RI Domestic Violence Attorneys
Defending Against Domestic Abuse Allegations
If you have been arrested for a domestic violence offense, it is crucial to secure the immediate representation of The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq. Attorney Thomasian knows how to defend your rights. He has been successfully and aggressively defending the accused for numerous years, and he will do everything within his power to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf. You can be confident that he will be your champion throughout your case.
Proudly serving clients residents of Rhode Island and Massachusetts as well as individuals throughout Providence County, Kent County, Washing County, Newport County, and all surrounding areas.
Contact our RI domestic violence lawyer at (401) 312-4385 today for a free consultation! We are available 24/7.
Do Not Face the Legal System Alone
Domestic violence charges should not be taken lightly, which is why it's important to choose an attorney you can trust. No one should attempt to defend themselves without consulting an experienced RI domestic violence attorney. Tom has earned an exceptional reputation for defending his clients against domestic violence accusations.
What Is a Domestic Violence Crime?
A domestic violence crime is any offense committed against a family or household member that causes or could cause harm to the victim.
Under Rhode Island's Domestic Violence Prevention Act, a family or household member includes:
- Current or former spouses
- Adults related by blood or law
- Adults who currently live together or have lived together in the past 3 years
- People who have a child together (regardless of whether or not they're married or have lived together)
- People who are in a dating or engagement relationship or who have been in such a relationship in the past year
Domestic violence crimes are not separate from the criminal offenses listed in the Rhode Island General Laws. However, state legislators enacted a domestic violence act to recognize the different ways such crimes have been treated when committed against family or household members than when committed against strangers. The Domestic Violence Prevention Act is a way to ensure that harmful conduct between family or household members is treated just as seriously as all other offenses.
If any of the following is committed against a family or household member, it's a domestic violence crime:
- Arson: This involves knowingly causing a fire or explosion that could harm others or damage buildings.
- Assault: This involves threatening or attempting to use force and placing another person in fear of harm.
- Burglary: This involves unlawfully entering a structure with the intent to commit a crime.
- Child-snatching: This occurs when a person takes a child under 18 years of age to deprive another person of custody of the minor.
- Cyberstalking: This involves using a computer or electronic means to harass another person.
- Disorderly conduct: Conduct includes fighting in public, disturbing occupants of private residences, using offensive words that can provoke a violent response, obstructing public access ways, interfering with lawful meetings or gatherings, and looking through another's window.
- Domestic assault by strangulation: This involves choking or suffocating a family or household member.
- Electronic tracking of motor vehicles: This involves unlawfully installing or concealing a tracking device on another person's car to follow their movements.
- Felony assault: This includes assault with intent to commit a felony such as murder or burglary, assault with a dangerous weapon or substance, and assault with a dangerous weapon in a house.
- Homicide: This involves the deliberate killing of another, or taking someone's life while perpetrating an offense such as sexual assault, burglary, or kidnapping.
- Kidnapping: Conduct involves confining another person against their will.
- Refusal to relinquish a telephone: This involves denying a person access to a phone or destroying a phone when the device was going to be used to make an emergency call.
- Sexual assault: This involves engaging in unlawful sexual penetration with another by force, coercion, or concealment, or when the victim is unable to resist because of mental or physical incapacity.
- Stalking: This involves engaging in certain acts over time that will annoy, bother, or alarm another purpose and there is no lawful reason for the conduct.
- Trespass: This involves unlawfully remaining on land or property of another.
- Vandalism: This involves causing injury or destruction to another person's property.
- Violating a no-contact order: This involves violating a court order prohibiting a person from communicating with an alleged victim.
When Can Police Arrest Someone for Domestic Violence?
In a domestic violence matter, an officer can make an arrest when they have probable cause to believe a crime has occurred. The officer will take into custody the person they think was the primary aggressor.
An officer can make a domestic violence arrest when:
- A felonious assault has occurred
- The alleged victim suffered injury (whether or not it's visible to the officer)
- The alleged offender engaged in conduct that was intended to harm the victim
- A protective or no-contact order has been violated
After the officer has made an arrest, the prosecutor will decide whether or not enough evidence exists to bring charges. The decision is at their discretion and not solely affected by the victim's consent or request.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
In Rhode Island, the penalties for domestic violence depend on the crime committed. The punishments a court can impose are enumerated in the statute for the specific offense, and additional sanctions may be applied as provided in the Domestic Violence Prevention Act.
Examples of penalties that can be levied in a domestic violence case are as follows:
- Up to 1 year in jail and/or
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to 6 months in jail and/or
- Up to $500 in fines
- Up to 20 years in prison
First-degree sexual assault:
- Between 10 years and life in prison
- Up to 5 years in prison and/or
- Up to $10,000 in fines
Domestic assault by strangulation:
- Up to 10 years in prison
In addition to the criminal penalties listed above, sanctions in a domestic violence matter may include:
- Attendance in a batterer's intervention program
- Payment of a $125 assessment
- No suspension of jail sentences
For misdemeanor crimes:
- Second offense: Mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail
- Third offense: Felony charge with a mandatory minimum of 1 year in jail
For felony crimes:
- Prohibition from possessing, owning, carrying, or transporting firearms
Enlist Our Rhode Island Firm's Supportive Assistance
Domestic abuse charges can be severe, and hiring an experienced lawyer is crucial. Our RI domestic violence attorney has achieved hundreds of dismissals over the years and can use his extensive experience and knowledge of criminal law to deliver the same results for you. Do not hesitate to call The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq. right away to schedule your free consultation.
Click here to see some recent cases involving domestic violence where the firm has aggressively and successfully defended clients against accusations.
Call us at (401) 312-4385 or contact us online today.
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