Like other states, Rhode Island’s laws impose major criminal penalties on those who commit domestic violence.
Rhode Island does not have separate domestic violence crimes.
Instead, its law labels certain violent crimes, like assault, felony assault and even disorderly conduct, as domestic violence when the victim is what the law calls a family or household member. Spouses and former spouses are examples of family or household members.
Police officers have the right and even obligation to take allegations of domestic violence seriously. They may even be legally required to make an arrest immediately after an allegation.
The accused will have to appear in court before being allowed bail and will have to submit to a no-contact order. The no-contact order could effectively force the person from their home.
In addition to any other penalties, even a first-time offender will have to attend a mandatory counseling program at their expense.
They will also have to pay fees and may face other penalties, including an ongoing no-contact order.
While not mandatory in cases where there are no aggravating circumstances, jail is a possibility after any conviction related to domestic violence.
A domestic violence conviction can affect a person’s family law case
Many times, domestic violence allegations surface during a divorce or breakup or right as a couple’s relationship starts to unravel.
If one spouse pleads guilty to a crime related to domestic violence, a judge hearing the divorce or custody case will likely consider the conviction when making a decision.
In the worst-case scenario, the accused may wind up with highly restricted contact with their children.
Domestic violence convictions can affect a Providence resident’s other important rights as well, including the right to possess a firearm or, if the accused is a noncitizen, their right to remain in the United States.