Compassionate Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorney Ready To Assist You

Serving Barrington, Warren, Providence, Cranston, Newport, Bristol, Warwick, East Providence, Pawtucket, and all of Rhode Island

A man arrested due to domestic violence and will seek for an attorney in Rhode Island.

Unfortunately, many people are charged with domestic violence as a result of false accusations over petty arguments, unfavorable divorce rulings, or simple misunderstandings. Our dedicated Rhode Island domestic violence lawyer knows that these situations often require the right type of legal skill and expertise. That is exactly what our Rhode Island domestic violence attorney is here to offer. We work diligently to provide the sound legal defense you deserve. Our legal team knows there are always two sides to every story, which is why we take the time to listen to yours.

Arrested? Think you may face charges? Contact our Rhode Island domestic violence lawyer at Abilheira Law, LLC today.

What Is Domestic Violence?

In Rhode Island, the Domestic Violence Prevention Act is codified under Rhode Island General Laws Chapter 12-29.  This Act defines a domestic violence crime as a crime committed by one family or household member against another.

What relationships are classified as domestic?

  • Husbands, wives, or former spouses
  • Adult persons related by blood or marriage-like siblings and parents
  • Persons who have a child in common
  • Persons who have lived together during the last three (3) years
  • Persons who have been engaged or in a significant dating relationship within the last one (1) year

In order to determine whether a relationship is classified as a “significant dating relationship” the court will look at the following factors:

  • The length of time of the relationship;
  • The type of the relationship;
  • The frequency of the interaction between the parties.

What offenses can be charged as domestic violence crimes?

Under the law, the following crimes can be charged under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act:

If you are facing any of the above charges, call us to request your consultation. We offer an aggressive legal defense that serves to protect you. We have successfully represented hundreds of individuals accused of domestic violence related to assault and battery, sexual assault, harassment, stalking, and violation of protection orders.

Domestic Violence Penalties

A domestic violence charge can lead to serious repercussions, impacting your career, family, reputation, freedom, and gun rights. Under the Rhode Island Domestic Violence Prevention Act (R.I.G.L. 12-29), anyone who is convicted of a domestic violence crime faces severe penalties including jail time, fines, and counseling in addition to the penalties imposed for the underlying charge.

1st Offense:

  • Misdemeanor
  • Up to one year in jail
  • Attend a forty (40) hour, twenty (20) week batterer’s intervention program
  • Pay additional assessment fees of $125.00
  • A domestic no-contact order
    • This will prohibit the defendant from contacting the alleged victim in any way including phone calls, text messages, social media, face-to-face confrontations, and in-direct contact with another individual.
    • Violation of a domestic no-contact order can result in an additional criminal charge, potential bail violation, and severe penalties.

2nd Offense:

  • Misdemeanor
  • Minimum of 10 days in jail and a maximum of up to a year in prison
  • Attend a forty (40) hour, twenty (20) week batterer’s intervention program
  • Pay additional assessment fees of $125.00
  • Domestic no-contact order

3rd Offense:

  • Felony
  • Minimum of 1-10 years in prison
  • Attend a forty (40) hour, twenty (20) week batterer’s intervention program
  • Pay additional assessment fees of $125.00
  • Domestic no-contact order

Domestic Violence Charges and Gun Rights

In addition to the above-mentioned penalties, those who are sentenced under the Domestic Violence Prevention Act may also be required to forfeit their firearm rights even if they enter a plea or are convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence crime.

Defenses to a Domestic Violence Charge 

If you have been charged with a domestic violence-related crime, you need an experienced Rhode Island domestic violence lawyer on your side. A criminal defense attorney at Abilheira Law will sit down with you to discuss the charges against you and, more importantly, any possible defenses you may have.

Some common defenses to domestic violence charges are:

  • Self-defense,
  • Defense of others, e.g., defending a family member, and
  • False accusation.

Domestic abuse cases often come down to competing or contradictory accusations, “he said, she said” allegations and credibility. At Abilheira Law, any defense will be specifically tailored to the facts and circumstances of your case. 

Rhode Island Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence Offenses

If you have been in an altercation with a family member, you may not initially be charged with a crime. However, this does not mean you are free and clear. Just because the state does not charge you with a crime that day, the next day or even weeks later does not mean you are off the hook and will not face criminal charges. 

You might be wondering, Well, how long does the prosecutor have to bring charges? The short answer is: it depends. A knowledgeable Rhode Island domestic violence lawyer will be able to assess your case in-depth and provide you with more definitive answers.

What Is The Statute of Limitations for Domestic Violence in Rhode Island?

In general, a statute of limitations is a prescribed period of time by which certain types of civil and criminal legal actions must be brought. Most statutes of limitations are prescribed by each state’s legislature. 

In Rhode Island, domestic violence charges are not stand-alone offenses but rather an additional or enhanced charge pursued in conjunction with an underlying crime. 

In other words, there is no prescribed period of time in which the state must bring a charge for a domestic violence offense on its own. Instead, the statute of limitations will be determined by the underlying crime.

For example, if a husband strikes his wife and the police are called, most likely he will be charged with some degree of assault. That assault charge will likely be enhanced to domestic violence assault because it was between spouses. Because the husband has been charged with assault, the state will have three years to prosecute him. In fact, most criminal offenses—misdemeanor and felony—in Rhode Island have a three-year statute of limitations.

One major exception is homicide. The state can bring charges at any time, even decades later, because there is no statute of limitations on murder.

Providence Domestic Violence Attorney 

Domestic abuse cases can be complex and, frankly, messy. Any type of domestic violence offense can carry serious and devastating consequences. If you have been charged with domestic violence in Providence, Rhode Island, you need to speak with a Providence domestic violence lawyer immediately. A conviction related to a domestic violence charge can mean restraining orders, incarceration, probation, and a tarnished reputation and record. Let Abilheira Law defend you.

Reach Out to Our Rhode Island Domestic Violence Lawyer Today

Our legal practitioner in our Rhode Island domestic violence defense law firm is on your side and will work to help you avoid the increased punishments associated with domestic violence crimes. In a system where an accusation is often enough to derail your life, you need a skilled and experienced Rhode Island domestic violence attorney fighting for you.

Our experienced legal practitioner also handles other types of cases, including:

Don’t wait any longer to tell us about your charges in a free case evaluation. Contact our Rhode Island domestic violence attorney today.