Felony Offense Law

Felony Offense Attorney RI

Felony Offenses Lawyer in RI
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Felonies are the most serious type of crime.  A felony is a crime that is punishable by more than a year in prison and/or more than one-thousand dollar ($1000.00) fine.  Rhode Island does not have the Death Penalty.  Rather, for the most serious felonies, the punishment can be life in prison without the possibility of parole.  The Superior Court has jurisdiction on felony crimes. The consequences of being charged with a felony may be life changing.  It is vitally important to be represented by an experienced criminal defense attorney like Attorney Peter Calo should you be charged with a felony.

Examples of Felony Criminal Charges in Rhode Island

  • Burglary
  • Breaking and entering
  • Arson
  • Murder
  • Rape
  • Kidnapping
  • Grand theft
  • Sale of illegal drugs

What happens if I am charged with a Felony Crime in Rhode Island?

There are many more procedural protections for felonies because of the potential for harsher punishments.  The process can be lengthy and complex.  You need an criminal defense attorney like Attorney Peter Calo to vigorously represent you if you are charged with a felony.  Here is a summary of the procedures. 

  • Initial Appearance in Court:  When someone is arrested for a felony, the police will hold that person overnight in jail.  In the morning, the person will be brought to District Court to be arraigned on the charge(s).  In District Court, the judge will automatically enter a plea of “not guilty” on the defendant’s behalf.  The case is then transferred to Superior Court and given a “screening date,” usually six weeks from the District Court arraignment.  
  • Screening:  The police provide the Attorney General’s Office all the evidence they have in the case at the screening date.  This is called a package. The Attorney General will review the package.  There are several options the Attorney General has once they review the evidence.  This includes not going forward on the charge(s), amending the charge(s), or going forward with the charge.  
  • Arraignment:  If the AG goes forward with the charge, you will be arraigned again, this time in Superior Court.  When a person is arraigned for a misdemeanor, they have the option to plea guilty, no lo contendre, or not guilty.  A person should NEVER plead guilty or no lo at arraignment.  After pleading not guilty, the matter is set down for a pre-trial date. 
  • Pre-trial:  The prosecutor will provide the defense attorney package.  At the pre-trial, your attorney will have discussions with the prosecutor about the case and try to come to a resolution.  If no resolution can be made, the case is set for trial