Rhode Island Criminal Lawyer

Family, Divorce, Criminal Defense Lawyer Susan T. Perkins of Providence, Rhode Island

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Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Susan T. Perkins

Some Rhode Island criminal defense lawyers take a wait-and-see approach to matters at hand. Some delay and stall until the first court date, or until they receive the police reports, before investigating and advocating on your behalf. Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney Susan T. Perkins believes that there is no time to waste.

What happens after I’m charged with a crime?

After you’ve been arrested and processed, you’ll be required to appear at an arraignment hearing at the Providence County District Court if you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony. An arraignment hearing is when you enter a plea of guilty or not guilty before a judge.

The most important thing you need to do is contact a lawyer immediately after an arrest. It is never advised to attend an arraignment hearing or plead guilty without speaking to a criminal defense attorney first.

Contact the law firm of Susan T. Perkins today to learn more about what happens after you’re charged with a crime. 

Is it possible to have criminal charges dropped?

It is possible. However, criminal charges won’t simply be dropped on their own. You have to work with a criminal defense attorney with a significant amount of experience.

Your defense lawyer can complete a full investigation into your case and your arrest in order to identify if there’s a path towards a case dismissal or to get charges dropped.

To schedule a consultation to discuss your criminal charges, contact Susan T. Perkins today. 

What types of criminal charges does your law office handle?

No matter what your criminal charges are, the Law Office of Susan T. Perkins is your best defense. Our law firm handles all Rhode Island criminal cases such as:

There’s no criminal offense that we won’t defend. Remember that our law office doesn’t take a “wait and see” approach with criminal charges. No matter what your criminal charge is or how severe it appears to be, Rhode Island criminal defense attorney Susan T. Perkins should be your first point of contact.

Always keep in mind that the sooner you call, the better your results will be. If you’re concerned about the type of crime you’ve been accused of, or if you have questions about a defense strategy for your case, call (401) 324-2990 our law office today to schedule a free consultation.

A Case-By-Case Approach to Rhode Island Criminal Defense

The most critical window of opportunity for defense work may be in the first few days following an arrest, or even prior to formal charges being filed. By digging in and getting to work immediately, Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney Susan T. Perkins is often able to locate favorable defense evidence and witnesses, all while gaining a head start toward defeating your charges.

Early Intervention Before Criminal Charges Filed

Sometimes it is possible to stop criminal charges from ever being filed. After making an arrest or investigating a suspected crime, the police take their evidence to the District Attorney. The DA evaluates the potential case and decides what criminal charges (if any) to file.

Usually, the prosecutor makes this decision based solely on what the police have presented. But there is also your side of the story.

Many times, Susan T. Perkins can also meet with the DA during this same time period. Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney Susan T. Perkins will present witness statements, our evidence, and information. Knowing your side of the story may affect the calculations.

When the prosecutors see the whole picture, not just what the cops present (or the alleged victim), they may decide to file lesser charges – i.e., a misdemeanor, rather than a felony – or not to file criminal charges at all.

Rhode Island Criminal Defense

When you get arrested in the ocean state, you may feel lost, frustrated, and think that nothing is going your way. You may think to yourself, “How could I let this one little mistake dictate the rest of my life?”

Fortunately, we live in a country where you are innocent until you are proven guilty. This means that no matter the crime, you will be given a fair trial where you have the right to obtain legal representation by a Rhode Island criminal lawyer.

Going to court can make you feel stressed and fearful, but having the right criminal defense attorney by your side can ease your anxiety and make you feel confident in the legal process. But the real question you should be asking yourself is, how do you find the right lawyer for your case?

Choosing a Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney

When you begin looking for a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney, your options will be everywhere. From bench ads, TV commercials, and junk mail, you’ll be overwhelmed with lawyers who are looking to provide you with legal representation.

There are some things you should keep in mind when deciding on the right criminal defense attorney for you. The first thing you need to consider when you are looking for a Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer is what type of law they practice.

All lawyers in Rhode Island are licensed for general practice, so no attorney is specifically a bankruptcy or divorce lawyer. However, just because all lawyers can practice any law does not mean that every lawyer is the perfect fit for every legal need.

When you choose your Rhode Island criminal defense attorney you want to make sure that they focus on an area that is the most directly related to your case.

As you start to comb through and select the Rhode Island Criminal Defense lawyer that you want to represent you, you may find yourself feeling unsure of who to choose.

Have you considered the fact that some lawyers are just better than others? All lawyers like to win. Some lawyers live to win!

You want to have someone on your side who has a fire in their stomach to make sure that you get the results that you want.

If your lawyer is not going to get up early and stay up late to help you, then they’re probably not the right Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer for you.

Taking account the criminal defense lawyer experience

When you’re planning your criminal defense strategy, remember that an inexperienced attorney fresh out of law school may not be ready for the court, the opposition, designing an aggressive defense strategy, or questioning a witness. Having someone who has been a prosecutor in the past will also give you a significant benefit.

If your Rhode Island criminal defense attorney has been on the other side of the courtroom, you have a big advantage. Former prosecutors know the tactics that the prosecutor will use.

This makes former prosecutors incredibly prepared criminal defense attorneys and excellent negotiators. They will know when they are trying to back their client into a corner and they will likely have a defense ready to make you look as good as possible.

Your Best Chance Of Defense

If you are looking to build the best defense strategy and have not chosen a lawyer, you’ve come to the right place. The Rhode Island Criminal Defense Law Office of Susan T. Perkins is here for you. Our law office works with our clients every step of the way.

We are available at any time to answer your questions or address your concerns. When we represent you, you will have our personal cell phone numbers. You will be able to reach us at any time to talk about your defense and how we are going to succeed for you.

We have prosecution experience in several superior courts and know what the state is going to do to try and get you a guilty verdict in court. We want to make sure that you are completely expunged of your charges and that your life will be back to normal. 

Contact the Rhode Island Criminal Defense law office of Susan T. Perkins for a free consultation today at (401) 324-2990.

Frequently Asked Questions About Rhode Island Criminal Law and Criminal Defense

We understand that if you’re arrested, you’ll be filled with questions and valid concerns about what happens next. Our law firm is here to answer any of your questions regarding Rhode Island criminal law and criminal defense.

To give you a better understanding of your circumstances, here are some general questions that clients initially ask after being arrested in Rhode Island.

What can you expect once you have been charged with a crime in Rhode Island?

If you’ve been charged with a felony or a misdemeanor in Rhode Island, there are a few things you can expect. Here is a brief summary of what happens when someone is arrested and charged with a crime in Rhode Island:

After an arrest

After an arrest, you’ll be processed at the police station, and eventually charged with a crime in a district court. It’s absolutely critical to request to speak with a criminal defense attorney if you haven’t spoken to one yet. Remember that it is your right to have a proper defense and legal representation.

Arraignment hearing

Next, you’ll be given an arraignment hearing. This is when you appear before a judge and plead not guilty, guilty, or nolo contendere (more about this plea below). Once a judge accepts your plea and your bail is set, you’ll be given a date for your pre-trial hearing.

Pre-trial meeting

At your pre-trial meeting, your criminal defense attorney will be given details of your arrest from the prosecutor. These details will include things like the police report, who was present at the time of the arrest, witness statements, details of any physical evidence, and anything else related to your criminal charges.

At your pre-trial meeting, you’ll collaborate with your criminal defense lawyer to create the best defense strategy for your case. This may take only one meeting, or multiple pre-trial meetings depending on how complex your case is and what your criminal charges are. Your lawyer may decide that your charges should be dropped or will attempt to work with the prosecution and negotiate on your behalf for the best possible option.


If there’s no resolution in sight, your attorney may advise you that your best option is to go to trial. At your trial, your Rhode Island criminal defense attorney will challenge the prosecution’s case and provide your side of the story. Finally, a judge or jury will decide on a verdict after hearing both sides.

If you’re found guilty, your sentencing hearing will be set and your defense lawyer can argue for you to be released on bail while awaiting your sentence.

Depending on your charges, you may be given the opportunity to appeal a guilty verdict as well. If you’re found not guilty, you’ll be either immediately released from being detained and any costs of your bail will be dropped.

To learn more about what happens after an arrest, call (401) 324-2990 Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer Susan T. Perkins to schedule a free consultation.

What are the levels of offenses in Rhode Island?

As you probably already assumed, not all crimes are ranked the same. There are different levels of criminal charges in Rhode Island. Typically, you’ll be dealing with one of the three levels of offenses, which are petty misdemeanors (sometimes referred to as infractions), misdemeanors, and felonies. Let’s explore each one:

Petty Misdemeanor or Infraction

A petty misdemeanor or infraction is the lowest level of offense in Rhode Island. Examples of petty misdemeanors are traffic violations, disorderly conduct, littering, or public indecency. Common penalties for petty misdemeanors can include fines of up to $500 or six months or less in jail.


A misdemeanor is more serious than a petty misdemeanor but less serious than a felony. Examples of misdemeanors may include simple assault and battery, trespassing, shoplifting, possession of illegal drugs, vandalism, reckless driving, or indecent exposure. Common penalties for misdemeanors can include expensive fines and up to 1 year in jail. 


A felony is the most serious type of criminal charge you can face. Examples of felonies include arson, burglary, rape, murder, kidnapping, breaking and entering, or forgery. Penalties for felonies can range significantly depending on the crime. If you’re charged with a felony, your case will be handled in a superior court and you can face multiple years in prison.

No matter what your charges are or the level of your offense. It’s imperative that you speak with a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Some people believe that simple infractions, like traffic violations, don’t require legal representation. However, the consequences of even the simplest crimes can result in huge obstacles in your life such as expensive fines, loss of a license, or an inability to apply for loans or jobs. Remember to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately if you’ve been charged with a petty misdemeanor, a misdemeanor, or a felony. Contact the Law Office of Susan T. Perkins to hear more about the different levels of offenses in Rhode Island.

What’s the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

The main difference between a misdemeanor and a felony is the level of the crime. Misdemeanors are considered lower-level crimes. Examples include drunk driving charges, minor drug offenses, trespassing, and vandalism. Felonies are more serious crimes that include domestic violence, white-collar crimes, gun violence, homicide, and burglary. The penalties for felony charges will be much more severe than misdemeanor penalties. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, it’s important to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Call Susan T. Perkins at (401) 324-2990 immediately after an arrest.

Will my criminal case require a jury trial? 

Not all criminal cases lead to jury trials. After you plead not guilty at your arraignment hearing, you’ll go through a pre-trial stage where various things can happen. For instance, your criminal defense lawyer may be able to make an acceptable plea deal with the prosecution, your case might lead to dismissal, or you may have a bench trial with a judge but no jury. The important thing to keep in mind is that not all criminal cases involve a jury trial and it’s highly recommended to have the support of an experienced criminal defense lawyer through each phase of the criminal justice process. 

Should I just plead guilty and avoid a trial?

It is never advised to plead guilty in order to avoid going to trial. Some public defenders will wrongly advise their clients to simply plead guilty because of the uncertainty of a trial. When you’re working with a trustworthy and experienced criminal defense attorney, you won’t be advised to do something just because it’s easier. You’ll be advised to take certain actions because they’re in your best interest and it’s the right thing to do. Public defenders are infamous for not having enough time to properly defend their clients. In effect, they provide the unfortunate advice of pleading guilty, even if the case has a path to a clear dismissal. While public defenders can be cost-effective and convenient, they’re not going to systematically and aggressively fight for your rights. If you’ve been told to plead guilty to avoid a trial, it’s important to reconsider. Contact our law office today and schedule a free consultation with a lawyer. An experienced criminal defense attorney can provide you with all the details you need to move forward with confidence.

What does it mean to plead nolo contendere in Rhode Island?

In a Rhode Island court arraignment hearing, you have three options. You can plead guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere. Nolo contendere is Latin for “I do not wish to contend”. By pleading nolo contendere, there are some significant legal consequences you can face. You’re basically saying that you don’t wish to fight your criminal charges. However, you’re also in a position of admitting to your criminal charges. Many legal minds see guilty pleas and nolo contendere as the same thing. It is vital to speak with a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney before you enter a plea of any kind. To understand more about the consequences of your plea as well as what happens at an arraignment, call (401) 324-2990 RI Criminal Defense Attorney Susan T. Perkins to schedule a free consultation today.

Do prosecutors make good defense lawyers?

Yes, former prosecutors make excellent criminal defense lawyers. There are a few reasons why you want to work with a criminal defense attorney that has previously worked in a prosecutor’s office.

First, because they’ve worked in this position before, they can make accurate predictions regarding a prosecutor’s next move. They know when they’ve got the evidence to move forward, or if their case shows flaws or weaknesses. This can help your defense lawyer create a strong defense strategy.

Second, former prosecutors make successful negotiators. During your pre-trial meetings, your criminal defense attorney will work with the prosecutor to create the best possible outcome for you. And because they know how prosecutors work, your defense attorney will know how to make a deal. At the Criminal defense law office of Susan T. Perkins, we know prosecutors’ moves because we have experience as prosecutors.

What does a criminal defense attorney do?

If you want to hire the best Rhode Island criminal defense attorney, it’s important to understand what they do. The bottom line, a criminal defense attorney’s job is to defend you, no matter the circumstances or the severity of your criminal case.

Your defense lawyer will review your case, speak on your behalf, create a proper defense plan, question witnesses, investigate issues with your arrest, work with the prosecutor to get the best possible outcome, and of course, stand by your side.

Your criminal defense attorney should be available to you at any time of day. Your criminal defense lawyer will guide you through each stage of the legal process and provide you with the information you need to make the right decisions.

Most importantly, a criminal defense attorney is there to protect your rights and your freedom. To learn more about what a criminal defense lawyer does, contact our Rhode Island Criminal Defense law office today to learn more.

Where can I find an attorney? 

If you need a family lawyer or a criminal defense lawyer, contact Rhode Island attorney Susan T. Perkins. Susan T. Perkins is one of Rhode Island’s top divorce attorneys and has an extensive background in family law. She also has a long history of success paving new paths for those accused of various crimes. You don’t have to go through this legal struggle alone. Contact the law firm of Susan T. Perkins today to discuss your options. 

Why should I hire a Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer?

After an arrest, you have a few choices. You can choose to work with a public defender, hire a defense lawyer, or simply represent yourself and/or plead guilty. In order to get the best results, hiring a criminal defense attorney with experience should be your first choice. As mentioned above, public defenders are bombarded with cases and will rarely learn their client’s names, let alone the details of their arrest.

Facing criminal charges, especially if it’s your first offense, can be scary, confusing, and make you feel completely helpless. Hiring the best Rhode Island criminal defense attorney can make you feel secure and confident about your case. A defense attorney can give you all the information you need so you don’t feel lost in a criminal court system. Remember, you don’t have to go through it alone. 

If you or a loved one was arrested and charged with a crime, you have options. The sooner you call, the better! Contact (401) 324-2990 the Rhode Island Criminal Lawyer Office of Susan T. Perkins today and schedule a free consultation with Rhode Island’s best criminal defense attorney. 

Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Susan T. Perkins

The Law Office of Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Susan T. Perkins is open 24 Hours. If you’re ready to discuss your case, it’s recommended to contact the best criminal attorney in Rhode Island as soon as possible. The best results are often achieved when you consult with your defense attorney earlier rather than later. 

Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Office

Rhode Island Criminal Defense

Rhode Island Criminal Lawyer Susan T. Perkins, Esq.

462 Broadway
Providence , RI

Phone: (401) 324-2990