As reported by Philip Marcelo in the February 22, 2011 edition of the Providence Journal, three (3) bills has been introduced to the Rhode Island General Assembly regarding domestic violence. One bill wants to increase the penalties for multiple domestic violence offenses. Another bill proposes that strangulation and choking be charged as felony assault instead of misdemeanor assault. The third bill would add cyberharassment and cyberstalking to the list of crimes that can be charged as a domestic violence offense.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law 12-29-2 (Domestic Violence Protection Act), there are currently fourteen (14) crimes which can be charged as domestic violence offenses. The crimes are simple assault, felony assault, disorderly conduct, stalking, vandalism, trespass, kidnapping, child snatching, sexual assault, homicide, arson, burglary and unlawful entry, failure to relinquish a phone and violation of a no-contact order.
A domestic relationship must exist for a crime to be charged as domestic violence, the crime must be against a family or household member. That is defined as:
Family or household member" means spouses, former spouses, adult persons related by blood or marriage, adult persons who are presently residing together or who have resided together in the past three (3) years, and persons who have a child in common regardless of whether they have been married or have lived together, or if persons who are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship within the past one year which shall be determined by the court's consideration of the following factors:
(1) the length of time of the relationship;
(2) the type of the relationship;
(3) the frequency of the interaction between the parties.
If you or a family member has been charged with domestic simple assault, domestic disorderly conduct, domestic trespass, domestic vandalism and/or a violation of a no contact order, please get in touch with us for representation.