Understanding Your Criminal Charges in Rhode Island
Rhode Island Criminal Attorney
Whether you have found yourself under arrest for the first time or you
have had the unfortunate experience of multiple arrests, Attorney Thomasian
can you and advise you through this difficult time. Below is a guide to
the general categories of crime in Rhode Island and how the Rhode Island
legal system determines bail for any given offense.
If you have been charged with a misdemeanor, you face up to one year in prison.
A petty misdemeanor is a criminal offense punishable by no more than six
months in prison. Examples of petty misdemeanors are disorderly conduct and
domestic disorderly conduct.
If law enforcement has accused you of a non-capital felony, the penalties
range from 3 to 50 years in prison.
- Examples of non-capital felony crimes are:
- Drug possession
- Possession of a stolen motor vehicle
- Breaking and entering (B&E)
- Receiving stolen goods over $1,500.00
- Third offense domestic assault
- Third offense violation of a no-contact order
- Second-degree child molestation
Possession with intent to deliver drugs /
These offenses are not punishable by life in prison.
If you have been arrested for a capital offense, you face the possibility
of going to prison for life. These are the most serious crimes in the
Rhode Island criminal justice system.
- Examples of capital offenses are:
- First-degree sexual assault
- First-degree child molestation
- First-degree robbery
For most criminal offenses in Rhode Island, a person arrested has the right
to bail. Only for the capital offenses listed above, is a person automatically
held without bail absent a compelling reason for release. If a person
is held without bail, they have the right to a bail or probation hearing.
- For misdemeanor offenses and non-capital felony offenses, a person can
be granted personal recognizance bail, surety bail, or held without bail
if they are a probation or bail violator in either district court, superior
court, or both.
Personal Recognizance Bail: Personal recognizance bail requires only an individual's promise to
appear for the next scheduled court date. No money or property is required
for this type of bail and release is immediate.
Surety Bail: If you are given surety bail, it means you will have to use money or property
to effectuate your release. In regards to money or property, the general
rule for surety bail is $1,000 for every year the accused could be sentenced
to jail. For example, the crime of breaking and entering (B&E) is
punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Surety bail, in this case, could
be set at $10,000 if the general rule is applied. Surety bail requires
a person to pay 10% of the amount granted with cash or property. If a
person's bail is $10,000, then they would be required to post $1,000.00
in cash or its equivalent in property.
Held Without Bail: This type of bail is designated for only the most serious offenses or
for those people who are accused of violating their bail or probation.
When you are held without bail, no amount of money or property can obtain
your release. If you are held without bail, you are entitled to a bail
hearing or probation violation hearing, depending on what your circumstances dictate.
Once bailed from the police station, you should contact a Rhode Island
criminal defense lawyer immediately. You can
contact The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
We serve clients throughout Rhode Island including
Newport, all of Providence County, Kent County, and Washington County.