In domestic violence cases it’s crucial you speak with a lawyer BEFORE speaking to the police. Many do not realize that you do NOT have to speak to anyone until you have retained proper counsel. Despite pressure from law enforcement officials, it is critical that you insist on evoking this right and seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Rhode Island Domestic Violence Lawyer Susan T. Perkins has the ability to cut through the highly charged emotion in these cases and to get to the bottom of the matter.
Domestic violence occurs in every community regardless of social, economic, and educational circumstances and backgrounds. The victims of domestic violence may be young or old, gay or straight, rich or poor. They may be from any racial or religious background.
Domestic violence is not limited to those obvious cases where a husband is beating his wife. Domestic violence, which Missouri refers to as “Adult Abuse,” is a pattern of coercive control in which one person either physically harms another or arouses fear, prevents a partner from doing what they wish, or forces a partner to behave in ways they do not want to and against their will.
Adult Abuse may include the use of physical or sexual violence, threats or intimidation, emotional abuse, and even economic deprivation. Many victims feel that if they are not in need of medical care they are not being abused. However, humiliation, isolation, intimidation, denial, and blame can be just as serious as physical abuse.
Domestic violence can happen between spouses, people living together, whether romantically involved or not, or people who are dating. It includes those same-sex relationships. Men can be abused as well as women. People who are being stalked are also considered victims of abuse.
It is important to find an attorney that understands that any type of abuse is serious. It must be investigated and taken seriously. Research shows that the victim is at greatest danger at the time she leaves. Coordination with domestic violence victim advocates and the police are critical components in resolving these difficult cases.
The Law Offices of Susan T. Perkins Esq. can help victims of Domestic Violence navigate the criminal justice system and we can also assist in getting out of relationships by filing divorce or custody actions in court.
Hiring an attorney is always important following an arrest. It is especially important when charges include domestic violence. A charge of domestic violence can have extensive and far-reaching consequences. Domestic violence and abuse charges can:
Almost immediately cut you off from your home and family
Be highly emotional
Require mandatory counseling
Involve the possibility of mandatory incarceration
Result in the loss of your right to carry a weapon
Anyone accused of Domestic Violence in the State of Rhode Island knows there is a stigma attached to these types of charges.
Like sex crimes or crimes against children, domestic violence carries a presumption of instant guilt. Prior to any formal trial or court appearance, you may be thought of as the black sheep of society.
It’s illegal to commit battery, assault or any other sort of criminal threat against someone, but when the alleged victim is your romantic partner or parent of your child, allegations are taken much more seriously.
A conviction surely means jail time for the accused, even in first-offense cases. Don’t let assumptions of guilt condemn you before you even enter the courtroom. Susan T. Perkins zealously protects her clients’ rights in cases of domestic violence and will fight for your side of the story.
Domestic Violence Laws in Rhode Island
Per Rhode Island law, domestic violence occurs between “family or household members.” Though a wide-ranging definition, “family or household members” includes current or former spouses; a person you live with or have lived with some time ago; a person you are dating or are engaged to; a person with which you share a child; or a person related by blood or marriage.
There are many Rhode Island Domestic Violence crimes, which include Assault & Battery; Stalking; Kidnapping; Violation of a Restraining Order; Violation of a No Contact Order; Harassment; Trespass; Sexual Assault; Child Snatching; and Homicide / Murder.
§ 12-29-2 Definitions. – (a) “Domestic violence” includes, but is not limited to, any of the following crimes when committed by one family or household member against another:
(1) Simple assault (§ 11-5-3);
(2) Felony assaults (§§ 11-5-1, 11-5-2, and 11-5-4);
(3) Vandalism (§ 11-44-1);
(4) Disorderly conduct (§ 11-45-1);
(5) Trespass (§ 11-44-26);
(6) Kidnapping (§ 11-26-1);
(7) Child-snatching (§ 11-26-1.1);
(8) Sexual assault (§§ 11-37-2, 11-37-4);
(9) Homicide (§§ 11-23-1 and 11-23-3);
(10) Violation of the provisions of a protective order entered pursuant to § 15-5-19, chapter 15 of title 15, or chapter 8.1 of title 8 where the respondent has knowledge of the order and the penalty for its violation or a violation of a no contact order issued pursuant to § 12-29-4;
(11) Stalking (§§ 11-59-1 et seq.);
(12) Refusal to relinquish or to damage or to obstruct a telephone (§ 11-35-14);
(13) Burglary and Unlawful Entry (§ 11-8-1 et seq.);
(14) Arson (§ 11-4-2 et seq.);
(15) Cyberstalking and cyberharassment (§ 11-52-4.2); and
(16) Domestic assault by strangulation § 11-5-2.3.
Punishments to the above listed crimes may include jail/prison time; probation; fines, court costs or other monetary penalties; community service; immigration penalties and deportment; Court ordered substance abuse treatment.
Domestic violence restraining orders
In Rhode Island, a domestic violence restraining order is a restraining order that is designed to protect you from physical or emotional abuse from any person with whom you have a domestic relationship. The abuser can be removed from your house and ordered not to contact you or come within a certain distance of you.
There are two types of restraining orders, a temporary restraining order and a final restraining order.
A temporary protective order is granted when you convince a judge that there is a serious and immediate threat to you or your child. The other party does not have to be present in court and does not have a right to defend himself or herself. This type of order usually lasts about 10 days.
After approximately 10 days, the judge who granted the temporary order will hold a hearing to determine if the temporary order should continue to remain in effect as a final protective order. The alleged abuser will have an opportunity to defend himself or herself at this hearing. A final protective order lasts up to one year and can be extended, if necessary.
DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent legal counsel for advice on any legal matter. Also, the Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer as an expert or specialist in any field of practice.