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
rhode island lawyers distinction 2022
Best of the Best Attorneys
America's Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys
best criminal defense attorneys 2022
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

400+ 5 Star Rating
five star ratings on Google

When I found myself needing an attorney, I asked around and was told by multiple different people go see John Calcagni. I was told that he is reliable, professional and great at what he does. John has taken care of every single step, big and small for me. He has fantastic communication skills and handles 90% of my court visits himself. Allowing me to continue to run my business without a hiccup. Not only did he handle my legal issues smooth and effectively, he got me permission from the judge to travel out of state multiple times for professional bass fishing tournaments while I was still dealing with the court system. I’ve had a couple different lawyers in the past, all of them left me feeling like I got bamboozled. That’s not the case with John. I couldn’t be happier with his representation. I understand what’s happening, I understand payments, and he constantly greets me with a smile and actually remembers what’s going on in my life. John is a great attorney who truly cares about your well being. In the future, if I find myself needing an attorney for any situation, you better believe I’ll be calling John.

Ben Morrissete

What can I say? John and his legal team saved my life! I did a very stupid thing, and I was hopeless. I consulted with 2 attorneys before I met with John, he listened, explained my options, and most of all, made me feel welcome, at a time I was feeling worthless. Mr. Calcagni advice turns out incredibly great for the better. I also have to mention one of his associates Leah Boisclair- just phenomenal

Joaldo Souza

I am writing this review to express my sincere appreciation for Attorney John Calcagni's exceptional work and guidance during a challenging time in my life. As someone who has never had issues with the law, it was overwhelming to deal with for over a year and a half. I hired Attorney Calcagni to represent me, and he has been nothing but thorough and professional. Attorney Calcagni’s has been invaluable in navigating the legal complexities of my situation. My only regret is not hiring him sooner in this process. He makes me feel extremely protected and safe, and I don't need to hold his hand or monitor him like I do other attorneys I have previously hired. He always has my best interest at heart. Attorney Calcagni's personalized, honest, and aggressive representation has exceeded my expectations. He is a highly skilled, experienced, and knowledgeable criminal defense trial lawyer who has helped me understand the legal process and the potential effects my case may have on me. In conclusion, I highly recommend Attorney John Calcagni to anyone in need of a criminal defense attorney. Thank you, Attorney Calcagni, for your exceptional work and for putting my mind at ease during this difficult time.

Christine Damiani

John has been working on my case for a few years now. He always greets you with a smile. He is very approachable and easy to talk to. He is very knowledgeable and passionate about his work. He has an exceptional skill of simplifying things and put you at ease even in a tense and pressured situation. He not just took interest in my case but was very considerate about my personal and professional life. John is a 5-star lawyer but more importantly, he is 5-star person.


I retained the Law Office of John Calcagni to assist me in a criminal case. When I first met John, he was very attentive and direct as to what we needed to do. He introduced me to his associate, Leah and she walked me through the rest of the process. This office was on top of everything and extremely easy to contact with any questions. Leah was very knowledgeable and the end result was that the charges ended up being dismissed. I can’t recommend them enough, they were great through this very stressful process.

William LaBarre

Best of the best. I found myself in a position I never even thought possible, I did my homework and contacted John, he returned my call within minutes and met with me to discuss the situation. He explained everything that would happen and the process in detail, after meeting with him I felt I had the right person in my corner, I was right and they got me the best possible out come and total weight lifted off my shoulders. This Law firm is the best hands down.

Scott Corvese

John has been very professional and knowledgeable during my time of need with him. He had been able to direct and guide me throughout my whole legal process.Thanks to him and his dedicated team for the past 2 yrs, I was able to clear my case and through it I was able to obtain my Citizenship. Thank you John for always being commutative and just a message away. I have no words to express how much you have done for me and for your work.

Jose Lora

Great guy and one of the best lawyers i’ve had the pleasure of meeting, very genuine and always had my best interests in mind!


Great team and works well with you! Highly recommended if your looking for the best law firm in Rhode Island.

The Don Rio

John is a great lawyer. Extremely reliable. If you are in a bind this is the man that will get you out of it.

Nick Gerz

Top attorney's, felt extremely comfortable dealing with attorney Calcagni and Pensa, and the results definitely exceeded my expectation, rightfully so. Their prices might be higher comparing to others but you will get results and guarantee being in peace until your case is done so they really deserve every penny they take. Very responsive, very good reputations in courts, professionals and will go the extra mile to prove your Innocence. I recommend them without second thought

Maurice Daou

John Calcagni is one of the best criminal defense lawyers! This guy geniously saved my life and my career as a state worker! I was referred to Attorney John L. Calcagni when no other lawyers in Rhode Island seemed like they could possibly really help me out with my case after getting caught on video by doing something really stupid. After consulting with many different lawyers that did not meet my expectations; John was my only hope. Therefore, my father and I decided to go to his office for consultation. My family and I were in a panic and a very stressful situation that could possibly jeopardize my life and my job; to cease our concern John agreed to receive us and spoke to us without any appointment which I know any other lawyer would never done. As we expected John Calcagni took my stress away as soon as I walked in and the burden of my case to a level I could have ever imagined, he put it to rest. I thought I was screwed until I went to his office and that was the best decision my family and I made. I was charged with 2 counts of disorderly conduct, suspended from my job with no pay. Ultimately, because of his great reputation, his impressive talent, his extraordinary skills, his vigilant experience, his deep knowledge about the justice system, and his outstanding effort, John Calcagni was successfully able to get my case dismissed and sealed from public record, also able to help me get my job back while the president of the union of my job could do shit for me. John is a very caring professional human being. I don't see him as a lawyer but instead as a special friend protector that will always be there for me and my family against the system. My family and I are very proud of the choice we made to have John Calcagni as our lawyer. If you really want to win your case of any kind, well this is your guy period. And I highly recommend him to anyone who needs a very great lawyer.

Paul Djefte

Sometimes in life you find yourself in less than desirable circumstances. Circumstances that are unfortunate and possibly unfair, but are no less the circumstances. Hiring John Calcagni was a blessing. John is a kind, caring, and compassionate person. He is well spoken, professional, extremely knowledgeable and commands attention. All of which are true attributes of a powerful criminal defense attorney. John handled our case with care and compassion while always taking the time to answer our questions even when they were redundant or time consuming. John explained everything from the start of the case until the very end to be sure we were well informed throughout the process. He even opened up his office on a Sunday morning to meet with us. Most importantly John advised us like we were family and never gave up on our case, even when it took 3 years to resolve with a favorable outcome. Hiring John was a choice, but it was the right choice. If you find yourself in an undesirable place, we highly recommend consulting John Calcagni. Thank you John for your attention to our lives and case. We know that if we need you in the future, you will undoubtedly be there.

Melissa Velleca

The law offices of john Calcagni are worth their weight in gold. I would highly recommend them. They were able to get my case squashed prior to ever seeing a court room. Arguably the best money I’ve ever spent. Attorney Pensa represented me and I am entirely grateful for his professionalism and expertise. If you find yourself in a situation, do yourself a favor and hire these professionals. You will not regret it.!.!.!

Sean Sears

John and his team are absolutely incredible! Great communication throughout the entire process and the outcome was better than I expected, highly recommend this firm and if need any assistance in the future I will not go elsewhere!

benjamin chase

Working with John and his team has been a great experience. They are there for you to assist and answer any and all questions as they come up. I would highly recommend him for anyone needing legal assistance.

David Moone

Very Classy individual & the exact person you want fighting in your corner for you, He has been nothing but professional & fought his hardest to get the outcome in my case that I needed. John Calcagni is the only Attorney that I would recommend to anyone hands down he even ensured that I'd spend the least amount of money possible throughout my case.

noah. d

John L. Calcagni III and his office firm have been so helpful with my case. Having a level of customer service and professionalism that makes you feel at ease knowing you will be fine. Office workers were kind and available as well as considerate of my time. I never had to wait on the phone for a long period of time or weeks for a response to any of my questions. 10/10 would recommend.

Don Bratini

Representation with this office was incredible. Attorney John Pensa made me feel incredible comfortable and confident at all points in time during this case. In the end we got the outcome we had hoped. If I ever need legal representation again I know I will utilize this office and recommend it to anyone in need of services.

Victoria Lobo

Best of the best. I found myself in a position I never even thought possible, I did my homework and contacted John, he returned my call within minutes and met with me to discuss the situation. He explained everything that would happen and the process in detail, after meeting with him I felt I had the right person in my corner, I was right and they got me the best possible out come and total weight lifted off my shoulders. This Law firm is the best hands down.

Scott Corvese

John is an expert at his craft and his reputation proceeds him. He came highly recommended and after working with John I knew we were in the right hands. He is highly attentive and works tirelessly on behalf of his clients. He doesn’t just tell you want you want to hear, he is a realist and extremely honest. John shines on the stand, you can not hire a better litigator. Best in RI for sure.

Laura-Jean Ferranti

Mr. John Calcagni is indeed one of the best attorneys in the United States. I am so grateful for his passion, dedication, and professionalism. He helped my husband in his case and got him much lesser sentence that that was offered to him. Thank you so much! I can't tell you how much I appreciate the amazing legal work you did on his behalf. Mr. Calcagni has a lot of compassion for his clients and willingly listens to them. He has a very strong knowledge of law and is the finest attorney who is also very humble and considerate.

Tripti Asri

John Calcagni and his team are the best of the best; incredibly knowledgeable attorneys and hard working professionals! They went above and beyond walking me through every step of the process. I felt like I was in good hands and couldn’t be more satisfied with their representation! I will continue to recommend John and his team!

Stephanie White

Right off the bat John is a very good criminal lawyer. He is smart, strategic, conscientious, and communicates clearly. From the beginning his presentation was very thorough and his analysis of the case and what needs to happen/ what should happen was spot on. He listens to you very carefully and will give you a well thought out advise. He always made us confident and secure throughout the entire process. In the end, he was able to deliver the result that we wanted. I highly recommend him and his firm. We are very lucky to have found John to be on our side. He truly knows the law and his professionalism (including his office and staff) is to be admired.

Aventador Driver

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.

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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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