Portsmouth Domestic Violence Charge Dismissed at Arraignment

In January of 2012, our Client was arrested by the Portsmouth Police Department and charged with simple assault – domestic. Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 11-5-3, simple assault is defined as:

(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 11-5-2, every person who shall make an assault or battery or both shall be imprisoned not exceeding one year or fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both.

(b) Where the provisions of "The Domestic Violence Prevention Act", chapter 29 of title 12, are applicable, the penalties for violation of this section shall also include the penalties as provided in § 12-29-5.

Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 12-29-2, incidents involving family or household members are domestic crimes. Family or household member is broadly defined to include:

"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 convicted of assault, in addition to the penalties of imprisonment and fines, there are additional penalties of domestic violence counseling and a no contact order with the victim when the case is charged as a domestic violence crime.

Pursuant to R.I.G.L. 12-29-5, (a) Every person convicted of or placed on probation for a crime involving domestic violence or whose case is filed pursuant to § 12-10-12 where the defendant pleads nolo contendere, in addition to any other sentence imposed or counseling ordered, shall be ordered by the judge to attend, at his or her own expense, a batterer's intervention program appropriate to address his or her violent behavior; provided, however, that the court may permit a servicemember or veteran to complete any court-approved counseling program administered or approved by the Veterans' Administration. This order shall be included in the conditions of probation. Failure of the defendant to comply with the order shall be a basis for violating probation and/or the provisions of § 12-10-12. This provision shall not be suspended or waived by the court.

However, due to Attorney Humphrey's experience and knowledge of domestic violence cases, the matter was dismissed at arraignment. This case is immediately eligible for expungement and our Client was extremely happy with the quick resolution of the case and the vacating of the no contact order.

If you or a family member has been charged with assault, domestic assault or other domestic violence crimes, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at

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