Domestic Assault Giving You a Fighting Chance

RI Domestic Assault Lawyer

Domestic Assault Laws in RI

Have you or a loved one been arrested for domestic assault? If so, contact RI domestic assault attorney Tom Thomasian right away. At The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq., we have been successfully representing clients charged with domestic assault crimes for many years. In several cases, we have gotten these charges dismissed or expunged from clients' records.

Want to discuss your case? Call (401) 312-4385 or contact us online for a free consultation with our RI domestic assault lawyer.

What Does Domestic Assault Mean?

Domestic assault is not a separate offense from assault defined in R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-5-3. What distinguishes it and causes it to be referred to differently is who the crime is committed against.

In Rhode Island, domestic assault means an assault between:

  • Spouses
  • Former spouses
  • Adults related by blood or marriage
  • Adults who currently live or formerly lived together (within the past 3 years)
  • People who share a child (regardless of marital status or living arrangements)
  • People in a dating or engagement relationship (within the past 1 year)

What Is a Simple Assault/Domestic Charge in Rhode Island?

As mentioned earlier, domestic assault occurs when someone violates the state's assault law and the victim of the conduct is a family or household member.

Simple domestic assault involves engaging in an act that makes another person fear that they are in danger of immediate physical harm.

What Is Felony Assault/Domestic Charge in Rhode Island?

A person may be charged with felony domestic assault in two ways. The first is when they violate one of the felony assault laws enumerated in the R.I. Gen. Laws and the victim is a family or household member.

Rhode Island's felony assaults include the following:

  • R.I. Gen. Law § 11-5-1– Assault with intent to commit a specific felony: A person may be charged with this offense if they assault another and intend to commit:
    • Murder,
    • Robbery,
    • Sexual assault,
    • Burglary, or
    • Abominable and detestable crime against nature.
  • R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-5-2– Felony Assault: A person could be accused of this crime if they assault another:
    • With a dangerous weapon
    • With acid or a dangerous substance
    • By fire
    • And cause serious bodily injury
  • R.I. Gen. Laws § 11-5-4– Assault with a dangerous weapon: A charge for this offense is triggered when someone commits an assault in a dwelling and they are armed with a dangerous weapon.

The other way a person may be charged with felony domestic assault is when they've been convicted of their third or subsequent simple domestic assault offense. Under Rhode Island's Domestic Violence Prevention Act, although simple assault is a misdemeanor, when a person has committed the crime against a family or household member twice in the past, it becomes a felony, and the judge can sentence the offender to 1 to 10 years in prison.

RI Domestic Assault Penalties

In Rhode Island, domestic assault penalties are severe. The exact punishments the court can impose depend on the offense committed and the alleged offender's criminal history.

A person accused of domestic assault can face the following penalties:

  • Simple domestic assault:
    • First offense: Up to 1 year in prison
    • Second offense: Between 10 days and 1 year in prison
    • Third offense (felony): Between 1 and 10 years in prison
  • Domestic assault with the intent to commit a felony:
    • Between 1 and 20 years in prison
  • Felony domestic assault:
    • Bodily injury or no injury resulted: Up to 6 years in prison
    • Serious bodily injury resulted: Up to 20 years in prison
  • Domestic assault with a dangerous weapon:
    • Between 10 years and life in prison

The penalties listed above aren't the only ones a person convicted of domestic assault can face. The Domestic Violence Prevention Act also enumerates several additional punishments a judge can levy.

Other sanctions include:

  • Attendance in a batterer's intervention program
  • An additional $125 assessment
  • Mandatory minimum incarceration terms
  • No suspension of jail sentence
  • Loss of gun rights

No one should try to defend themselves against a domestic assault accusation. The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq. knows what it takes to fight these charges. We will leverage our experience and resources to protect our client's rights and freedom.

Domestic Violence No Contact Order

If a person is arrested for domestic assault, they could be subject to a no contact order, which prohibits them from communicating with the alleged victim in any way.

In misdemeanor domestic assault cases, the no contact order can last for up to 1 year. For felony domestic assault matters, the order is effective for up to 10 years.

Fight Your Domestic Assault Charge in RI

Tom, our founding attorney, recognizes the consequences you could face if you're charged with misdemeanor or felony domestic assault in Rhode Island. That is why he will get started immediately on building a defense for you. Check out our victories page to see some recent domestic assault matters we've aggressively and successfully defended.

If you would like to see how our RI domestic assault attorney can work hard for you, a family member, or friend, please contact our firm at (401) 312-4385.

Why Tom Is the Right Choice

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