The state of Rhode Island takes domestic violence charges very seriously. Due to the rise of these charges, legislators in the state have created the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. This Act requires anyone convicted of a domestic violence crime to face severe penalties which can include jail times, fines, and counseling. These charges can have a major impact on your life with your family, your career, and more. To learn more about what you face if convicted of domestic violence, please read the information below and contact our offices today for a free consultation.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence charges can apply to the following relationships:

  • a current or former spouse
  • a person related by blood or marriage
  • a person you are dating and/or engaged to
  • a person with whom you currently or have cohabited with
  • a person with whom you have a child

There are various types of domestic violence charges one can be convicted of. We’ll share some of the most common ones to help you understand what falls under these types of charges. You can be convicted of domestic simple assault. Domestic simple assault occurs when one person negligently or intentionally causes bodily harm to another person. The violation of a no-contact order is also considered a domestic violence charge. The occurs when a person violates a no-contact order or a restraining order by attempting to contact the person associated with the order.

You may also be charged with domestic vandalism. 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.

Other forms of domestic violence include stalking, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and trespassing, however there are many other crimes that are considered domestic violence. To learn more about your specific case and the charges you’re facing you can contact our office today for a free consultation.

Penalties for Domestic Violence

If you are convicted of a domestic violence charge, you face a variety of penalties, which largely depend on how many prior offenses you’ve had. The penalties are obviously more severe for a second or third offense than for a first offense, though it’s still a serious crime.

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 program must be completed and you cannot miss a class. 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.

You will also receive a domestic no-contact order between you and the alleged victim. This 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. Violating a no-contact order may result in additional criminal charges. 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.

The 20-week batterer’s 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 penalties will depend on the details surround your case 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 consultation. From there, we will outline a plan to help minimize the charges you’re facing so they have a lesser effect on your life.

False Accusations of Domestic Violence

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, you can contact us to handle your case. We 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

Our goal is always to achieve the best possible outcome for our domestic violence cases. We’ll review your unique situation and outline the best and strongest plan for you. Fortunately, it is possible to have your case dismissed, reduce your charges, or receive lesser penalties. This reduction in penalties or charges can make a huge difference in how it impacts your life.

We know the stigma of domestic violence can have a negative impact on your personal life, your career, and more. Having a skilled and experienced attorney on your side and fighting for your rights can lessen the negative impact any charges may have on your life. Our number one priority is to protect you and to get you the most positive end result possible. Give us a call today for a free consultation to discuss your options.