Providence Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorney

RI Domestic Violence Attorney

Rhode Island Domestic ViolenceIn an effort to combat domestic violence, Rhode Island state laws governing the warrantless arrest powers of the police in domestic violence cases have been greatly expanded over the past thirty years. Rhode Island has empowered the police to make warrantless arrests in cases of suspected domestic violence, spousal abuse, and domestic assault, which means you may have been arrested or could be facing charges for which you shouldn’t. Therefore, it is crucial that you get a qualified Providence Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorney on your case and on your side immediately.

Call Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorney John MacDonald today at 401-421-1440 and The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, Inc. will be able to tell you what we can do to protect and defend your rights today.

RI Domestic Violence Act

Rhode Island Domestic Violence Act states under section § 12-29-3 Law enforcement officers – Duties and immunity.

“(a) The primary duty of law enforcement officers when responding to a domestic violence
is to enforce the laws allegedly violated and to protect the victim.”

Not only does this mean that a larger number of arrests are made but the consequences for those suffering for a warrantless domestic violence arrest can be more severe then deserved. You will face domestic violence charges and likely a protective order. Prosecutors can be very aggressive in filing domestic violence charges due to the intensely political nature of the charges, and publicity that goes along with it. Domestic assault & violence charges have powerful advocacy and lobbying groups that challenge politicians in these cases.

Therefore, it is crucial that you get a qualified Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorney on your case and on your side immediately. This will minimize the risks and damage you are facing and may be able to avoid domestic violence charges as well as potentially stop the filing of restraining orders, no contact orders, and other protective orders.

Rhode Island Domestic Violence

Domestic violenceis an unfortunate and frequent occurrence. Our firm is experienced in representing clients that have been accused of or are facing domestic violence charges. The reality of being convicted of these charges can have a huge impact on the opportunities of an individual’s future. Having a competent defense attorney is crucial to fighting against domestic violence offenses. Criminal defense attorneys with a successful track record and extensive experience can provide you with targeted legal strategies to defend your rights. It’s a common practice in many Rhode Island domestic violence cases for the alleged victim to file for a restraining order. This functions as an official court order aimed to protect individuals from all manners of abuse including physical, verbal and even the threat of abuse.

Civil restraining orders place more specific orders on individuals and set parameters in regards to their personal lives. A civil restraining order involves property judgments, pet orders, child custody arrangements and more. Restraining orders may also include criminal protective orders and emergency protective orders.
Over the years, our office has successfully represented individuals accused of criminal activity. With our aggressive legal strategies and intense approach to criminal defense, we have fought tirelessly on their behalf resulting in favorable outcomes for many of our clients.

Don’t ignore your situation. The longer you go without qualified legal representation for your defense the harder it may be to build your case. We are fully equipped in assisting individuals with the criminal defense strategies their circumstance requires. Domestic violence matters are extremely serious and must be addressed immediately. If you find yourself in a questionable situation related to domestic violence, contact our office as soon as possible. If you have been accused of or arrested for domestic violence related offenses call (401) 421-1440 to discuss your case with our experienced attorneys.


  • Client charged in Massachusetts with indecent assault and battery on his tenant and his tenant’s daughter. Case was prepared for trial and ultimately dismissed by the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office for lack of evidence
  • Client charged with a domestic assault upon his wife. After several pre-trial conferences, the City dismissed all charges and the case was expunged from his criminal history.
  • Mother charged with a domestic assault against her son. After negotiations with the Town, case dismissed at the pre-trial stage and expunged from her criminal history.
  • Client’s girlfriend made allegations of first degree sexual assault to Police. Working with the Police and Attorney General’s office and after investigation, the decision was made not to charge client based upon the factual inconsistencies and contradictions in the complaint.
  • Client’s sister-in-law’s made accusations to the Police of first and second degree sexual assault. Attorney MacDonald and client met with the police and disclosed video evidence that clearly contradicted the complaint. As a result, no charges were filed by Police.
  • Client in removal proceedings based upon a 2005 conviction for a Rhode Island domestic assault. Client needed this plea vacated because he could not qualify for cancellation of removal. On May 12, 2011, both the plea and conviction were vacated based upon defects in the plea colloquy. On June 22, 2011, all criminal charges were dismissed by the City prosecutor at pre-trial and the client’s removal proceedings were terminated. Client is now eligible to pursue citizenship.
  • Kent County District Court, client was charged with striking her boyfriend in the face during an argument. Police arrive and see injuries to the boyfriend’s face and charge her with domestic assault. Case was dismissed at the first pre-trial conference.
  • Attorney John MacDonald successfully negotiated the dismissal of his client’s domestic assault charge in Newport County District Court.
  • Domestic Assault: Not guilty after jury trial.


Call the Law Offices of John MacDonald NOW at 401-421-1440 and The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, Inc. will be able to tell you what we can do to protect you as your Rhode Island Domestic Violence Attorneys.

Rhode Island also is passing legislation to make Domestic Violence laws even tougher. New crimes would be classified as acts of domestic violence under legislation passed by the Senate. The bill would make crimes such as arson, burglary and the damage to or obstruction of a telephone a domestic violence offense. Victims of those crimes would be able to get a “no contact” order and other protection provided by the Domestic Violence Prevention Act.

The people that is encompassed by Domestic Violence laws has also expanded. For a crime to be designated as a domestic violence offense, the victim and the defendant must be “family or household members”, which includes:

  • husband/wife/spouses or former spouses
  • adult persons related by blood or marriage
  • adult persons who are presently living together (roommates) or have lived together within the past 3 years
  • people who have a child in common
  • people who are or have been engaged, or in a significant dating relationship within the past year as determined by the court, based on length and type of relationship, time/duration of relationship, and frequency of interaction between the two individuals


This wide definition of relationships often makes a warrantless arrest possible and could begin a nightmare for family members and those charged.

Call the Law Offices of John MacDonald NOW at 401-421-1440 and The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, Inc. will be able to tell you what we can do to protect and defend your rights.

Crimes and Charges Included in the Rhode Island’s Domestic Violence Statutes include:

  • Assault & Battery
  • Kidnapping
  • Child SnatchingSexual assault
  • False imprisonment
  • Harassment
  • Stalking
  • Disorderly Conduct
  • Trespass
  • Vandalism
  • Homicide/Murder
  • Violations of a Protective Order / Restraining Order / No Contact Order RONCO)
  • Arson (proposed)
  • Burglary (proposed)
  • Damage to or obstruction of a telephone (proposed)
  • Assault – RI Laws & Penalties


In addition to charges under the specific criminal acts above such as domestic assault, if you are found guilty of domestic violence in Rhode Island you will face other automatic penalties:

  • First Offense: you will be required to attend a batterer’s intervention program, and face additional assessment fees.
  • Second Offense: domestic violence conviction carries with it a minimum of 10 days in jail, and a maximum of up to 1 year.
  • Third Offense: domestic violence conviction carries with it a minimum of 1-10 years in prison.



Call the Law Offices of John MacDonald NOW at 401-421-1440 and The Law Offices of John E. MacDonald, Inc. will be able to tell you what we can do to protect and defend your rights as your RI Domestic Violence Defense lawyers.

The Law Firm of John E. MacDonald, Esquire is ready to give YOUR domestic violence case the attention it deserves.

What to Expect if you are excused of Domestic Violence