Rhode Island Felony Charges
Being accused of a felony is nothing to take lightly. Felony charges are the most severe criminal charges a person can face in Rhode Island. Penalties can include wildly expensive fines and extensive jail time, which is why it’s so important to work closely with an experienced Rhode Island criminal lawyer when charged with a felony offense.
John L. Calcagni, III is a Rhode Island criminal attorney with decades of experience defending those accused of a wide variety of crimes. As a former federal prosecutor, he’s learned aggressive defense strategies from both sides of the courtroom. Call the Law Office of John L. Calcagni, III today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your charges and learn more about how he can help you with your case.
To learn more about Felony Cases and understand their parts check out the Rhode Island Felony Case Timeline.
Frequently Asked Questions about Felony Charges in Rhode Island
We understand that facing felony charges can be a horrifying experience, regardless if it’s your first offense or your fifth offense. It can help to learn more about felony charges in Rhode Island and how your arrest can affect your future. Below are some frequently asked questions that clients often have when facing a felony arrest.
What is a felony in Rhode Island?
You need to speak with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible when charged with a felony. Felony charges require immediate action because a felony is a considerable offense, and prosecutors take these crimes seriously.
Examples of felonies in Rhode Island include:
- Property theft (more than $500 worth)
- Sex crimes/rape – First Degree Sexaul Assault
- Felony assault
- Felony DUI resulting in death
You may be facing years of imprisonment with a felony conviction. Penalties for a felony charge involve at least one year in jail, and depending on your circumstances, a prison sentence can include years, decades, or even life. Contact our law firm today to discuss your felony charge and learn more about our criminal defense strategies.
What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?
A misdemeanor is considered a lesser offense than a felony charge. While misdemeanors are still regarded as serious, the penalties for a misdemeanor aren’t as severe as felonies. Misdemeanors charges can result in up to one year in prison. Examples of misdemeanors in Rhode Island can include resisting arrest, shoplifting, or simple assault/battery. Contact a criminal defense lawyer if you’re facing a felony or a misdemeanor charge.
What is a felony DUI?
Most DUI offenses are classified as misdemeanors, but a DUI can result in a felony charge in some cases. If you have two prior DUI convictions and you’re facing your third conviction within five years, this will classify as a felony DUI. Or, if you’re involved in an accident that results in severe injuries or death, you may also be charged with a felony DUI.
Felony DUI’s can lead to mandatory jail sentences, license suspensions, and drug or alcohol treatment program participation. When charged with a felony DUI, contact our law firm as soon as possible to schedule a free consultation.
What is the process after a felony arrest?
After a felony arrest, the defendant appears at a District Court for an arraignment hearing, also referred to as an initial appearance. This hearing is when a judge explains that the defendant has a right to remain silent, obtain legal counsel, and officially presents charges.
The defendant will also learn if they’ll be released on bail or held without bail. The Superior Court will handle the next steps in a felony charge procedure. There may be an indictment process or a criminal information process, depending on your circumstances. After an arrest takes place, it’s never advised to attend an arraignment hearing without an experienced criminal lawyer by your side.
What is the difference between a guilty plea and a nolo contendere plea in Rhode Island?
A defendant can either enter a plea of not guilty, guilty, or nolo contendere. While guilty and not guilty are typically understood, many defendants are unaware of the implications of pleading nolo contendere, or don’t understand the difference between this plea and a guilty plea.
Nolo contendere translates to “I do not wish to contend,” which means that you’re not pleading guilty, but you are accepting the charges. When you plead guilty, you’re admitting to committing the crime, as well as accepting the charges.
The most important thing to remember is: do not enter a guilty plea or a nolo contendere plea without speaking to a Rhode Island criminal lawyer first. Even if you believe that there is significant evidence against you, pleading guilty can severely limit your options. Call our law firm today at (401) 351-5100 to learn more.
How can a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney help with your felony charges?
The benefits of hiring a skilled Rhode Island criminal defense attorney are vast. Facing felony charges can be a daunting and complex experience. However, with the help of a criminal lawyer, you can rest assured knowing that you’re taking all of the appropriate steps to produce a positive outcome. Remember that the criminal justice system can be challenging to navigate.
Your criminal defense attorney can provide insight into every step in the process, so you’re not left in the dark. Your criminal lawyer can review and analyze the evidence presented by the prosecutor and determine how to develop a strategic defense plan. Your attorney will do everything in their power to prevent you from facing a harsh sentence. In some cases, an experienced criminal defense lawyer may even be able to have your case dismissed or charges dropped.
Remember that if you’re facing felony charges, you don’t have to face them alone. Contact the Law Office of John L. Calcagni, III today to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case.