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Domestic Offenses

Personal relationships are complex, as are possible criminal offenses that occur between two or more people with criminal histories. The circumstances of a conflict between spouses, parents and children and others with an intricate relationship can be difficult to determine from a legal standpoint. Domestic offenses can also be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony, adding to the challenge of the case.

If you are arrested for a domestic crime of any kind, the consequences and stigma can both be severe. Navigating the challenges of the legal process is not something to attempt on your own, particularly during the stress of a domestic dispute. Qualified, experienced legal representation will determine how your case is handled and what the outcome will be. The team at Archambault Law understand all too well the distress that can accompany this situation and will support and work with you throughout to help you receive the fairest treatment possible from the legal system.

Parties Involved in Domestic Offenses

The first factor in determining whether the charge will be a domestic crime is to identify the parties involved. According to the Rhode Island Domestic Violence Prevention Act, family or household members are the ones involved in these crimes. This act recognizes family and household members as the following:

  • Spouses and former spouses
  • Adults related by blood or marriage
  • Adults that live together or have lived together in the past three years
  • Adults that have a child or children in common
  • Adults that have been in a “substantive” dating relationship (determined by the court according to duration, type and frequency of contact)

When a person in one of these relationships commits a crime against another in the relationship, it is considered a domestic offense. There are different types of crimes that can fall under this category, from violation of no contact orders to assault and battery. No matter what the charge might be, the qualified legal representation offered by Attorney Stephen Archambault and his team can make the difference in your defense and the outcome of your case.

Misdemeanor vs. Felony Domestic Offenses

Domestic offenses may be classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Common misdemeanor domestic crimes might include:

  • Assault and battery (touching another individual that does not result in substantial injuries)
  • Domestic trespassing (entering or remaining in the residence of a family member without permission)
  • Violation of a no contact order, protective order or restraining order

These charges fall into the misdemeanor category when they are first-time offenses. When subsequent arrests occur for the same crime, the charges may be elevated to a felony, which carries stiffer penalties.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Domestic Offenses

Penalties for misdemeanor domestic offenses vary based on the specific charges. For example, domestic disorderly conduct may involve up to six months of jail time and a fine of up to $500. Domestic assault and battery typically carries a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine not to exceed $1,000. In addition, you may be required to attend domestic violence counseling and a no contact order may be issued. This order prohibits any contact between the accused in the victim, whether by phone, email, text, social media contact or in person.

Legal Help in Rhode Island

At Archambault Law, we understand there are many aspects to domestic offenses, and we are committed to exploring all of them to determine possible motivators for these types of charges. Attorney Archambault and his team will work hard to protect your rights and provide you with the best defense possible for your specific situation. We know the ramifications of domestic charges can go beyond the basic legal penalties, so our goal is to clear your name and protect your reputation at the same time we work to provide you with the best legal outcome. To learn more or get a free case evaluation today, contact Archambault Law at 401-231-9700.

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