Respected Criminal Defense Attorney in Bristol, Rhode Island

Bristol, Rhode IslandBristol, RI, home to Roger Williams University and the Bristol Waterfront Historic District, is an enjoyable place to spend time regardless of whether you are a local or visiting from out of town.  An arrest for an offense under the Rhode Island General Laws, however, will put enjoyment on the back burner as you struggle to defend yourself against an aggressive Rhode Island prosecutor.

The consequences of an arrest can range from public embarrassment to a lifelong criminal conviction. Important consequences often turn on a dime – the decision to enter a plea or proceed to trial, for example. The stakes are high, and the reality of the situation demands to be taken seriously. Criminal defense is no place for the uninitiated.

You Are an Individual, Not a Docket Number

There is one crucial fact about criminal law that all of the best criminal defense attorneys understand – no two cases are alike, and there are no “one size fits all” solutions. Each case is a complex, unique web of fact pattern and legal nuance. The strength of your case is determined by applying the law to facts and assembling evidence to support you.

The Minefield That Awaits You

The Rhode Island criminal justice system is a minefield set by the prosecution for the defense. Elements of cooperation do emerge from time to time as in plea bargaining negotiations. Even there, however, prosecutors often play hardball by jacking up the charges to leave themselves room to bargain. At Abilheira Law, we have successfully navigated many a minefield.

Client Testimonial

“Allison is a superb attorney. My experience with her could not have been better. She knows the law, has the relationships with the court personnel which matter and, most importantly of all, is effective. As an attorney myself who has worked throughout my career with other attorneys of varying stripes, Allison ranks among the best.” – Brian Theodore

Practice Areas

We defend clients charged with a wide variety of offenses, including:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The officer failed to read me my Miranda rights after my arrest. Can I move to dismiss charges?



Probably not, although it might result in an acquittal under certain circumstances. Nothing you say to the officer, even a confession, can be used against you if the officer failed to read you your Miranda rights beforehand. If the prosecutor lacks enough evidence to convict you without using your own statements against you, you could win an acquittal that way.

What are some mistakes that criminal defendants typically make?



Following are some of the most damaging mistakes:



  • Missing your court date

  • Confessing

  • Accepting a quick plea bargain without consulting an attorney

  • Talking about your case on social media

  • Attempting to represent yourself


The evidence against me was seized in a traffic stop. Can I challenge the seizure if the officer stopped me arbitrarily?



Yes, you can. It can be difficult, however, to establish that the stop was truly arbitrary as the officer only needs reasonable suspicion to pull you over. This can include a simple equipment violation like a broken tail late or tinted windows or a moving violation like missing a stop sign or speeding.

What is the entrapment defense?



Entrapment occurs when a police officer coerces or encourages you to commit a crime and then arrests you for committing it. If you prove entrapment, you will be acquitted. You must prove two elements:



  • An agent of the government induced the crime (a police officer, for example); and

  • You were not already predisposed to commit the crime.


Professional Legal Assistance Is a Necessity, Not a Luxury

The Rhode Island criminal justice system is unforgiving in many ways. Missing a deadline or a court date, for example, could seriously damage your case. If you have been charged with a crime in Bristol, now is no time to “exercise your constitutional right to defend yourself.” Instead, exercise your right to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney in Bristol.

Start Fighting Back Today

At Abilheira Law, protecting our clients against the justice system is more than a job – it’s our mission. What that means in practical terms is that we will treat your case as if it were we ourselves who were being prosecuted. Call us at (401) 685-9335 or contact us online to schedule a consultation where we can discuss your case and examine your options.