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Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Providence, Rhode Island

Domestic violence allegations are serious and could cause irreparable damage to your quality of life, reputation, freedom, as well as your personal, and professional future. If convicted, you could be facing jail time, fines, a restraining order, or No Contact Order (NCO). Additionally, violation of an NCO can land you in jail for violating a previous sentence - and Violation of an NCO is a NEW charge and new case!

If you are under investigation for domestic battery, or if you are facing domestic violence allegations, it is crucial that you retain an aggressive and skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. The Law Office of Layne C. Savage provides experienced and comprehensive legal representation to clients facing domestic violence charges in Boston, Massachusetts, Providence, Rhode Island, and the surrounding communities. Attorney Layne C. Savage will fight vigorously to protect your rights and attempt to refute the charges against you with substantial evidence.

Domestic Violence in Rhode Island

The Domestic Violence Prevention Act of Rhode Island describes domestic violence as a crime or abuse committed by a family or household member against another. An officer responding to a domestic violence call, who has reason to believe that a crime has taken place, will take into custody such persons they believe to have committed the following:

  • A felony assault

  • An assault resulting in bodily injury to the victim regardless of whether or not the injury is observable by the responding officer

  • A physical act intended to cause fear of imminent serious bodily injury or death

  • Violation of a protective order which the violator was aware of the terms of the order

  • Violation of a no-contact order

The arrest (and then prosecution) will NOT be dependent on the request or consent of the victim.

"Family or Household Member" includes:

  • spouses (husband/wife) or ex-spouses

  • adults related by blood or marriage

  • adults living together (roommates) or who have lived together in the past 3 years

  • people with a child in common

  • people in a substantive dating relationship within the past year (when in question, a judge will make a determination based upon the length of the relationship, type of relationship, and the frequency of interaction between the 2 people)

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Possible Penalties

If convicted of domestic violence in Rhode Island, the defendant will face:

  • Mandatory domestic violence counseling/batterer's intervention program

  • No Contact Order (NCO) between the defendant and the victim

AND may face:

  • A lengthy jail sentence

  • Hefty fines and fees

  • Probation

Penalties for subsequent domestic violence offenses can include:

  • Violating a no-contact order may be punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.

  • A second domestic violence conviction (misdemeanor offense) is a mandatory jail sentence of between 10 days to 1 year.

  • A third domestic violence conviction is AUTOMATICALLY a FELONY offense and the exposure is a mandatory jail sentence of at least 1 year and up to 10 years.

Domestic Violence in Massachusetts

Under Massachusetts law (Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 209A), the crime of domestic violence (or domestic abuse) occurs when a family member commits any of the following against another family member or household member:

  • Attempts to cause or inflicts physical harm

  • Places the other person in fear of imminent serious physical harm

  • Causes the other person to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by threat, force, or duress

A responding officer may arrest the alleged offender where there is reason to believe that a crime involving a felony, misdemeanor abuse, or assault and battery has occurred against a family or household member. Likewise, an arrest can be made when there has been a violation of a temporary or permanent Vacate Order (order to leave and stay away from a certain address), Restraining Order, or No Contact Order.

The arrest (and then prosecution) will NOT be dependent on the request or consent of the victim.

"Family or household members" are people who:

  • are married to each other

  • are/were living together (roommates)

  • are/were related by blood or marriage

  • have a child in common

  • are/were in s substantive dating relationship (and may be determined by a judge according to: the length of the relationship, the type of relationship, the frequency of interaction between the parties, and if the relationship has been terminated then the length of time since the end of the relationship)

Possible Consequences

If convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence in Massachusetts, the defendant could face:

  • Prison sentence of two-and-a-half years

  • Fines

  • Probation

  • A Protective or Restraining Order

  • No Contact Order

  • Mandatory anger management for up to 16 weeks

  • Mandatory batterer's intervention program for up to 40 weeks

A felony conviction carries additional prison time to serve.

Penalties for subsequent domestic violence offenses can include:

  • Violating a Protective Order (209A violations) is punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and up to two-and-a-half years in jail.

  • Misdemeanor domestic assault and battery includes a fine of up to $1,000 and up to two-and-a-half years in prison.

  • Felony domestic assault and battery is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

  • Stalking is punishable by a fine of up to $1,000, up to two-and-a-half years in jail, or five years in prison.

Building Your Defense

Where the charges against an alleged offender are false, an attorney may present a defense of:

  • False accusation (factual innocence)

  • Self-defense

  • Lack of intent

  • Innocence (You didn't do it)

  • Accident

  • The violence occurred as a result of your spouse's behavior

  • Inconsistencies in the evidence

  • Error during the investigation

  • The crime can't be proven beyond reasonable doubt

Often, a skilled lawyer can prevent a case from even being filed by taking proactive measures or a reduction in charges by negotiating with the court — affording clients better outcomes and in many cases dismissal of serious criminal charges.

Hiring an Experienced
Criminal Defense Attorney

Domestic violence allegations can permanently damage your reputation, livelihood, and other future opportunities. If convicted, you could face lengthy prison sentences, huge fines, restraining order, and a criminal record. When defending a domestic violence or domestic assault and battery charge, having the best legal defense strategy that fits your specific situation is essential.

The Law Office of Layne C. Savage is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal services and defending individuals facing domestic violence charges or those who have been wrongfully accused. As an experienced criminal defense attorney, she will review every detail of your case, conduct a comprehensive private investigation, and strategize your best defense to fit your needs.

Experienced Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Serving Providence, Rhode Island

If you are facing domestic violence charges, don't face it alone. Contact the Law Office of Layne C. Savage today to schedule a free consultation. Attorney Layne C. Savage will offer you the experienced legal counsel, advocacy, and comprehensive representation you need to defend your charges. She is proud to serve clients throughout Providence, Rhode Island, Boston, Massachusetts, and the surrounding areas.