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Domestic Violence Rhode Island Lawyer

The State of Rhode Island has strict laws when it comes to domestic violence. Domestic violence cases can have lasting repercussions for all parties involved, including harsh penalties for the Defendant who is charged with domestic violence. This is why is is important to hire an experienced Rhode Island Criminal Defense lawyer to help with your case if you are charged with a domestic violence offense. Attorney David Ellison has represented hundreds of people on domestic violence charges throughout his career. 

What qualifies as a domestic relationship in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island General Laws § 12-29-2(b) defines a "Family or household member" as the following:

  • spouses
  • former spouses
  • adult persons related by blood or marriage
  • adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past three (3) years
  • persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together
  • persons who are, or have been, in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year which shall be determined by the court's consideration of the following factors: (1) The length of time of the relationship; (2) The type of the relationship; (3) The frequency of the interaction between the parties.

What are Some Penalties to Domestic Violence in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island General Laws § 12-29-5, states that anyone who is convicted of a domestic violence crime must complete a batterer's intervention program and pay an additional $125 assessment. If you are charged with a domestic violence crime, you face severe penalties including jail time, probation, fines and fees. For a misdemeanor offense, there are different penalties based on how many prior convictions you have for a domestic crime. 

1st Offense Penalties:

  • Misdemeanor
  • up to one year in jail
  • batterer's intervention program
  • extra assessment fees of $125.00
  • domestic no contact order

2nd Offense Penalties:

  • Misdemeanor
  • at least 10 days in jail and up to one year in jail
  • batterer's intervention program
  • extra assessment fees of $125.00
  • domestic no contact order

3rd Offense Penalties:

  • Felony
  • at least one year in jail and up to 10 years in jail
  • batterer's intervention program
  • extra assessment fees of $125.00
  • domestic no contact order

What Happens If I Own Guns?

If you are convicted under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, you may be required to forfeit your firearm rights -- it is important to let your attorney know right away if you own guns and get charged with a domestic violence offense in Rhode Island. 

What is a Domestic No Contact Order?

A Domestic No Contact Order will make it illegal for the defendant to contact the alleged victim in anyway including phone calls, text messages, social media, in person contact, and third party contact through another individual. The violation of a Domestic No Contact Order may result in an additional criminal charge, a potential bail violation, and potential jail time. 

What are Some Defenses to Domestic Violence in Rhode Island?

  • Self Defense
  • It Never Happened 
  • The Alleged Victim is Lying 
  • Not a Domestic Relationship 

What are Some Different Domestic Violence Offenses in Rhode Island?

Rhode Island General Laws § 12-29-2(a) states any of the following crimes are domestic when committed by one family or household member against another:

  • (1) Simple assault (§ 11-5-3);
  • (2) Felony assaults (§§ 11-5-1, 11-5-2, and 11-5-4);
  • (3) Vandalism (§ 11-44-1);
  • (4) Disorderly conduct (§ 11-45-1);
  • (5) Trespass (§ 11-44-26);
  • (6) Kidnapping (§ 11-26-1);
  • (7) Child-snatching (§ 11-26-1.1);
  • (8) Sexual assault (§§ 11-37-2, 11-37-4);
  • (9) Homicide (§§ 11-23-1 and 11-23-3);
  • (10) Violation of the provisions of a protective order entered pursuant to § 15-5-19, chapter 15 of title 15, or chapter 8.1 of title 8 where the respondent has knowledge of the order and the penalty for its violation or a violation of a no contact order issued pursuant to § 12-29-4;
  • (11) Stalking (§§ 11-59-1 et seq.);
  • (12) Refusal to relinquish or to damage or to obstruct a telephone (§ 11-35-14);
  • (13) Burglary and Unlawful Entry (§ 11-8-1 et seq.);
  • (14) Arson (§ 11-4-2 et seq.);
  • (15) Cyberstalking and cyberharassment (§ 11-52-4.2); and
  • (16) Domestic assault by strangulation § 11-5-2.3.

If you are charged with a crime of domestic violence or if someone seeks a protective order against you, you should contact an experienced Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer as soon as possible. Attorney David Ellison will meet with you to come up with a unique strategy on how to best defend your case. We will conduct our own investigation into the case and help you to come up with a defense for your charges. Do not wait to contact Attorney David Ellison today at 401-230-5520. 

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When you hire The Law Office of David Ellison, not only are you getting skilled, experienced, and aggressive lawyers in your corner, but you're getting lawyers who understand the importance of empathy, honesty, and trustworthiness. We love to advocate for you.