Rhode Island Misdemeanor Charges
Are you facing misdemeanor charges in Rhode Island? If so, we highly recommend speaking with a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Some may believe that a misdemeanor charge isn’t a serious offense, but the truth is — you can still face jail time, expensive fines, and other potential penalties when charged with a misdemeanor. Get the legal assistance you need now before your misdemeanor charge takes over your life.
At the Law Office of John L. Calcagni, III, we defend those who face a wide range of criminal offenses, including misdemeanor charges. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your circumstances and learn more about how our criminal defense team can help you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Misdemeanor Charges in Rhode Island
It can be very stressful and frustrating to face misdemeanor charges. However, learning more about the criminal justice system and what happens after an arrest can help you move forward with a better understanding of your situation. Below are some frequently asked questions that clients often have after a misdemeanor charge.
What happens if you get charged with a misdemeanor crime in Rhode Island?
After being arrested or charged with a misdemeanor, a defendant must appear before a judge in a District Court. This initial court appearance is also called an arraignment hearing. A defendant enters a plea of guilty, not guilty, or nolo contendere (which translates to “I do not wish to contend”). The most important thing to remember is that you should never plead guilty or nolo contendere at an arraignment hearing. You can remove any potential defense options if you plead guilty.
After that, your case moves into a pre-trial phase, when the criminal defense lawyer examines the evidence. The prosecution and the defense team meet and negotiate how the case will move forward, such as presenting a plea deal or moving toward a trial. After an arrest for a misdemeanor offense, contact our law firm as soon as possible to learn more about your options.
What are examples of a misdemeanor?
Examples of a misdemeanor in Rhode Island include:
- Simple assault or battery
- Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana
- Simple possession of a controlled substance classified in any of the five drug schedules
Contact our law office today to learn more about your misdemeanor charges and how a criminal defense attorney can assist you.
What are the penalties for a misdemeanor in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has a maximum limit on jail time for misdemeanors. If convicted of a misdemeanor, you can face no more than one year in jail and nothing over $1,000 in fines.
A felony charge, as a comparison, has a minimum limit of one year in prison and can lead to more than $1,000 in fines. Many people mistakenly believe that jail time isn’t possible for misdemeanor charges, but jail sentences happen. If you’d like to avoid harsh penalties for a misdemeanor offense, speak with one of our criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible.
What are examples of petty misdemeanor charges in Rhode Island?
A petty misdemeanor is a lower-level criminal charge. It’s not as serious as a misdemeanor, and it has lesser penalties, but it can still result in a maximum of six months in jail. Examples of petty misdemeanors include disorderly conduct, possession of alcohol as a minor, or small amounts of marijuana possession. Despite being minor crimes, you should still speak with a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney if you’re facing petty misdemeanor charges.
Can you file a motion to expunge a misdemeanor in Rhode Island?
It is possible to get a misdemeanor expunged in Rhode Island. Expungement is the process of removing a criminal charge from your record. Having a criminal charge on your record can create some significant obstacles in your personal and professional life. Expunging a misdemeanor can help you in situations like applying for loans, jobs, or leases. However, the expungement process can be somewhat complex, so it’s always wise to work with a criminal lawyer when filing a motion to expunge a misdemeanor. If you’d like to know if you’re eligible for expungement, contact our law firm today.
How can a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney help with your misdemeanor charges?
First and most importantly, a Rhode Island criminal lawyer can help you avoid jail time if faced with a misdemeanor offense. While many believe jail time isn’t possible for misdemeanors, it happens.
In addition, a criminal defense attorney can explain the extent of your charges and help you successfully move through each phase of the criminal justice system. Facing a misdemeanor charge can be a confusing and sometimes scary experience. With the help of a criminal defense attorney, you know that you’re doing everything possible to create the best possible outcome.
You don’t have to face a misdemeanor charge alone. At the Law Office of John L. Calcagni, III, we help defend those accused of various offenses, including any misdemeanor charge. Call us today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation and discuss your case with a skilled Rhode Island criminal defense attorney.