Domestic Assault Attorney

What is Domestic Assault


Domestic Assault is an assault offense that occurs between individuals with familial, domestic or romantic relations. 

There are two types of assault:

  1. Assault by battery: Assault by battery is defined as the harmful or offensive touching of another.
  2. Assault by offer: Assault by offer is an intentional act by one that does not result in actual harmful or offensive touching, but creates an apprehension by another of imminent harmful or offensive contact.

What Domestic Assault Consists Of?

Domestic assault consist of an assault, regardless of type, committed against someone who falls into the category of persons covered by domestic violence laws.

These include persons in family relationships such as husband-wife, parent-child, siblings, etc.  The relations extend to anyone related by blood or marriage. Domestic relationships also exist among parties to engagement, cohabitation or residing at the same address or under the same roof, domestic partnerships and other similar relationships.

Domestic violence is a hot topic in modern society.  Being charged with such an offense can have adverse consequences to many aspects of your life such as your individual liberty interests, reputation and other aspects such as housing, schooling and employment. 

It can also prevent you from owning or possessing a firearm or ammunition under federal law.   Persons convicted of domestic violence offenses are also required to attend special counseling or classes to educate them on the effects of domestic violence.   

As society continues to evolve, so will the negative consequences associated with being charged and/or convicted of a domestic violence offense.

Domestic Assault Charges Collateral Consequences

Domestic Assault charges can also have collateral consequences such as the imposition by the Court of a no contact or restraining order between the offender and victim.  Depending upon the nature and extent of the alleged offense, domestic violence may also implicate state agencies such as the Department of Child Services (DCS) or Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). 

These agencies may initiate independent investigations to consider the welfare of a child or children who may have been exposed to or witnessed domestic violence, or under the care of persons accused of domestic violence offenses. 

This could lead to the removal of a child or children from the household or limiting or restricting parental rights. If you have been charged with Domestic Assault, it is important to seek legal representation immediately to protect your rights and to minimize the impact that a criminal charge of this nature may have on your life.

Domestic Assault Penalties

The penalties for domestic assault vary depending upon the severity of the crime.  Convictions for domestic assault often include jail time, fines, and anger management, batterers intervention, or domestic violence classes and/or counseling.  Additionally, subsequent offenses may result in more severe punishments.

Rhode Island General Laws, Section 12-39 – Domestic Violence Prevention Act- …(c)(1) Every person convicted of an offense punishable as a misdemeanor involving domestic violence as defined in § 12-29-2 shall: (i) For a second violation be imprisoned for a term of not less than ten (10) days and not more than one year. (ii) For a third and subsequent violation be deemed guilty of a felony and be imprisoned for a term of not less than one year and not more than ten (10) years. (2) No jail sentence provided for under this section can be suspended…
Rhode Island Criminal Offenses

Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 265, Section 13M: Assault or assault and battery on a family or household member – (a) Whoever commits an assault or assault and battery on a family or household member shall be punished by imprisonment in the house of correction for not more than 21/2 years or by a fine of not more than $5,000, or both such fine and imprisonment.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts-General Laws


If you have been charged with domestic assault and need representation, contact the RI defense attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.


Case Results: Domestic Assault

Domestic Assault, Domestic Disorderly Conduct and Domestic Vandalism: Dismissed

Police responded to a 911 hang up after the 911 operator heard a female voice calling for help and screaming “let me go.” Upon arrival, police learned that a man and his girlfriend had an altercation after he accused her of cheating. She threatened to leave him and sought to leave the apartment. He physically grabbed her arm to prevent her from doing so. When she sought to call 911, he forcefully took her phone from her hands. She ran from the home and locked herself in her car to prevent her boyfriend from accessing her. He then began punching and kicked the car doors, jumped on the hood and banged on the windshield. Based on these actions, police in Burrillville, Rhode Island arrested and charged the man with domestic violence charges that included simple assault, disorderly conduct and vandalism. The man retained Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer, John L. Calcagni III, to defend him in this matter. Given the man’s young age, his lack of criminal history and the girlfriend’s unwillingness to cooperate with the prosecution, Attorney Calcagni successfully persuaded the prosecution to dismiss this case. It has since been sealed from public record.