Rhode Island Assault and Battery Lawyer

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

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Assault and Battery Charges in Rhode Island

There’s no question that facing assault charges can be a complicated and stressful experience. These types of charges, whether they’re classified as simple assault charges, battery, domestic assault charges, or sexual assault charges, can produce harsh punishments and affect your personal life and your reputation amongst your community. That’s why it’s so important to seek legal representation from a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney that specializes in assault cases. 

Rhode Island Assault Lawyer Susan T. Perkins is well-versed in criminal laws that involve all categories of assault and has years of experience successfully defending clients who have faced these charges. Call the Law Offices of Susan T. Perkins Esq. today for a free consultation to explore your options.

What You Need To Know About Assault Charges in Rhode Island

Because assault charges can lead to rigid punishments and penalties in Rhode Island, it’s important to take them seriously and only work with the best criminal assault defense attorney. In addition, understanding more about the extent of your charges, how Rhode Island defines assault, and other details involving criminal defense can help you feel more comfortable moving forward. Below you’ll find some frequently asked questions and vital information about assault charges in Rhode Island. 

What’s the difference between assault and battery? 

Many people believe that assault and battery are basically the same thing and will use the terms interchangeably. However, these two terms have different meanings, and understanding how the law defines these two distinctions may make it easier to understand assault charges in Rhode Island. 

Assault doesn’t have to involve any physical contact and can merely involve putting someone in fear of physical contact. A threat is considered an assault. 

Battery, alternatively, involves unwanted touching that results in bodily harm or is offensive to a reasonable sense of dignity. Whether it is a shove, kick, punch, or even a finger poking the chest in an instigating manner, all of these could be considered battery. Here’s how battery is defined and charged under Rhode Island law:

§ 11-5-2.2 Battery – Criminal negligence. – (a) When serious bodily injury, as defined in § 11-5-2, of any person, occurs as a proximate result of criminal negligence, the person committing the criminal negligence shall be guilty of battery and shall be deemed to have committed a felony and shall be imprisoned not exceeding ten (10) years or fined not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.

Rhode Island Assault Penalties

Many clients are often surprised by an assault charge, especially when they never laid their hands on the alleged victim. If you’ve been charged with assault or battery in Rhode Island, we can help. Contact the Law Office of Susan T. Perkins today to speak with a Rhode Island assault lawyer and learn more about the extent of your charges and potential defense strategies. 

What is a simple assault charge? 

In Connecticut, Massachusetts, or Rhode Island, you can be charged with simple assault even if you did not physically touch someone. The laws only require that you engage in an act with the intent to cause fear of immediate bodily harm.

Many people are charged with simple assault just for allegedly threatening someone or raising their hand at someone. A simple assault charge will include any kind of threat to use force against another person, whether it be a verbal threat or a physical threat.

Simple assault charges are often classified as simple domestic assault charges if the threat was made against a member of the household. It’s also important to know that if you plead guilty to “domestic” assault, you will be banned from owning or possessing a firearm for life. This means you cannot hunt or possess a firearm for your own protection in your home or anywhere else. To learn more about simple assault charges and what kind of actions fall under this category, contact the law firm of Susan T. Perkins today. 

What are the penalties for a simple assault charge in Rhode Island? 

In Rhode Island, a simple assault charge is considered a misdemeanor and you can face up to one year in jail and fines up to $1,000 for simple assault. 

§ 11-5-3 Simple assault or battery. – (a) Except as otherwise provided in § 11-5-2, every person who shall make an assault or battery or both shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

(b) Where the provisions of “The Domestic Violence Prevention Act”, chapter 29 of title 12, are applicable, the penalties for violation of this section shall also include the penalties as provided in § 12-29-5.

Contact the Law Offices of Susan T. Perkins to speak with a Rhode Island simple assault lawyer to learn more. 

How does Rhode Island define a felony assault?

In contrast to a simple assault, a felony assault charge is much more serious. While a simple assault may be the result of a verbal threat without any contact between the offender and the victim, a felony assault is either when a victim is seriously injured in an altercation, or if a threat involved a weapon. 

§ 11-5-2 Felony assault. – (a) Every person who shall make an assault or battery, or both, with a dangerous weapon, or with acid or other dangerous substance, or by fire, or an assault or battery which results in serious bodily injury, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than twenty (20) years.

(b) Where the provisions of “The Domestic Violence Prevention Act”, chapter 29 of title 12, are applicable, the penalties for violation of this section shall also include the penalties as provided in § 12-29-5.

(c) “Serious bodily injury” means physical injury that:

(1) Creates a substantial risk of death;

(2) Causes protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part, member, or organ; or

(3) Causes serious permanent disfigurement or circumcises, excises, or infibulates the whole or any part of the labia majora or labia minora or clitoris of a person.

What are the penalties for a felony assault?

Penalties for a felony assault charge can include up to 20 years in prison and over $1,000 in fines. Rhode Island takes felony assault charges very seriously. If the altercation involved a weapon or if the alleged victim was gravely harmed, prosecutors will want to punish you to the fullest extent of the law. If you’ve been charged with a felony assault in Rhode Island, it’s critical to contact an assault defense attorney as soon as possible. Call Criminal Defense Lawyer Susan T. Perkins today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your assault case. 

Will I be served a ‘no-contact order’ if I’m charged with assault in Rhode Island?

If you are charged with assault, many judges will give you a “no-contact” order. This means that you will be prohibited from contacting the alleged victim in any fashion, including personal contact, telephone calls, emails, text messages, etc. You can even be banned from going to your own home if the alleged victim lives there. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows how to request that the “no-contact” order be lifted or vacated. Contact the law firm of Susan T. Perkins today to understand more about how “no-contact” orders work in Rhode Island. 

What are some potential defenses to assault crimes in Rhode Island?

An experienced Rhode Island assault defense attorney is fully aware of how to successfully protect you against assault charges. There are a few defense strategies that are often used to argue against assault charges, such as self-defense, defense of another, alibi, and lack of intent. Let’s explore some of these defense strategies a bit more closely: 

  • Self-defense – If you felt as though your circumstances caused you to use reasonable force to defend yourself in a threatening situation, self-defense may be the appropriate defense plan for your case.
  • Defense of another – In some cases, if the defendant was in a position to use reasonable force to protect another person or a child from immediate physical harm, defense of another may be the necessary defense path for your assault case. 
  • Lack of Intent – Lack of intent is one of the clearest and strongest avenues to a successful assault defense plan. When prosecutors bring assault with a deadly weapon charge (AWD) against someone, a skilled defense attorney can argue that the defendant had no prior intent to use the weapon, the case can possibly be dropped. 

Rhode Island criminal defense attorney Susan T. Perkins is able to get charges reduced, get cases dismissed, win at trials, or obtain the best possible outcomes available under a variety of circumstances. To learn more about potential defense strategies for your assault case, contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation.

Should I hire a Rhode Island defense lawyer for criminal assault charges?

Yes. An experienced criminal defense attorney gives you the best chance of having your assault case dismissed or your charges lowered. If you plead guilty to or are found guilty of assault, you’re going to face many negative consequences that will affect your personal life, your career, your relationships, and even your rights and freedom. For instance, many employers will choose not to hire those convicted of criminal assault. In addition, most landlords will not allow those convicted of assault to rent properties because the assault charge will show up on a background check. You will be prohibited from taking part in many volunteer activities such as coaching, chaperoning school events, or supervising students at your child’s school. In general, an assault charge will follow you into your future and prevent you from achieving goals or even participating in common everyday events. 

Only a criminal defense attorney with experience in assault charges can help you avoid these penalties and punishments or even get your case dismissed. Because Rhode Island takes criminal assault charges, including simple assault, felony assault, or sexual assault very seriously, it’s important to have a skilled assault lawyer by your side. It’s never recommended to face assault charges alone. With a free consultation, you’ll be able to sit down with a skilled criminal assault defense attorney and learn more about the extent of your charges, possible penalties, strong defense strategies, and the Rhode Island criminal justice system. 

If you or someone you know has been charged with Assault or Battery criminal charge or other charges such as aggravated assault, disorderly conduct or sexual abuse charges call Rhode Island Assault Attorney Susan T. Perkins today at (401) 324-2990 for a FREE consultation.