In Rhode Island, the Domestic Violence Prevention Act details the consequences people face when convicted of a crime of domestic violence. These are consequences over and above the consequences one might face for any criminal conviction, which typically include a fine and jail or prison time.
Because these consequences are serious and, in most cases, not negotiable, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney representing someone charged with a crime of domestic violence.
Every case is different. What appears to be a domestic violence case may be a case of self-defense or it may be a misunderstanding. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows there are sometimes ways to avoid a domestic violence crime conviction. When it cannot be avoided, these are the additional consequences someone will face.
As a condition of probation, anyone convicted of a crime involving domestic violence may be required to attend a “batterer's intervention program appropriate to address his or her violent behavior.” This requirement must be included as a condition of probation and is generally not negotiable or waivable.
In addition to any other court costs, assessments, or fees, those convicted of domestic violence crimes must pay a $125 assessment. 80 % of this fee is given to Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and 20 % goes into Rhode Island's general revenue fund.
Mandatory Jail Time
When one is convicted of a second violation of misdemeanor domestic violence, they must serve at least 10 days in jail. For a third or subsequent violation, they face felony charges, and a punishment of not less than one year in prison, and not more than ten years. In these cases, the jail time cannot be suspended as a condition of probation.
An Inability to Own Firearms
A conviction for a crime of domestic violence may prevent someone from owning firearms as a result. They may also be prohibited from carrying, purchasing, transporting or otherwise having a firearm in their possession. People who own firearms must surrender these once convicted of a crime of domestic violence. Any firearm used in the perpetration of a crime of domestic violence will be forfeited upon conviction of the charge.
Facing Domestic Violence Charges?
If you are facing criminal charges for assault or domestic violence, you need a criminal defense attorney with experience in such matters. Contact the Law Offices of Kensley R. Barrett, Esquire. Kensley R. Barrett has represented hundreds of clients in Rhode Island District Court and Superior Court. He understands that sometimes people make bad choices. Other times, the government simply got their facts wrong or misinterpreted a situation.
Whether you are looking to resolve your case with a plea agreement, or wish to take your case to trial, Kensley R. Barrett is prepared to work vigorously on your behalf. Contact the office today for a free consultation at (401) 380-6724. We look forward to discussing the facts and circumstances of your case and how we can help you and your family.