Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney | 72 Clifford St #300, Providence, RI 02903
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Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer

Former Federal Prosecutor with an Unmatched Trial Record for Winning Verdicts

Get a Free Consultation - Available 24/7

Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer

Criminal Justice Attorney in Providence, RI

Get a Free Consultation available 24/7

Best Law Firm 2022 Award
Top 10 Criminal Defense Law Firms 2024
rhode island lawyers distinction 2022
America's Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys
best criminal defense attorneys 2022
Best of the Best Top 10 Attorneys 2023
2023 Best Criminal Attorneys
Best Attorneys of America
American Institute of Legal Advocates
litigator of the year 2021
Top 1% Attorneys in America
top 10 criminal defense attorney 2022
Super Lawyers
rhode island lawyers distinction 2022
Top 100 Trial Lawyers
top one percent lawyers 2022
DUI Defense Attorney Top 10 2022
Professional Excellence in Law 2022
Super Lawyers
academy of lawyers 2023

Top Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney

Experienced in Federal, Criminal and Military Defense

Our firm provides personalized, experienced, and successful representation for clients in need of a Criminal Defense Attorney to represent them in matters before the Rhode Island Federal Court and District Courts. Our practice focuses on Criminal Defense for Misdemeanors and Felonies, Military Defense, Federal Criminal Defense, and Violent Crime matters. We are licensed to practice in both state and federal courts in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and Florida.

Free consultation offered in our offices, your home, or detention facility. Call us at (401) 351-5100

RI Criminal Defense

RI Criminal Defense

If you have been accused of a crime in Rhode Island, you need a highly experienced Criminal Defense Lawyer with a winning track record for success. Call the Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni, III today for a free consultation.

Federal Criminal Defense

Federal Crimes

When you need the assistance of a Federal Criminal Defense Lawyer, it is highly advisable that you hire someone who has extensive experience within the federal system. There are certain areas of the practice of law that require more experience and exposure than others, and Federal Criminal Defense is high on this list.

Military Defense

Military Defense

As a former prosecutor with the US Army JAG Corps and the US Attorney's Office, Attorney Calcagni is well versed in the prosecution and defense of all types of military criminal cases. This experience is invaluable in his ability to defend accused individuals on trial in Military Court for all types of crimes.


John L. Calcagni, III

  • Former Federal Prosecutor
  • Army JAG
  • Licensed in Multiple State and Federal Jurisdictions
  • Unmatched Trial Record for Winning Verdicts
  • 2022 SuperLawyer and Top Ten Attorneys 2022
  • RI Superlawyer 2022
  • New England Superlawyer
  • Fully Staffed Criminal Defense Firm
  • Bilingual Criminal Defense Firm
  • Award-Winning Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Top Attorney for Criminal Defense in New England
  • Accredited Lawyer of Distinction
  • America’s Top 100 Attorneys
  • Top 10 Best American Institute of Criminal Defense
Attorney Profile
RI Criminal Defense Lawyer John L. Calcagni, III
John L. Calcagni, III
Defense Attorney

Testimonials From Our Clients

What our past clients say about us

600+ 5 Star Rating
five star ratings on Google

I just wanted to thank you and your office for everything. I’m eternally grateful for you helping me out. Give my thanks to Mr. Pensa as well. Thanks for your time.

Korrie McIntyre

John is truly a pleasure to work with. You can call him anytime and he will get back to you promptly to answer any questions or concerns. Highly recommended hiring John if you or a family member is looking for a defense lawyer.

Zachary Isabel

Can say I was blessed to have the help of both Johns & Leah from this office. Amazing service and communication. Would highly recommend to anyone looking for amazing defense attorneys. 10/10 all around! Thank you all!

Devin Silva

John, seems like a very standup honest guy , I highly recommend if u need legal council.

Joe Lemire

I had a very good experience with this firm and specifically John Pensa. He was very diligent and efficient and gave me a thorough list of mitigation materials to help the case he was handling on my behalf. He explained all of the possible outcomes and was very polite and a genuinely nice person to talk to while waiting in the courthouse. He was honest, and upfront about how things would go at the initial magistrate hearing. Luckily for me, his work and services paid off, and the magistrates hearing was all I required. I am paraphrasing here, but the clerk noted to me "I'm not sure how much you paid your attorney, but it was well worth it. He put together a very detailed package and case." I hope I do not require attorney services again, but if I do He will be my first call.

Devin Honeycutt

Johns legal prowess and confidence were instrumental in securing a favorable outcome for my case. From our initial meeting, I was impressed by John's professionalism and his ability to inspire my confidence. Throughout the entire legal process, John demonstrated a deep understanding of the law and applied his expertise strategically to build a strong defense. His attention to detail and thorough preparation were evident at every stage, ensuring that no aspect of my case was overlooked. What truly stood out was John's confidence in his abilities and his commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for his clients. His confidence was infectious, and it gave me the reassurance and peace of mind I needed during a challenging time. John's communication skills were exceptional, keeping me informed and empowered throughout the process. He was always available to answer my questions and provide guidance, which helped alleviate any concerns I had along the way. Thanks to John's expertise, dedication, and unwavering confidence, we emerged victorious. I am incredibly grateful for his outstanding representation and would highly recommend him to anyone in need of legal assistance. John Calcagni is a top-tier attorney whose confidence, expertise, and dedication make him a formidable advocate in the courtroom. If you're looking for a winning team for your legal matters, John is the one to call.

Jacob Schultz

Top tier lawyer with years of experience, very respectful, and passionate! Would recommend to anyone

Lasheem Wilson

Great firm..I couldn't be happier with the results


I was so grateful for John and Leah‘s services. They were very thorough and assured me along the way. I highly recommend them.

Tracy Lane

Only I can say about John is thank you to give me my life back after false accusations and now I can see my son Francesco have he’s first steps and grow up and I’ll be able to finish my citizenship and be here with my wife and son a big thank you to believe on me and my innocence uno amice per vita grazie from Sergio,Angela and Francesco, the pica family from New York.

nic saints

Our Best Work

Recent Case Results

Reading through our latest successful case results can give you a better understanding of the level of criminal defense experience and the results achieved for clients facing misdemeanors, felony charges, military charges, and federal criminal charges. We approach every case with a fresh perspective and a strategic plan that helps our clients feel confident about moving forward and overcoming their legal challenges. Click on the link below to see a list of our recent case results.

View All Case Results

Calcagni Gets Results

Law Office of John L. Calcagni III

On September 22, 2015, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court handed down a landmark decision in the matter of Commonwealth v. Elivette Rodriguez, holding that the odor of marijuana alone is not a sufficient basis for police to conduct a motor vehicle stop.

View Our Video Library
Commonwealth v. Elivette Rodriguez

Facing Criminal, Military, or Federal Charges?

Request a Free Consultation

We want our clients to feel positive about our law firm handling their criminal cases; that’s why we offer free consultations. These free consultations allow clients to sit down with the criminal defense lawyer handling their case. Your defense attorney can share thoughts on your options, potential defense strategies, and the best way to move forward. If you’re accused of a crime, contact the criminal defense law firm of John L. Calcagni, III today to schedule a free consultation.

Please fill out the form below.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    At The Law Offices of John L. Calcagni, III, we understand that facing a criminal charge can be an upsetting and complicated experience. We’re here to walk you through every step in the criminal justice system so you feel more confident about your case. Here are some frequently asked questions and answers to help you understand more about Rhode Island criminal law and how a criminal defense lawyer can assist you.

    Should I hire a criminal defense attorney?

    Those who have been charged with a crime will have an option to be assigned a public defender or hire a private criminal defense attorney. It’s important to understand the benefits of hiring a defense attorney in these circumstances. Providence Criminal defense attorney John L. Calcagni, III makes himself available and accessible to his clients, conducts comprehensive investigations into each case, uses his years of experience as a federal prosecutor to your advantage, and dedicates all of his time and resources to produce the best possible outcome. If you’re facing serious penalties, such as excessive jail time, you don’t want to risk your criminal case with a public defender that may not have the time or the resources to develop a defense plan. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and learn more about your options.

    Why Hire a Trial Attorney?

    It is always advised to hire an attorney with extensive trial experience. At the pre-trial stage, a prosecutor and your defense attorney might try to reach a deal after reviewing the evidence and investigating the circumstances surrounding your case. If a plea deal or other arrangement, such as a dismissal, can’t be reached — your case will very likely go to trial. At this point, you want to have a criminal defense lawyer with the skills and knowledge to handle any jury or non-jury trial, and who’s already familiar with the details of your case. To learn more about John L. Calcagni’s lengthy history as a successful trial lawyer, contact our law firm today. Read more about why hire a trial attorney.

    How much does a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney cost?

    The cost of a Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer will vary depending on the circumstances of the charges. Some criminal cases take more time and resources than others, and that’s typically reflected in the cost. What we can tell you is that our previous clients with successful results will often say that the cost of a criminal lawyer is worth it, especially when you consider the consequences of a conviction. If you’d like to avoid severe penalties and work with a skilled and knowledgeable defense lawyer, call our law firm today to schedule a free consultation. Read more about how much does it cost to hire an attorney.

    What should you do after an arrest in Rhode Island?

    We understand that facing an arrest can be a scary experience, especially if this is your first time being accused of a crime. The best possible path you can take after an arrest is to contact a trustworthy and experienced criminal defense lawyer. The sooner you call, the better the results will be.

    You want to make sure your defense lawyer is there to support you and coach you through your arraignment hearing, which will happen at a District Court shortly after an arrest. If you’ve recently been arrested, contact The Law Office of John L. Calcagni as soon as possible to discuss your case.

    What are the levels of criminal offenses in Rhode Island?

    A criminal offense in Rhode Island can be broken down into three levels:

    • Petty Misdemeanor
    • Misdemeanor
    • Felony

    A petty misdemeanor is the least serious offense and a felony is the most serious offense. An example of a petty misdemeanor includes things like using offensive language in public or disrupting the peace. Penalties for petty misdemeanors can result in up to 6 months of jail time and $500 in fines. Even though these are considered lower-level crimes, it’s still highly recommended to work with a criminal lawyer if you’re charged with a petty misdemeanor.

    A misdemeanor is more serious than a petty misdemeanor but less serious than a felony. Examples of misdemeanors are petty theft, vandalism, or trespassing. The maximum penalties for misdemeanors in Rhode Island are 1 year of jail time and no more than $1000 in fines.

    A felony is the most severe offense. Examples of felonies include rape, drug crimes, kidnapping, or murder. A person can face anywhere from 1 year in jail to a lifetime in prison, depending on the severity of the crime. Rhode Island prosecutors take felony offenses very seriously and will likely want to punish a defendant to the fullest extent of the law, especially if violence was involved. It’s vital to have a skillful and knowledgeable attorney with trial experience if you’re charged with a felony. Contact our law firm today to learn more.

    What can you expect once you have been charged with a crime in Rhode Island?

    After you’ve been formally charged with a crime in Rhode Island, you’ll soon get a notice with the date of your arraignment hearing. At an arraignment hearing, a defendant stands before a judge in court and enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere.

    It is never advised to plead guilty without speaking to a defense attorney first. Many times, those accused will feel as though they have no options and plead guilty due to the intimidating nature of the criminal justice system. Remember that a criminal defense lawyer can explain your case from a different perspective and help you to see your options. The way your case unfolds from the arraignment hearing forward will heavily depend on the skills of your lawyer.

    What types of criminal charges does your law office handle?

    Put simply, our law firm can handle any criminal charge that you’re facing. It doesn’t matter if it’s considered a serious crime or a lower-level crime, we can represent you. We have experience defending criminal charges in all Rhode Island districts as well as federal courts.

    If you require a powerful defense and legal representation, contact our law firm immediately to speak with an attorney.

    How do you hire a good criminal defense attorney?

    You want to keep a few key things in mind when looking for a good criminal defense attorney. First and most importantly, you want them to have extensive experience in Rhode Island criminal law.

    After an arrest, you may be tempted to call a friend or acquaintance that practices law, but remember that there are many different areas of law, and your friend who’s a real estate lawyer isn’t going to be your best choice. You also want to make sure that your criminal defense lawyer has trial experience.

    While some attorneys are knowledgeable and appear to be accessible, without experience in the courtroom, it can put you at serious risk if your case does go to trial. Finally, you want to look for exceptional qualities that place your lawyer above the rest. For instance, a criminal defense lawyer with experience as a prosecutor can make a huge difference in your defense plan.

    John L. Calcagni, III is a Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer that checks all of these boxes. He’s got the experience, the skills, and the unique qualities that place him above your average defense lawyer. Contact The Law Office of John L. Calcagni, III today to schedule your free consultation.

    How does the Rhode Island criminal process looks like?

    The criminal case process in Rhode Island may start with a criminal complaint and lead to an arrest warrant, followed by the arrest. The other parts of the process include:

    • Indictment
    • Criminal Information
    • Initial Appearance
    • Arraignment
    • Discovery
    • Pre-Trial Motions
    • And more

    To view all the criminal case process in Rhode Island with details of each part of the process check out the Rhode Island Criminal Case Timeline and the Travel of Case Timeline.

    Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer John L. Calcagni, III

    Award Winning Defense Attorney in Providence RI

    Selected as a SuperLawyer and Top 10 Attorney 2022

    At the Providence, RI Criminal Defense Law Office of John L. Calcagni, III we understand how important it is to hire the best criminal lawyer possible to defend against criminal charges. John L. Calcagni, III has been selected since 2003 as one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Providence, RI by ThreeBestRated.com and selected as SuperLawyer and top ten attorneys for more than five years in a row.

    When you work with the Law Office of John Calcagni, III you’re working with one of the best. The SuperLawyer rating service only includes outstanding lawyers that are hand-picked from a rigorous selection process. Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer John Calcagni, III was highlighted as a SuperLawyer, and he lives up to the title.

    The Law Office of John Calcagni III offers exceptional defense strategies and years of experience to those accused of a crime on both the federal and state levels. As a former federal prosecutor, Army Jag, and Super Lawyer with a long list of successful case results, there’s no question why he’s consistently the recipient of many legal service awards and titles.

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    Latest News & Articles

    If you’re interested in learning more about criminal law, tips for handling legal issues, or how an experienced Rhode Island attorney can help you, be sure to check out our News & Articles section. We frequently share helpful information through legal blogs and summaries of current events involving major cases and investigations. Understanding more about the criminal justice system and criminal law can be a valuable tool for a wide range of circumstances.

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