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Rhode Island Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer

 Fight Your Domestic Violence/Assault Charge in Rhode Island!

Rhode Island has very tough domestic violence laws, and the state is looking to make them even tougher.

Domestic violence is actually an umbrella that encompasses many different laws and adds stricter penalties (and often stricter enforcements) for alleged crimes against when the accuser has a domestic relationship with a victim.

Prosecutors can be very aggressive in filing domestic violence charges due to the intensely political nature of the charges, and publicity that goes along with it. Domestic assault & violence charges, along with DUI, have powerful advocacy and lobbying groups that challenge politicians in these cases.

Given that, similar charges that aren't domestic related might well be dropped due to weak evidence, whereas these charges might be fought all the way to a jury trial just for the purpose of a prosecutor not wanting to look "weak" on domestic violence.

Therefore, it is imperative that you get a criminal defense lawyer on your case and out in front on your behalf immediately, to look for every chance to minimize the risks and damage you are facing. Call me now about your case, and I'll tell you what I can do to protect and defend your rights.

What Relationships Qualify under the RI Domestic Violence Act?

For a crime to be designated as a domestic violence offense, the victim and the defendant must be family or household members, which includes:

  • husband/wife/spouses or former spouses
  • adult persons related by blood or marriage
  • adult persons who are presently living together (roommates) or have lived together within the past 3 years
  • people who have a child in common
  • people who are or have been engaged, or in a significant dating relationship within the past year as determined by the court, based on length and type of relationship, time/duration of relationship, and frequency of interaction between the two individuals

What Crimes/Charges Are Included Under Rhode Island's Domestic Violence Statutes??

  • Assault & Battery
  • Kidnapping
  • Child Snatching
  • Sexual assault
  • False imprisonment
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Trespass
  • Vandalism
  • Homicide/Murder
  • Violations of a Protective Order / Restraining Order / No Contact Order (RONCO)
  • Arson (proposed)
  • Burglary (proposed)
  • Damage to or obstruction of a telephone (proposed)

Assault - RI Laws & Penalties

In addition to charges under the specific criminal acts above, if you are found guilty of domestic violence in Rhode Island (first offense), you will be required to attend a batterer's intervention program, and face additional assessment fees.

A second (2nd) offense domestic violence conviction carries with it a minimum of 10 days in jail, and a maximum of up to 1 year.

A third (3rd) offense domestic violence conviction carries with it a minimum of 1-10 years in prison.

How to Beat an Domestic Violence Related Charge in Rhode Island

As I said, domestic violence charges can be frequently overcharged, due to the political nature of the crime, and the significant power of advocacy groups lobbying on behalf of these laws.

One element of the charge that can be often challenged is the relationship between unrelated people who don't live together. The classification for a relationship between "dating" or previously involved parties is subjective, and can be disputed. It is possible for a person to wrongly claim that such a relationship applies in accordance with this law. I will challenge that claim whenever it is unclear, and immediately move that the charges be dismissed or reduced.

Other defense strategies may involve agreeing to anger management or a batterer's intervention program in exchange for a reduction in the charges. These options may depend on the willingness (or unwillingness) of the victim to testify in court, since the victims statement is often the best evidence the state has in it's prosecution.

Other defenses are possible depending on the case, but it's important that I get involved as quickly as possible. We may need to get Rhode Island private investigators involved to provide evidence to support our claims. And prosecutors are frequently reluctant to drop domestic violence charges, so I may have to fight with all I've got to get you fair treatment under the law.


Call me right away for a free legal consultation on your domestic assault/domestic violence or other relegated criminal charges at (401) 709-8987.


The Attorneys of

Further Reference: Rhode Island Domestic Violence Prevention Act  -   12-29

Batterer's Intervention Programs in Rhode Island


(401) 709-8987

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