Category Archives: Violent Crime Defense RI

Blog posts about violent crime defense in Rhode Island.

RI Criminal Defense Lawyers: Arrested in Rhode Island – Part 4

The Rhode Island criminal defense attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates represent clients for all crimes throughout the state.  Our experienced and successful attorneys are prepared to vigorously defend you or your family member today.

This is Part 4 of our criminal defense blog series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) about your rights during an arrest in Rhode Island.

Right to an attorney

If you are arrested in Rhode Island, you should immediately request an attorney.  Even if you think you can “explain” the situation to officers, any statement you make has RI Criminal Defense Lawyer, RI defense lawyerthe potential to harm you.  The only statement that can benefit you is “I want a lawyer,” at which time you should immediately call the criminal defense attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates.

If the police want to question you while you’re in custody they must inform you of your Miranda Rights.  These rights are typically stated as follows:

“ You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. Do you understand these rights? ”

These rights stem from the U.S. Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona, which protects individuals in police custody from questioning without a informing them of their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.  Once you tell the police you want an attorney, they must stop questioning you.

Right to a confidential telephone call

Under Rhode Island law, you have the right to make a confidential telephone call to as soon as possible after your arrest.  This right allows you to contact a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney and/or obtain bail.  Your right to a confidential telephone call is typically required within one hour of your arrest.  When you’re allowed your phone call, immediately call our criminal defense attorneys so that we can advocate on your behalf!

Right to bail

Once you are arrested and charged with a crime in Rhode Island, you will beRobert Craven Top Criminal Defense Lawyer RI, AVVO Lawyer RI, Criminal Defense Lawyer RI brought before a judge or bail commissioner to be arraigned (informed of the charges against you).  Your bail will then be set. In Rhode Island, bail is either personal recognizance (your promise to appear in court at a later date) or surety bail (posting bail yourself or hiring a bail bondsman).

However, for the most severe crimes, a defendant may not be entitled to bail until a bail hearing occurs.  Our attorneys handle these matters on a regular basis, know the law, and can argue to get you or your loved one out on bail.  Allow our experienced criminal defense attorneys to fight for you at your bail hearing to ensure your freedom today!


If you’ve been charged with a crime in Rhode Island, call the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates today. We can provide you with a free consultation and immediately begin working on your defense!

Criminal Defense Lawyer: Resisting Arrest in Rhode Island

If you’ve been charged with Resisting Arrest in Rhode Island, please contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys immediately.  It is crucial that we begin working on your defense soon after your arrest.

Rhode Island’s Resisting Arrest Law states that it is “unlawful for any person to use force or any weapon in resisting a legal or an illegal arrest by a peace officer, if the person has reasonable ground to believe that he or she is being arrested and that the arrest is being made by a peace officer.”  You should be aware that there is no distinction made under Rhode Island law between resisting legal or illegal arrests.  Despite challenges to this law, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has said that even if you believe your arrest was illegal, you can still be charged with resisting arrest. State v. Ramsdell, 285 A.2d 399 (1971).

If you’re convicted of Resisting Arrest in RI, you can face up to one (1) year in prison and up to a $500 fine.  Also, a conviction for resisting arrest can appear on your criminal record for up to five years!  Allow our criminal defense attorneys to defend your case and fully expunge the charge from your record.

There are defenses available to a defendant charged with resisting arrest in Rhode Island.  Our attorneys successfully defend resisting arrest cases in all Rhode Island courts and are ready to advocate on your behalf.  We can defend your case and will expunge the charge from your record for you!  Call our North Kingstown attorneys today for a free case evaluation!

RI Defense Attorneys: Obstructing a Police Officer

An increasingly common criminal charge in Rhode Island is Obstruction of a Police Officer.  Rhode Island law on obstructing officer in execution of duty states, “Every person who shall obstruct any officer, civil, military, or otherwise, including any state, city, or town police, deputy sheriff, or fire fighter, while in the execution of his or her office or duty, shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or be fined not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500).”  R.I. Gen. Law § 11-32-1.

But what does that mean? More importantly, how do you get an obstruction of a police officer charge dismissed in Rhode Island?

Obstructing a Police Officer is a crime in Rhode Island punishable by up to one (1) year in prison and/or a fine of up to $500.  That is serious enough, but you may be surprised to learn that a conviction for Obstructing a Police Officer can appear on your criminal record for up to five (5) years!  Allow our attorneys to fight for you to avoid a criminal conviction and erase your arrest for obstruction from your record.

Rhode Island’s vague Obstruction of a Police Officer statute has been challenged on many occasions, often reaching the RI Supreme Court.  Our Obstruction of a Police Officer defense attorneys are well versed in the RI caselaw and know how to defend your case.  We know that mere words, not just a physical interference with officers, can constitute obstruction under RI law and that only certain situations require an individual to obey an officer’s commands.  State v. Duffy, 441 A.2d 524 (R.I. 1982)DeFusco v. Brophy, 311 A.2d 286 (R.I. 1973).  But most importantly, if the prosecution cannot prove that (1) the defendant acted knowingly, (2) the defendant “resisted” or “obstructed” a peace officer, (3) the defendant knew the peace officer was in fact a peace officer, and (4) the peace officer was performing an authorized act within his official capacity, our attorneys will motion for a dismissal of your case. State v. Berberian, 416 A.2d 127 (R.I. 1980).

Your ability to beat an obstruction of a police officer charge in Rhode Island will depend on the attorney you have on your side.  Allow the experienced attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates to review your case and advocate for your rights.  We can successfully defend your case and will expunge the charge from your record for you!  We handle obstruction cases everyday and can put you in the best position to successfully overcome this charge.  Call us today for a free consultation and allow us to begin preparing your defense!

RI Defense Attorneys: Disorderly Conduct Lawyer

One of the most common crimes in Rhode Island is Disorderly Conduct.  While this may seem like a minor crime, a disorderly conduct arrest is something you must take very seriously.  Allow our attorneys to defend you so that your arrest for disorderly conduct doesn’t affect your future.

Disorderly Conduct, R.I. Gen. Law 11-45-1, is a broad statute that criminalizes various actions.  Most often, individuals are charged with disorderly conduct for acting in a violent manner or disturbing others by making loud and unreasonable noise.  Other actions that constitute disorderly conduct in RI include the use of offensive language that would provoke a violent reaction from others, obstructing a public way, interfering with a lawful meeting, or looking into the windows of others for a lascivious purpose.  A conviction for disorderly conduct can result in imprisonment for up to six (6) months and/or a fine of up to $500.

Disorderly Conduct is one of the most overcharged crimes in Rhode Island.  If you’ve been arrested for disorderly conduct in Rhode Island, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to fight for you.  While the disorderly conduct is broad, there are many defenses that we can raise on your behalf.  Our attorneys see these cases everyday, know the caselaw, and know how to beat a disorderly conduct charge.  

We can successfully defend your case and will expunge the charge from your record for you!  Allow the disorderly conduct attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates who regularly defend these matters in Rhode Island courts to work for you!  Call our North Kingstown office today for a free consultation. 

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Rhode Island

Domestic violence has been a focus of Rhode Island legislators in recent years with the passing of the Domestic Violence Prevention Act.  Punishments have been significantly strengthened and prosecutors are taking domestic violence cases extremely seriously (and rightfully so).  ThisRI domestic violence defense attorney may be in part to the unfortunate frequency that we see domestic violence in the news, such as with Chris Brown and RihannaOscar Pistorius, and most recently Ray Rice.  But what is “domestic violence” in Rhode Island and why do you need a Rhode Island domestic violence defense attorney?

In Rhode Island, domestic violence isn’t a crime standing alone.  Domestic violence is a term used for the enhancement of penalties for the underlying crimes when such crimes occur between household members.  Offenses that may qualify as “domestic” crimes include assault, disorderly conduct, cyberstalking, and trespassing.  After an arrest for domestic violence, Rhode Island judges will impose a no contact order between the defendant and the alleged victim.  Violation of a domestic no contact order is itself a separate crime and grounds for (another) arrest.  For any domestic violence conviction, RI requires the defendant to participate in batterer’s intervention, a 20 week program, at the defendant’s expense.

When faced with a charge domestic violence it is essential that a defendant be represented by an experienced Rhode Island criminal defense attorney.  Judges do not take these crimes lightly and defendants often face considerable jail time for such charges.  The attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates regularly defend domestic violence charges and are willing to meet with you today for a free consultation.

A Review of the Ray Rice Prosecution | Domestic Violence Attorney RI

Crimes involving domestic violence are handled very seriously by Rhode Island prosecutors.  For that reason, you need an experienced RI domestic violence attorney to protect your rights.  But what punishments does a defendant charged with domestic violence face?

In recent days, and in light of the newly discovered video evidence, the prosecution of NFL Domestic Violence Attorney RIplayer Ray Rice has been heavily scrutinized.  In May, the local prosecutor permitted Rice to enter a pretrial intervention program acting as a rehabilitative alternative to criminal prosecution.  Essentially, if Rice completed counseling, the charges against him would be dropped and he wouldn’t be convicted.  It’s likely that this offer was made since the victim, Rice’s soon-to-be wife, refused to cooperate with the prosecution of the matter (of course, this is months before the infamous video emerged) and Rice’s clean criminal history.

In Rhode Island, it’s possible to get a similar result in domestic violence cases with the assistance of an experienced defense attorney.  This is especially true for first-time offenders.  However, prosecutors are becoming more and more unlikely to offer non-criminal dispositions.  Allow the attorneys at Robert E. Craven & Associates to provide you with a free case evaluation so that we can determine what legal services we can provide you.

Batterers Intervention Programs | RI Criminal Defense Attorney

In recent years, the Rhode Island legislature has strengthened its position on domestic violence.  Punishments have been stiffened and these cases are handled extremely seriously by prosecutors and judges.  Notably, a significant amount of prosecutorial and judicial discretion has been taken away, requiring judges to impose strict penalties in cases of domestic violence in RI.  For example, a charge of domestic simple assault will be handled much more seriously, with much greater penalties, than a simple assault without the domestic component.

Rhode Island lists sixteen (16) offenses that can be “domestic” crimes, including assault, disorderly conduct, vandalism, stalking, and trespass.  A criminal charge is categorized as “domestic” in Rhode Island when the alleged offense involves a “family or household member,” meaning a spouse, former spouse, adults related by blood or marriage, adults presently residing together, adults who have resided together in the past three (3) years, persons who have a child together, and persons who have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past year. RIGL § 12-29-2.

When a defendant is convicted of a domestic violence charge or pleads nolo contendere to such a charge, a Rhode Island judge must order the defendant to participate in a “batterers intervention program.”  This is a statutory requirement and cannot be waived by the prosecutor or judge.  RIGL § 12-29-5.  Failing to complete this requirement will result in a violation of the sentence.

A batterers intervention program is a weekly group meeting, held for 20 consecutive weeks, and led by trained professional facilitators.  Each meeting lasts for about two hours.  At the weekly sessions, batterers are taught to identify abusive behaviors and learn to react in a non-abusive manner.

If you’ve been charged with a crime in Rhode Island, call our experienced criminal defense lawyers today.

Parental Discipline | RI Criminal Defense Attorney

Is parental discipline a crime? | RI Criminal Defense Attorney

This weekend, the Adrian Peterson child abuse scandal shocked the sports world.  With it came discussion of race and culture in the context of disciplining one’s children.  However, the law isn’t written to distinguish between races. The law distinguishes between right and wrong.  So what is legal parental discipline under Rhode Island law?

Rhode Island law allows parents of a child to impose a reasonable punishment oCriminal Defense Attorney RIn their child to control, train, and educate the child.  This includes the use of reasonable force.  “Reasonable force” takes into consideration the gender, age, size, and mental state of the child.  For example, punishment that’s legally imposed on a 10 year old may be illegal if done to a 4 year old.  Of course, what is reasonable in the circumstances is typically decided by a jury after listening to all of the facts of a particular case.  Under the law, this is known as the “parental discipline privilege.”  That is, even though the parent may commit an otherwise criminal act (ie: assault), so long as they act reasonably, their actions are privileged and non-criminal.

With regard to the Adrian Peterson case, it’s very likely that the All-Pro running back will be convicted of child abuse.  It’s hard to imagine that a jury would find him striking his 4 year old son with a tree branch reasonable force.  Additionally, the fact that Peterson allegedly drew blood on the young boy’s body goes against any defense that his actions were reasonable.  If this case were tried under Rhode Island law, it seems as though the NFL star would be convicted of second degree child abuse, for causing a “physical injury” upon a child arising “other than from the imposition of nonexcessive corporal punishment.” RIGL § 11-9-5.3.  That charge carries a prison term of a 5 – 10 years and fines of up to $5,000.

If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, call our attorneys today for a free consultation.

RI Criminal Defense attorney

Oscar Pistorius Verdict – Legal Analysis | RI Criminal Defense Lawyer

Early this morning, a South African judge ruled that now infamous track star Oscar Pistorius was not guilty of premeditated murder. However, Judge Thokozile Masipa reserved her verdict on the lesser included offense of “culpable homicide” until tomorrow.  While the judge was applying South African law, the equivalent of this offense in Rhode Island is manslaughter.  The penalty for manslaughter in RI is up to 30 years in jail.  While Pistorius is only facing 15 years, is it very likely that he’ll be found guilty of manslaughter.RI Criminal Defense attorney

The facts of the case are such that a self-defense claim is somewhat weak.  Pistorius claims he thought an intruder was in his bathroom so he shot through the door to protect himself – a double-amputee.  However, resorting to deadly force in self-defense is only permitted when one is faced with a threat of deadly force.  While Pistorius argued that he feared for his life, the prosecution has argued (and rightfully so) that Pistorius’ actions were excessive.  For instance, there’s no evidence that Pistorius’ life was threatened nor that it was reasonable for him to think so at the time. In fact, the judge alluded at her ultimate decision in stating “He failed to take any step to avoid the resultant death…I am of the view that the accused acted too hastily and used excessive force. In the circumstances, it is clear that his conduct was negligent.”  It clearly sounds like Judge Masipa has made up her mind and will find the former Olympian guilty of culpable homicide.

Whether or not Oscar Pistorius will see jail time will be announced tomorrow.  From the perspective of a RI criminal defense lawyer, we think he’ll be found guilty of the culpable homicide charge.  He clearly acted negligently in not determining who was in the bathroom before he fired multiple rounds through the door.  If you’ve been charged with a criminal offense, including murder, manslaughter, or negligent homicide, call our attorneys today for a free consultation.