RI Criminal Defense Attorney John E. MacDonald

Areas of Practice:

Email: jm@jmaclaw.com

RI Criminal Defense Attorney John E. MacDonaldJohn E. MacDonald is a trial attorney with 25+ years experience practicing Criminal Defense, Family Law, Immigration Law and Post-Conviction Relief in Providence, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Mr. MacDonald represents clients in state and federal court in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He has aggressively and successfully defended clients charged in every type of criminal case, including capital murder, child molestation, sexual assault, felony assault, domestic assault, patient abuse, bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud. He is the former president of the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. For a review of the prior criminal cases, see Case Results.

Mr. MacDonald is the author of Rhode Island Criminal Defense, A Practice Manual (7th Edition), a top rated trial manual used by criminal defense attorneys throughout Rhode Island. See below.

Mr. MacDonald represents clients seeking permanent residence and naturalization. He practices before the Providence Immigration Office and the Boston Immigration Court. For many clients facing deportation, the only recourse is post-conviction relief; that is, vacating the original conviction in state or federal court. Mr. MacDonald has successfully vacated convictions in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. For a review of prior immigration and post-conviction results, see Immigration Cases.

Mr. MacDonald is an honors graduate of Suffolk University Law School (1995) and a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Rhode Island (1990). He is admitted to practice in all state courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. He is also admitted to practice in the United States Supreme Court, the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Districts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Mr. MacDonald is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) and past president of the Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (RIACDL).


  • 1st DEGREE SEXUAL ASSAULT – NOT GUILTY – “I would like to sincerely thank you for believing in me and working so diligently on my case. My family and I deeply appreciate everything you have done in winning back my freedom and restoring my innocence.”
  • DEPORTATION CASE TERMINATED – “John I would like to thank you for everything you did for my family and I. Without your help nothing would have been possible. I wish all the lawyers were like you and Elisha, because you both showed me how much you really cared about my family and worked hard for us. I will always be thankful to you and Elisha because I now have my family back together. Thank you so much for everything!” – Rocio
  • POST CONVICTION RELIEF GRANTED – DEPORTATION AVOIDED – “What for years other lawyers said would be a definite deportation, and even the one that dared to try couldn’t do, John Macdonald delivered! His personal touch and “can do” attitude ensured that my husband’s case be vacated in the Rhode Island courts even though we lived in Florida. He worked with us every step of the way and we are now more than ever sure that justice exists! John, you are the best, God put you in our path when hope was lost and you delivered, our family will be forever grateful as you have given us the opportunity to remain together! God Bless You!!” Lee F.
  • POST CONVICTION RELIEF GRANTED – CASE DISMISSED AND EXPUNGED – “Mr. MacDonald is a man of his word. He did everything he said he would and in a timely manner. I am so happy we hired his services to help my friend stay in the United States. I highly recommend him to anyone who has criminal convictions that may result in deportation.”