who have been or are in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past year.

Strangulation is considered a very specific act, which is defined by statute as, “knowingly and intentionally impeding normal breathing or circulation of the blood by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of another person, with the intent to cause that person harm.”

Assault with Dangerous Weapon in Dwelling House

This offense is punishable by not less than ten years in prison. A life sentence is permitted for this offense. It involves a person armed with a dangerous weapon who assaults another person. It only covers cases where the person doing the assault intends to rob or murder the other person. For this offense, the conduct must occur in someone's home (a dwelling house).

Assault of Police Officers and Other Officials

Assaulting a police officer or certain other officials while they are acting in the course of their duties is a crime. When one knowingly and willfully strikes a police officer or other official, or uses a noxious chemical, such as Mace, on them, and causes bodily injury, this is a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison, a $1500 fine, or both. Other officials protected by this statute include:

  • Metropolitan park police
  • Environmental police officers
  • State properties patrol officers
  • Probation officers
  • Parole officers
  • State government case workers and investigators,
  • Judges
  • Deputy sheriff
  • Firefighters
  • Capitol police
  • Campus security of state colleges and universities
  • Rhode Island airport police
  • Members of the Rhode Island fugitive task force
  • Public transit authority bus drivers
  • On duty plainclothes members of the police force
  • Investigators of the department of the attorney general
  • Railroad police
  • Uniformed dog officers
  • Out of state police officers
  • Assistant attorneys general
  • Employees of the department of environmental management and
  • Constables.

If You are Facing Assault Charges

If you are facing assault charges, contact The Law Offices of Kensley R. Barrett, Esq. With over seven years of litigation experience, Kensley R. Barrett has the skills necessary to zealously advocate for you.

About the Author

Ken Barrett

Attorney Kensley Barrett is a skilled criminal defense lawyer with a proven track record in handling a wide range of cases in Rhode Island. Known for his strong background in trial advocacy and negotiation, Barrett is dedicated to providing personalized and effective representation for his clients. Recognized as a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers and with a 10.0 "Superb" rating on Avvo, he consistently achieves successful outcomes, including acquittals, dismissals, and reduced charges.


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Kensley Barrett

Our law firm was founded on the belief that working with us is more than just hiring a lawyer. Working with us will bring you peace of mind and also allow you to continue with your regular life while we attend to your legal matters. Our vast experience means that it allows us to excel in both aggressively representing your interests and generating the best possible result for you.