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Understanding the Consequences of Criminal Charges

Posted by Ken Barrett | Jul 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

When someone is charged with a crime in the state of Rhode Island, the consequences one might face vary with the severity of the charges. Under Rhode Island Statute § 11 – 1 -2, there are four different types of charges one might face in criminal law. These include the following:

  • Felonies,
  • Misdemeanors,
  • Petty misdemeanors, and
  • Violations.

Consequences for a Violation

A violation is punishable by a fine of not more than $500. Violations do not include jail time as a consequence.

Consequences for Petty Misdemeanor Offenses in Rhode Island

Petty misdemeanors are punishable by incarceration of up to 6 months. Additionally, petty misdemeanors can be punished with a fine of up to $500. Like misdemeanors, both jail time and fines can be imposed as a punishment for a petty misdemeanor.

Consequences for Misdemeanor Offenses

Misdemeanors can only be punished by incarceration for one year or less. Additionally, misdemeanors carry a maximum fine of not more than $1,000. Finally, misdemeanors can be punished by both incarceration for one year or less, and a fine of up to $1,000.

Consequences for Felony Offenses in Rhode Island

Any crime that can be punished by imprisonment for more than one year is a felony. Additionally, any crime that can be punished by a fine of more than $1,000 is declared a felony.

Not All Felonies are the Same

Even though, under Rhode Island law, a felony is a crime punishable by a year or more in prison, not all felonies are created equal under the law. For example, kidnapping is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. However, the consequences for felony theft can vary from up to three years in prison to up to 15 years in prison, depending on the dollar amount taken, as well as a few other factors that are case specific, such as the type of theft and if anyone was injured.

When assessing the appropriate amount of time to impose as a consequence, courts consider whether a person is a repeat offender. People with prior offenses are more likely to receive a longer period of incarceration for a second or subsequent offense.

Additionally, there are further consequences of a felony conviction that go beyond fines and prison time. After a felon serves his or her time, a felony criminal record will continue to hang over them for life. A felony may make it more difficult to get a job or find a place to live. Felons may also be restricted from owning a gun or getting government assistance, including educational grants and loans.

If You are Facing Criminal Charges in Providence

If you are facing criminal charges, you need an attorney to advocate on your behalf. The Law Offices of Kensley R. Barrett, Esq. provide the criminal defense experience you need, whether you are charged with a violation, a petty misdemeanor, a misdemeanor, or a felony offense in Rhode Island.

At the Law Offices of Kensley R. Barrett, Esq., we leave no stone unturned. From challenging constitutional issues such as the stop of a car or a statement taken from someone under arrest, to carefully reviewing the evidence, to challenging scientific conclusions, we fight for our clients' rights from beginning to end. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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.