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If you or a family member have recently been accused or charged with a criminal offense in your state, such as theft or DUI, you probably are concerned about what will happen in the near future. You likely are wondering who will be willing to listen to your side of the events, and you want to know what your rights are and how your job and family may be affected. Most importantly you want to know who you can turn to for help.
At the first opportunity, you should consult an experienced attorney. This will help you avoid making mistakes and can also help to ease the consequences that often come with criminal charges. Now is time for a free consultation with a Rhode Islandcriminal lawyer who has a proven track record in criminal cases just like the one you or a loved one may be facing. You have the right to remain silent and protect your interests, but the sooner you meet with a criminal attorney the better off you will be. Remember, just because a person is charged with a state offense does not mean that they will be found guilty. Hiring a good criminal lawyer can help protect you and your family and will provide you with information on the rights and options that you may have. Many attorneys will even offer free advice during the initial meeting so that you can decide the next steps you wish to take.
Are You Looking for an Experience Criminal Lawyer?
We have an experienced and professional team of criminal attorneys that are well-versed in many areas of crime from domestic violence to fraud to DUI. We have capable lawyers who specialize in areas of criminal defense like theft, aggravated assault, manslaughter, sexual offenses, weapons charges and much more.
The sooner you act the better. It doesn't matter if you are actually facing charges or you simply fear that there will be repercussions for an act in your past, the longer it takes to get legal counsel, the fewer options you will have. Our Rhode Island criminal attorneys have the expertise to fully understand how state law works and they will be able to offer valuable advice to you during your first meeting.
Build Up a Strong Defense for a DUI Charge
One of the most common charges at the state level is a DUI. Though consequences of this action can vary, many times they will include a night in jail, alcohol education classes, heavy fines and even a suspended driver's license. A smart move is to find a Rhode Island criminal attorney who has the expertise and knowledge in DUI cases like the one you may be facing. Our experienced lawyers can help to find out if you qualify as a first time offender, to explain the fines and other penalties that you could face, and how you can plan, together, the defense strategy. They will also help you to understand how this type of charge may affect other parts of your life like your auto insurance and even your job.
Good Lawyers are Focused on Specific Areas of Law
Our team of experienced criminal defense attorneys concentrates on certain areas of the law. This helps them to gain thorough knowledge of their legal specialty and also helps them build up strong track records in specific types of cases. They will also have comprehensive information about particular state laws and know how they relate to your personal case. Our lawyers will use this background to formulate a solid defense strategy for your individual case. We help to match you with the perfect lawyer for your unique situation.
What to Expect From Your Criminal Lawyer
When you first meet with your criminal lawyer for a consultation you will need to discuss the facts of your case. Your attorney will be able to share their own expertise of the law and how it will relate to the charges being brought against you. You should always be as candid as you can be with your lawyer and be willing to ask them questions. Your attorney will make sure to keep your information confidential and will strive to represent your best interests. It is important for you to follow any advice that is given to you by your attorney and to understand that patience may be needed.
A Strong Reputation Will Count
Our lawyers belong to a variety of professional groups like the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. You will be able to track the success rate of our attorneys throughout their careers which can give you peace of mind. Our attorneys have been thoroughly screened in order to ensure they are providing top notch legal counsel.
You Can Trust Our Attorneys
The perfect criminal lawyer for you will be the one who is going to advocate for your best interests. They will be able to earn your trust, adhere to the highest ethical standards and provide you with that extra boost of confidence that is always needed in these situations.
Our lawyers will know the common methods of defense for you and will handle your case with the urgency and care that you need. Avoid mistakes early on in the criminal process by choosing an attorney quickly. It is important to have the trustworthy legal support that comes from professional counsel. Call one of our qualified attorneys today!
Are You Facing Criminal Charges in Rhode Island?
Many defendants don’t recognize the importance of gaining at least an elementary understanding of the criminal charges against them. Yet, even a basic understanding of Rhode Island crime laws and what they mean for your case can be very helpful. This knowledge not only brings clarity, but enables you to focus on the importance of building a robust defense against such charges.
In Rhode Island, every crime is classified as either a felony or a misdemeanor. Serious crimes – such as murder and aggravated assault – are felonies. Less serious crimes – such as possession of marijuana and minor theft – are misdemeanors. The biggest and most important difference between these two general classifications is that conviction for a misdemeanor will only result in punishment by a maximum one year in jail, while felony convictions can garner much longer sentences of incarceration.
Unlike most states which further categorize felonies and misdemeanors as Class A, Class B, and Class C offenses, or something similar, Rhode Island does not do this. Instead, the applicable punishment – including any minimum or maximum sentence – is specified for each offense and degree of offense. This approach enables Rhode Island to be more specific and intentional in assigning a punishment to a crime.
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Five Common Crimes Charged in Rhode Island
Knowing the basics of applicable Rhode Island criminal laws can be important, but that knowledge cannot help you build the best defense for your specific case or guide your strategic approach to your trial. However, a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney who is specifically trained to understand the laws and apply them to a particular set of circumstances can take that burden off your shoulders. If you need to know whether the charges lodged against you are appropriate in view of your actions or any potentially mitigating circumstances, talk with a lawyer.
As in other states, Rhode Island criminalizes the possession, sale, purchase, manufacture, and trafficking of controlled substances. In Rhode Island, all of these various acts fall under the same statute; however, among the chargeable drug offenses, possession is the most frequently charged and most often convicted. In addition, Rhode Island has a schedule that categorizes each controlled substance based on its potential for addiction and overall danger to the Rhode Island public. Then, this schedule is used to determine the severity of punishment for a person convicted of possession of a specific controlled substance. In other states, a similar structure leads to a broad array of punishments for possession but, in Rhode Island, possession of most controlled substances ultimately falls under the same sub-statute.
Possession of a controlled substance under Schedule I, II, III, or IV – which includes even the most serious controlled substances, such as heroin and cocaine – all have the same potential punishments. The maximum term of incarceration is three years and the maximum fine is $5,000. However, the exact punishment imposed in a specific case will likely depend on the controlled substance because certain drugs are viewed more harshly in Rhode Island.
Despite being a Schedule I controlled substance, marijuana is treated in a different manner from other common drugs. In Rhode Island, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana by a defendant who is above the age of 18 is only a civil penalty, and that means jail time is neither applicable nor allowed. Possession of more than one ounce, however, is a misdemeanor in the state and can earn a convicted individual a maximum penalty of one year in prison.
One unique aspect of the possession laws in Rhode Island concerns the way addicted persons are treated. When it comes to highly addictive controlled substances – such as heroin – and known users on the street, Rhode Island law differentiates between those who are addicted and those who are not. The purpose for this is to implement a higher punishment for people who deal in these substances and to show a degree of leniency for individuals who are addicted.
Penalties for more serious drug offenses, such as trafficking and manufacturing, are substantially higher. If you are charged with one of these offenses, you will definitely want to seek the counsel of a drug trafficking attorney in Rhode Island, or a suitable equivalent.
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Within the Rhode Island criminal offense statutes, several crimes contemplate unlawful sexual acts. These crimes range from solicitation to rape, and the statutes contain corresponding punishments that match the seriousness of each offense, of which sexual assault is the most common.
Rhode Island sexual assault laws specify the crime to be charged and assign it to the first, second, or third degree. Potential punishments for each of these degrees is specified by statutes which ensure that the level of sexual assault is duly punished by a reciprocally harsh sentence. It is incredibly important for each defendant to recognize the exact sexual assault charges being levied against him or her and understand what conviction can mean in terms of punishment.
Sexual assault in the first degree is the most serious of these offenses, and conviction of a first-degree sexual assault has a mandatory punishment of 10 years in prison. By definition, this offense is equivalent to a charge of rape in other states. Rhode Island law explicitly states that first-degree sexual assault is sexual penetration when:
Second-degree sexual assault is also very serious. It is punishable by not less than three years and not more than 15 years in prison. Second-degree sexual assault is defined as unlawful sexual contact when:
Finally, third-degree sexual assault is punishable by not more than five years in prison, but no minimum punishment is specified. Third-degree sexual assault covers statutory rape in Rhode Island which is defined as any sexual penetration that occurs between an actor who is above the age of 18 and a victim who is older than 14 but has not yet attained the age of 16, which is the age of consent in the state of Rhode Island.
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Stealing the property, services, or money of another person is a crime in every state. In Rhode Island, it is called larceny, but its definition and implications are similar to the crimes referred to as theft in other states. Unlike most other states, however, Rhode Island has not consolidated its theft laws into one single offense. Crimes such as embezzlement, receipt of stolen goods, and other theft-related criminal actions remain separate offenses and are charged under statutes other than larceny. That means larceny covers only the stealing of money, goods, services, or other property of value. Upon a conviction for larceny, the defendant is punished based on the value of the property that was stolen. If the property has a fair market value under $1,500, the larceny is considered a misdemeanor, and its maximum penalty is one year in prison.
Alternatively, larceny involving property valued above $1,500 – or when the stolen property consists of a firearm – is a much more serious offense. First, this crime is a felony within the parameters of the classification and schedule of crimes in Rhode Island. Second, because of its severity, a convicted individual will receive the maximum punishment – 10 years in prison.
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Many states categorize acts of violence against family members of the actor – such as a spouse, child, parent, step-child, or other relative – as a separate crime. However, in Rhode Island, domestic violence is criminalized differently. Instead of imposing separate criminal charges for domestic violence, the state increases the severity of the underlying charges.
Here is how it works. If one family member commits an assault on another, the perpetrator is charged with assault. Included in this crime is a heightened level of charges because of the assault being domestic violence in Rhode Island and because the act took place against a family member. For example, one unique requirement facing a defendant who is arrested on a charge of domestic assault is that the actor cannot be released on bail or recognizance until after appearing for a first, or arraignment, hearing. Additionally, when an assault occurs between family members, a protective order is all but a requirement.
Lastly, defendants who are convicted for assault by domestic violence are subject to longer jail sentences. For instance, a third arrest for domestic violence will be treated as a felony. That crime, often referred to as felony domestic assault in Rhode Island, is then punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
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Rhode Island law recognizes two types of homicide – murder and manslaughter. The first and most serious is murder, and it covers homicides committed with malice aforethought. The second, manslaughter, is applicable to unintentional killings. As the intent element of these crimes would suggest, the punishment for an individual convicted of a murder charge will be more harsh and substantial than those for manslaughter. Given the similarity in the crimes, however, a lawyer whose practice is focused on defense of individuals charged with murder will often also be a manslaughter lawyer in Rhode Island. However, regardless of the category, all homicides are among the most serious crimes in Rhode Island, and charges for any offense in this practice area should be given due concern.
In Rhode Island, a charge of murder requires proof of malice aforethought. This legal term is equivalent to saying that murder requires evidence that the accused person had a previous intent to kill another human being. Also, all killings – whether intentional or unintentional – that occur during the commission of a separate felony are known as felony murders.
While all murder charges in Rhode Island fall under a single statute, the law does differentiate between first-degree murder and second-degree murder. First-degree murder is a heightened offense for which conviction carries a minimum punishment of 15 years in prison. First-degree murder is applicable only when it can be proved that the act was premeditated. For example, evidence of the defendant lying in wait would demonstrate premeditation. Otherwise, the crime is a felony murder. In all other instances, the appropriate charge is second-degree murder.
Because Rhode Island abolished capital punishment, the most severe criminal penalty a defendant can receive upon conviction of murder is life in prison without parole.
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Each Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer in Criminal Lawyer is prepared to defend a variety of crimes in Rhode Island. Our experience is not limited to the most common crimes in the state, and extends to defense of federal crimes and appellate level defense. Whether you are seeking a lawyer to defend you against such serious charges as murder, or a less severe misdemeanor offense, such as possession of a controlled substance, we can help.
Importance of an Experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer
Every criminal defense attorney in Rhode Island has spent years accumulating both education and experience while learning the ins, outs, and details of the Rhode Island criminal laws. This knowledge and experience offer an invaluable benefit to criminal defendants. As an individual facing criminal charges, you are at risk of losing your freedom, suffering significant financial loss, and even interfering with relationships and future job opportunities. Your best bet, when it comes to minimizing the potential negative consequences and impact of these criminal charges is to engage the services of an experienced criminal justice attorney in Rhode Island.
It is incredibly intimidating to face charges of assault, DUI, or murder. Yet, you need not face the prospect of handling your defense alone – nor should you. At such a stressful time, however, finding the right criminal defense lawyer to help with your case can also be very stressful. By working with a member of Criminal Lawyer, this part of the process becomes straightforward, convenient, and reliable. If you don’t know where to turn for defense against criminal charges in Rhode Island, turn to us.
[Disclaimer – this is not legal advice.]