Domestic Violence Lawyer in Rhode Island
Defense Against False Allegations of Violence
Domestic violence, when the claim is legitimate, is a serious situation. However, there are many instances when someone calls the police and makes a domestic violence claim that is not based on reality. False domestic violence claims can hurt the person accused in many ways.
At Assalone & Associates, LLC, we defend clients throughout Rhode Island against false domestic violence claims, and we help secure legal protections for those who have legitimate claims. One of the most important things we do as a firm is to support the party who needs the defense, not the perpetrators of these crimes or those who want to make false claims of domestic violence.
The Consequences Of A Domestic Violence Claim
Women most often bring false claims of domestic violence, usually in the context of a divorce or eroding relationship that will likely end up in a divorce. The idea is usually to gain an upper hand in the divorce and custody proceedings.
False charges of domestic violence, when not defended against successfully, could result in:
- Loss of custody and visitation privileges
- Loss of spousal support
- Criminal consequences, including possible fines and jail time
- Forced inclusion on the sex-offender registry if you are dealing with a sex crime
- Generally limited standing in your divorce proceedings, making every aspect of the negotiations more difficult
The consequences are high, so it is critical to fight domestic violence charges aggressively. Our Rhode Island domestic defense lawyers defend clients against all types of false domestic violence claims, including spousal abuse, child abuse and sexual abuse crimes.
Legal Defense For Victims Of Domestic Violence
Not all claims of domestic violence are false. When real domestic violence occurs, it is a dangerous, frightening situation. Our domestic violence attorneys in Rhode Island will help you obtain the legal defenses available to protect you and your children.
Restraining Orders in Rhode Island
In Rhode Island, a domestic violence restraining order is designed to protect victims of domestic abuse. Also known as a protective order, it prohibits the abuser from assaulting or molesting the victim, prohibits the abuse from contacting the victim, orders the abuser to leave or vacate the household, awards the victim custody of the minor children, orders the abuser to pay child support, and ensures the abuser gives up any firearms in their possession and restricts their ability to purchase or receive any firearms.
Violating a domestic violence restraining order in Rhode Island is a misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Additionally, the abuser must complete a mandatory 12-week batters intervention program.
What are the Different Types of Restraining Orders?
Both family court and district (criminal) court provide domestic violence victims with temporary and final restraining orders.
The following are the four different types of domestic violence restraining orders in Rhode Island:
- No contact order (NCO) – If an abuser is charged with a domestic violence offense, an NCO is issued at the time of the arraignment. This protective order will remain effective throughout the duration of the criminal case, including through the length of the sentence.
- Emergency order – If the courts are closed and a victim requires immediate protection, a police officer can obtain an emergency order on his/her behalf. A judge may grant the order over the phone to a law enforcement official. An emergency order expires at the end of the next business day, which gives the victim enough time to file a temporary order.
- Temporary order – This type of protective order allows victims to receive protection from abuse until they can attend the full court hearing to obtain a “final restraining order.” You can apply for a temporary order during normal court business hours. If the judge believes that you are in immediate danger of domestic violence if you do not get a restraining order that day, you will be granted the order. A temporary order is valid for three weeks or 21 days.
- Final order – A full court hearing is held and both sides have an opportunity to present evidence and prove their case. If you do not attend the hearing, your court-ordered protection will expire. If the abuser does not attend the hearing, you can still obtain a final order, so long as he/she was given proper notice of the hearing. A final order is valid for up to three years.
How to File a Restraining Order in Family Court?
According to the Rhode Island Supreme Court Domestic Violence Training and Monitoring Unit (DV Unit), you can apply for a temporary restraining order by going to the proper court and completing the necessary paperwork, including an affidavit, which is your sworn and written statement about the incident(s) that have made you fear for your safety or your child. The application must also include photograph identification.
Once you file the paperwork with the court, a judge will review the documents. The judge has the option of asking you questions. If the judge signs the order, a duly authorized officer will then serve the abuser with a copy of the temporary order.
If you want to obtain a final order, you may request to schedule a court hearing at the same time you apply for the temporary order. Remember, restraining orders are free of charge in Rhode Island.
A Team Approach
At Assalone & Associates, our Rhode Island attorneys work together on all of our cases, which allows us to give you the best legal representation available and minimize costs. We will put our resources toward protecting you from false domestic violence charges or from real instances of domestic violence.
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Our senior attorney, Veronica Assalone, is proficient in Spanish, French, German, Italian and American Sign Language. Our office assistant speaks Spanish.
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A Sense of Belonging
We treat all of our clients with compassion, dignity, and respect. With our team approach, we really are all in this together and our clients experience the extraordinary difference and benefits of our unique approach to practicing law.
At most law firms, one lawyer will show up to represent you if your case goes to trial. With our team of lawyers, you get the entire team, as needed, for the cost of one lawyer. This provides excellent representation as well as a strong sense of support.
Because our attorneys each have unique backgrounds and skills, our team approach helps us make sure that every facet of your case is considered and covered. We also get to know you and your unique needs to build a case that meets your goals.
With most firms, one attorney will handle every aspect of your case, even the small things that could be handled much more efficiently by a junior lawyer or paralegal. We use the least expensive resources needed to get the job done and we pass these savings on to our clients.
I would highly recommend Assalone & Associates.- Tiffany M.
Their reputation is well deserved. I am grateful for their help and would highly recommend them if you need legal help.- Calvin W.
They all make you feel like you are a part of their family. Very caring and understanding.- Donna M.
My children and I are so grateful for all they have done for us.
From the first phone call with Veronica, I knew that she and her team would do whatever it took to get the best possible outcome for me.” - Becky H.
I felt safe and supported through a big transition.- Joan D.