How serious is a domestic violence charge? – How much does a lawyer cost for a domestic violence case?
Posted in General on September 22, 2021
Domestic violence charges vary in nature and fees and costs are mainly case by case basis. Domestic violence charges are serious in nature and can have very serious impacts on family, friends, and future job prospects. It is recommended to speak to a lawyer for a consultation to receive law advice and to seek legal representation, some attorneys do have free consultations so it is recommended that someone charged with domestic violence charges to meet an attorney for advice even if they do not believe that they can afford the attorney. According to Rhode Island law, when a person is charged with or arrested for domestic violence the person may not be released on bail until arraignment unless they go before the court or bail commissioner and have a no-contact order issued. A no-contact order prohibits a person it is issued to from contacting in anyway the person the no-contact order is protecting, if the no-contact order is willfully broken there could be additional criminal charges issued. At the time of the arraignment or bail hearing it will be decided whether the no-contact order will be issued or extended. Additionally, various factors within the case could affect the bail conditions. According to Rhode Island general law a first-time domestic violence charge will be charged as a misdemeanor and the defendant will be charged with a fee to pay the state. Each subsequent domestic violence charge carries increasingly severe punishments. On the second conviction the defendant will be imprisoned for a term of not less than ten (10) days and not more than one year in addition to any other fees imposed by the court. On the third and any following domestic violence charges the defendant will be found guilty of a felony and will have to serve no less than one (1) year imprisonment and no more than ten (10) years imprisonment alongside any fees due. In addition to these punishments the Judge presiding over the court case may also place additional punishments and sanctions on the defendant. Those who are convicted of domestic violence charges are prohibited from purchasing, carrying, owning, or having in their possession any firearm, in addition any already owned firearms must be sold, or surrendered to the state upon conviction. If a person who is convicted of a domestic violence charge and is found in possession of a firearm, according to Rhode Island General law 11-47-5.3, they will be fined not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or be imprisoned for not less that one (1) year and no more than five (5) years, or both. The costs of an attorney to defend a person who is charged with a domestic violence charge vary on the exact charges, how long the case may last, if the case goes to trial, and any other issues that may arrive with the case. It is within a person’s rights to have legal representation; the person will be able to hire a private lawyer or be assigned a court appointed one. Some attorneys who handle domestic violence charges do offer payment plans to help provide their services to those who may not be able to afford the usual prices of other attorneys.