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Assault is defined under Rhode Island law as a threat of bodily harm, coupled with an apparent, present ability to cause the harm. Battery is often charged with assault if physical contact occurs. Assault can be charged as a misdemeanor, also known as simple assault and battery in Rhode Island. The classification of simple assault will depend in large part on the particular circumstances of the case.

Going to court as the defendant in a case of violent crime or aggravated threats against another is a trying time for the accused and their family members. When you are in this situation, you deserve the most thorough defense available, which is where the professional team at Archambault Law can help. Attorney Stephen Archambault has worked as both a prosecutor and a defender. In addition, his time as a state senator and serving as a police officer in Rhode Island offer him a unique perspective on the legal process that can significantly benefit his clients today. Ask our Rhode Island team how we can help you navigate the complexities of your assault and battery case.

Classification of Assault

Simple assault, which involves the physical or verbal threat against an individual, does not include any aggressive action. However, simple assault may be accompanied by simple battery, if the physical act of aggression does not result in any serious bodily harm to the victim. In the case of simple assault and battery, the potential penalties may include a fine of up to $1,000 and up to one year in jail.

Felony assault usually involves significant bodily harm or the use of a dangerous weapon in the altercation. Assault with the intention to commit other felonies like murder, robbery or sexual assault also falls into this category. When a person is charged with felony assault, penalties might include fines of up to $10,000 and as much as 20 years in jail. Penalties may be increased further if the crime falls under the Rhode Island Domestic Violence Prevention Act.

If a misdemeanor assault and battery charge includes an accusation of domestic violence, the charge could be increased to a felony, increasing the risk of at least one year of jail time if convicted.

Factors Affecting Assault Charges

According to Rhode Island law, different factors might affect how an assault and battery charge is viewed by the court. Some of those considerations could include:


Rhode Island defines self-defense as “the justifiable repelling of force by another, with as much force is as reasonably necessary under the circumstances. If you believed you were in imminent danger, whether the other person had already attacked you, a use of force to defend yourself is justified under state law.

Defending Another

If you responded to an imminent danger to a child or someone that was unable to defend themselves, the same principles might apply.

Mutual Consent

If the assault occurred during a fight both parties agreed to, an assault charge is less likely to stick. In many of these cases, an experienced attorney can successfully argue to have the charges dismissed entirely.

Finding Qualified Representation in Rhode Island

Our defense attorney, Stephen Archambault, carefully reviews all facets of your case that can affect sentencing to provide you with a strategic criminal defense. You can depend on our skilled legal professional to be comprehensive and detailed in our approach to your case. Our primary focus will be to reduce the charges against you and ensure they are not being inflated by the prosecution. Let our team relay your side of the story in a court of law. We work diligently on your behalf to ensure you are not unjustly punished.

For a no-cost assessment of your case by the professional team at Archambault Law, contact our offices today at 401-300-0925.

Ever been convicted or charged for assualt? Contact Archambault Law Offices to see how we can help.Contact Us Now