Assault and Battery

Assault is generally understood to be a threat of violence in which another person is in fear of physical harm. Battery occurs when you physically contact that person. Often assault and battery is charged in unison. In Rhode Island, however, there are numerous charges associated with assault, some more serious than others. The various assault charges that you might face in Rhode Island, include but are not limited to:

  • Simple assault
  • Felony assault
  • Assault with intent to commit specified felonies
  • Assault with a dangerous weapon
  • Assault and battery in the collection of a loan
  • Assault on persons 60 years or older resulting in injury
  • Assault on person with severe impairments

Penalties in Rhode Island for Assault and Battery

Simple assault in Rhode Island is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one (1) year in prison and a fine up to $1000.00 or both.

Felony assault, including assault with a dangerous weapon or assault that results in serious bodily injury, can include a prison sentence of up to twenty (20) years.

Assault with intent to commit specified felonies (including murder, robbery, sexual assault, burglary) comes with a minimum of one (1) year in prison and a maximum of twenty (20) years in prison.

Rhode Island General Law S 11-5-2.2 states that a person is guilty of battery when serious bodily injury occurs as a result of criminal negligence. Battery is a felony with the potential of ten (10) years imprisonment or a fine up to $10,000.00 or both.

Where applicable, the Rhode Island Domestic Violence Prevention Act, may increase these penalties or add additional charges where the assault and battery occurred in a domestic setting.

Potential Defenses

It is important to make sure that you have been charged with the appropriate crime. Where possible, I will look to have the charges reduced to simple assault, a misdemeanor. The prosecution may be "over charging" the case if they can not meet the burden of felony assault or one of the higher charges of assault and battery.

In addition, many simple assaults are no more than a fight between two willing participants. In these cases, we can often move to dismiss.