Rhode Island Assault Lawyer
Many people are confused about the crime of “assault.” The word itself connotes violence. However, you can be accused and convicted of assault without ever touching your accuser. You might think you showed a lot of restraint during a confrontation by not striking the person, only to find yourself facing charges for assault. If the victim felt threatened, that’s all it takes to constitute assault. Assault comes in various types and forms, but in any of its manifestations it is a serious charge that can land you in jail – this is when talking to an experienced Rhode Island assault attorney can help your case.
Battery charges, distinct from assault, involve some form of unwanted physical contact. The contact does not have to be a beating or have caused a serious injury to meet the definition; a threatening poke or a shove is all it takes to find yourself facing battery charges in Rhode Island.
Assault and Battery Charges in Rhode Island
The most basic assault or battery charge is simple assault or simple battery. In these cases, it’s likely that no one was hurt, but the contact or threatened contact was enough to raise concern in the accused of his or her safety. In Rhode Island, simple assault and simple battery are misdemeanors that can land you in jail for up to a year with up to $1,000 in fines.
Different Types of Felony Assault & Battery Crimes
- Felony Assault or Assault and Battery involves the use of a deadly weapon, acid or fire.
- Assault with the Intent to Commit a Specific Felony, including murder, sexual assault, burglary or robbery, is also a felony in itself, even if the underlying intended crime never happened. Both of these charges can get you a sentence of at least a year or as much as 20 years in prison, if a serious injury occurs during the commission of the crime.
- Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in a House is yet a more serious assault crime. If you have been accused of entering someone’s home while armed with a deadly weapon with the intent to commit a robbery or murder, you are facing a mandatory minimum sentence of ten years to life in prison. The operant word here is “intent,” so it will be your defense attorney’s job to present a case demonstrating that you lacked the intent to commit a crime.
If you are accused of threatening someone with something that appeared to be a gun in Rhode Island, even if it was a toy and even if there was no firearm actually involved, you could be sentenced to up to three years in prison if no one was injured and up to ten years if a serious bodily injury occurred.
Enhanced Penalties for Aggravated Assault or Battery
Rhode Island law specifies certain classes of people who have a protected status, meaning that assault or battery on them may result in enhanced penalties of up to three years in prison, a fine of up to $1,500, or both. These include:
- Law enforcement personnel
- Disabled persons
- School employees
- Correction officers
- Public transit workers
- Various other specified public officials
Assault or battery on a person age 60 or older can result in a sentence of up to five years in prison, with up to $1,000 in charges.
Don’t Let Self-Defense Turn into an Assault Charge
It is likely that you would do anything for a family member or friend if they were being attacked in your presence. Safe to say, you’d probably do your utmost to defend yourself if you were in a similar predicament. What you might view as self-defense could be seen differently from the eyes of the law and/or lawyers or jury members having to determine your fate.
Stop for a moment to think about how you can avoid a serious assault charge or charges, ones that could lead to lengthy jail time:
- Bring forward any eyewitnesses to support your story.
- Find video evidence to back your statements. For instance, a fight in a nightclub or sporting event is likely to be captured on videotape by cameras at the facilities. In today’s Internet age, you also have countless people with cell phones on-hand, phones that can record in an instance. If you have such video backing your side of the story, present it to your criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.
- Point out any injuries that are likened to self-defense wounds.
Are You Innocent of a Rape Charge?
It happens all too often across America on a daily basis: someone is accused of a rape charge, a charge that has potentially very serious consequences for the alleged rapist. In the event you have been charged with rape, are you ready to fight back?
So that you can increase the odds of winning your case, make sure you provide your Rhode Island sex crime defense attorney with the following:
- Evidence pointing to contradictions and/or inaccuracies in the alleged victim’s story.
- Any video evidence to show you were not with or near the alleged victim at the time of the alleged rape.
- Any evidence demonstrating the alleged victim has unsuccessfully made such accusations about others in the past.
- Your background history pointing to being an upstanding citizen without any prior legal issues.
When you stop for a moment to think about the seriousness of rape charges, they can prove quite damaging, even in the event you are cleared. Such allegations can impact your ability to earn a living, not to mention stay together with your family.
The Need for a Criminal Defense Lawyer when Facing Assault Charges
Rhode Island’s assault and battery statutes are complex and can be confusing, and the potential penalties are daunting. A dedicated and experienced Rhode Island criminal defense attorney can usually offer credible defenses.
- The assault or battery never happened.
- You were not the person who committed the assault, you were wrongly identified or you had an alibi.
- You did are guilty of assault, but you did it in defense of yourself, your property or another person.
- Consent, used most often in the context of sexual assault (rape).
Contact an Experienced Rhode Island Assault Attorney
If you have been accused of assault or battery, you are undoubtedly stressed and concerned for your future. No one wants to go to prison or go through life with a criminal record. Having the right Rhode Island criminal attorney can make all the difference. Super Lawyers “Rising Star” Stefanie A. Murphy has the experience, knowledge and skill to help you achieve the best possible outcome in the circumstances. Bring her on board immediately if you’ve been arrested. In a few cases, Stefanie can prevent prosecutors from filing charges at all. In many cases, Stefanie will negotiate to have the charges reduced or dropped entirely, or when it is in your best interest, she will take your case before a jury for a full acquittal. Call the Criminal Law Offices of Stefanie A. Murphy right away for the aggressive, focused and committed defense you deserve in Greenwich and throughout Rhode Island. The initial consultation is free and payment plans are available to fit your budget.
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