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Rhode Island Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence charges in Rhode Island are taken very seriously. Whether you are facing domestic assault, domestic disorderly conduct, domestic vandalism, or domestic strangulation charges, you will need the help of an experienced and skilled Rhode Island Domestic Violence Lawyer. In RI, anyone convicted of a domestic violence crime to face severe penalties including a possible jail sentence, fines, and counseling. Domestic violence charges can have a major impact on your life, your family, your career, your parental rights, your criminal record and more. To learn more about what you face if convicted of a domestic violence offense, please read the information below. RI Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Kensley Barrett stands ready to put his experience and skills to work for you and defend you in your domestic abuse case. Contact us today at 401-228-8271.

Rhode Island Domestic Violence Lawyer - How can we help you?

We know how the stigma of a domestic violence arrest can have a negative impact on your personal life, your career, and more. Having a skilled and experienced criminal defense lawyer on your side and fighting for your rights can lessen the negative impact that a Rhode Island domestic violence accusation may have on your life. Our number one priority is to protect you, avoid jail time, and to get you the most positive end result possible. Give Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney Kensley Barrett a call today to talk about your domestic violence arrest and for a no obligation domestic abuse defense strategy session.  There may not be much time to assert your legal rights and legal defenses prior to your arraignment in the District Court on a domestic violence charge. We are available 24/7 at 401-228-8271.

What are Domestic Violence Charges in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, domestic violence charges only apply between adult persons and can apply in the following relationships:

  • a current or former spouse
  • a person related by blood or marriage
  • a person with whom you are in a substantive dating relationship and/or an engagement relationship
  • a person with whom you currently or have cohabited with
  • a person with whom you have a child

When analyzing the type of relationship that is involved, the Courts will often look to the living situation of the parties as well as the period of time in which the parties have been in a dating or engagement relationship.

There are various types of domestic abuse charges that one can be convicted of. We'll share some of the most common domestic violence laws to help you understand what falls under these types of charges. After a domestic violence incident, Police Officers can often bring charges of domestic assault. Domestic assault (also known as domestic simple assault) occurs when one person negligently or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person with whom they are in a domestic relationship.  This is similar to a simple assault charge, but between parties of a qualifying type of relationship. The violation of a no-contact order (including a temporary restraining order) is also considered a domestic criminal offense. The occurs when a person violates a no-contact order or temporary restraining order by attempting to contact the person associated with the order.

You may also be charged with domestic vandalism after a domestic incident that did not involve physical abuse. Domestic vandalism is when you intentionally damage or destroy property belonging to the defendant in the case. Domestic disorderly conduct is another charge which is the same as a disorderly conduct charge, but involves the defendant and/or the defendant's family.

Most Common Domestic Violence Charges in Rhode Island

The most commonly charged domestic violence crimes in Rhode Island are:

  • Domestic Assault and Battery
  • Domestic Disorderly Conduct
  • Domestic Refusal to Relinquish a Telephone
  • Domestic Vandalism
  • Domestic Assault by Strangulation
  • Domestic Felony Assault
  • Domestic Sexual Assault

Other RI Domestic Violence Charges

Other forms of domestic violence include stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and trespassing, however there are many other crimes that are considered domestic violence including electronic tracking and tracking of motor vehicles. To learn more about your specific case and the charges you're facing you can contact Rhode Island criminal defense attorney Kensley Barrett today for a no obligation consultation regarding your domestic bodily injury or emotional abuse charges today.

Rhode Island Domestic Violence Penalties

If you are convicted of a RI domestic violence charge, you face a variety of penalties, which largely depend on how many prior offenses you've had as well as the severity of the bodily injury and whether you are facing a misdemeanor or felony charge. The penalties are obviously more severe for a second or third offense than for a first offense, which often include a mandatory jail sentence, though it's still a serious crime.  Additionally, if the domestic abuse allegation involves bodily injury, physical violence, sexual abuse, child abuse or emotional abuse the penalties can be far more severe and often become felony domestic charges carrying the possibility of more than one year in jail.

Some of the penalties you face for a domestic violence conviction include: jail or prison time, probation, expensive fines and court costs, and treatment classes. You will be sentenced to attend a batterer's intervention program that lasts a minimum of 20 weeks. Each meeting lasts between an hour and a half to two hours. Through this program, you'll learn to identify abusive behaviors and will be taught how to react in non-abusive ways. This batterers intervention program must be completed and you cannot miss a class in the specified period of time. If you are sentenced to attend a Rhode Island Batterer's Program, we can provide you with a list of intervention programs that are local to the area.

No Contact Orders in Rhode Island Domestic Violence Cases

Rhode Island's domestic violence laws require the issuance of an automatic domestic no-contact order between you and the alleged victim. This domestic abuse no contact order prohibits you from contacting the alleged victim in any way. You will not be able to contact each other via phone calls, text messages, social media, face-to-face interaction, or indirect contact through another person. A domestic no-contact order also limits your firearm rights for the period of time that the order is in place.  Depending upon your criminal history, your firearm rights may be restored at the conclusion of the case. Violating a no-contact order may result in an additional criminal charge in addition to the underlying crime. It will cause even more trouble when it comes to your case, so you must be sure to obey any no-contact or restraining orders you receive.

Common Consequences of a Rhode Island Domestic Violence Conviction

The 20-week batterers intervention program and no-contact order are common penalties for first offenses. In most cases, a first offense does not warrant any time in jail. However, with a second offense, you face a minimum of 10 days in jail and a maximum of up to one year in a prison. The 20-week batterer's program is also required, as well as the no-contact order. For a third offense, you can receive a minimum of one to 10 years in prison, as well as the aforementioned penalties. No matter how many offenses you've had, you will likely receive a fine of $125.00.

As mentioned, the severity of your RI domestic violence penalties will depend on the details surround your case, whether the domestic victim suffered bodily injury, and whether or not it's your first offense. If you'd like to get more information about the potential outcome you face, we will discuss what you can expect during a free domestic abuse consultation. From there, our Rhode Island Domestic Abuse Lawyers will outline a plan to prepare you for your arraignment hearing and help minimize the charges you're facing so they have a lesser effect on your life.

False Accusations of Domestic Violence in Rhode Island

It's unfortunate, but in some situations people are wrongfully accused of domestic violence by a spouse or significant other. This often occur if someone is trying to gain full custody of a child or children, seek more spousal support, or for other reasons. We take all domestic violence accusations very seriously at our law firm. If you have been falsely accused of spousal abuse, you can contact us to handle your case. Oftentimes, we are able to show that although you were the one arrested out of a domestic violence incident, you were not the primary aggressor. Our team approach to criminal defense can help sort through the details of your case to get the situation resolved in the most favorable outcome possible.

Your Penalties Can Be Reduced And We Can Help - Hire an Experienced Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorney

Our goal is always to achieve the best possible outcome for our Rhode Island domestic violence cases. Our legal team of domestic violence attorneys will utilize their extensive experience with Rhode Island domestic violence law to benefit your legal matter by reviewing your unique family violence situation and outlining the best and strongest domestic violence defense plan for you. Fortunately, it is possible to have your case dismissed, reduce your domestic violence charges, or receive lesser penalties. This reduction in penalties or domestic violence charges can make a huge difference in how it impacts your life and your criminal record.

RI Criminal Defense Attorneys Skilled, Experienced and Helpful Call 24/7 at 401-228-8271

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.