Have you been convicted of a domestic violence charge? Learn more about the domestic violence laws in Rhode Island below.
If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence in the state of Rhode Island, it's important to contact a lawyer to help with the case. The sooner you contact an experienced lawyer, the better chance you have of putting a strong defense together for your case, so we recommend contacting our office immediately after being arrested.
The right lawyer can make all the difference when it comes to the outcome of your case. It can help reduce the penalties you face or possibly get them dismissed altogether. You need someone in your corner, fighting to protect your rights, your freedom, and your reputation. You can contact our office to learn more through a free consultation.
Rhode Island Domestic Violence Laws
The state of Rhode Island considers the following to be domestic violence offenses: simple assault, felony assault, vandalism, disorderly conduct, trespassing, kidnapping, child-snatching, sexual assault, homicide, violation of a no-contact order, stalking, burglary, arson, cyberstalking and cyber-harassing, and domestic assault by strangulation.
You can be convicted of domestic violence if you carry out any of the above acts on a family member or another member of your household. This includes spouses, former spouses, adults who are related by blood or marriage, or adults who are currently residing together or who have resided together within the past three years. Relationships in which two people have a child in common are included in these situations, regardless of whether they were married or have lived together previously. It's also deemed domestic violence if any of those acts are carried out on someone with whom you have had a dating relationship or have been engaged to within the past year.
Rhode Island Domestic Violence Penalties
A domestic violence conviction will leave you facing serious, life-altering consequences. If you are found to be guilty, you face lengthy jail sentences, hefty fines, mandatory domestic violence counseling, probation, and a no-contact order between you and the victim associated with the crime.
A no-contact order prohibits the defendant from contacting the victim in any way, shape, or form. You are not able to contact the victim in person, via telephone, text messages, email, social media, or indirect communication via another person. If you share a home with the person involved, you will be ordered to vacate the premises by the court. If you have children together, custody may be awarded to the victim in the case and you may then be required to pay child support. Surrendering any firearms in your possession may also be required as part of the no-contact order.
Violation of a no-contact order will leave you facing even more charges and more serious penalties. It's considered to be a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail. You also face a fine of up to $1,000. The penalties are increased if you are found to be in “contempt of court,” which means you disobeyed a court order.
In many cases, a no-contact order is put in place for three years, though it can be extended if necessary. No-contact orders may be dropped if the victim appears in court and requests for it to be dropped. The judge would have to give his or her approval in this situation. No-contact orders may also be dropped if the domestic violence case is dismissed or the defendant is found not guilty after trial.
If you are facing a second or third domestic violence conviction, the penalties are increased. For a second misdemeanor offense, you may be required to serve anywhere between 10 days to one year in jail. If you are facing a third of subsequent offense, it will be considered a felony. This will leave you facing one to 10 years in prison.
The Rhode Island Domestic Violence Lawyer for Your Case
If you're facing a domestic violence charge, get in touch with our office today to set up a free consultation. Domestic violence charges come with a stigma that can majorly damage your reputation and your personal and professional life. It's our priority to fight for your freedom and reduce any negative impact these charges may have on your life. We have years of experience working with domestic violence cases in Rhode Island and have received positive outcomes for many of our clients. Call today to find out what we can do for you.
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