Category Criminal Law

17 sept 2017

Rhode Island Criminal Justice Reform Continues With Passing of Forgotten License Law

Have you ever left your home without your wallet or purse, and only realized you did this once reaching your destination? Before Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law a bill lessening the sanctions for this mistake, a criminal charge could be pursued against those who did not have a license on their person during a police traffic stop. It is believed by those who sponsored the bill that this law led to the most charged offense in the district court level. By changing this statute, it is expected that the district court will now be able to focus less on these types of civil infractions, and more on potentially dangerous defendants.

What Was The Law Before This Reform?

Before being signed into law, it was stated that anyone who was to drive without a license on them, or that is driving with an expired, suspended, or revoked license is subject to arrest and a possible maximum conviction up to thirty days in prison for their first offense. If there is no jail time given to someone in these circumstances, an increasing amount in payable fines for every offense would be the deterrent for making the mistake again.

How Has The Law Been Changed?

For first time offenders under the new law signed in July, the maximum penalty that can be levied against a defendant is $500, the same monetary punishment as the previous law demanded. However, there is not a possibility of jail time. For a second offense the new license law would be between $350 to $500 without the possibility of jail time, much like the first offense.

Although there is a loss of jail time under the new law for first and second offenses, third and successive license violations would be considered a misdemeanor and could led to a punishment up to 90 days in prison and a fine between $500 and $1,000.

Contact RI Criminal Defense Lawyer Craig Hein

Attorney Craig Hein has been successful in defending those who have been criminally accused. Craig’s style is both aggressive and steadfast. From your first conversation with him, you will realize both his capability in the court room and ability to alleviate much of your stress. Craig has made a living out of turning problems into solutions and does not rest until he does everything possible to achieve a desirable outcome. For a free consultation please call 401-619-7214.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

Copyright © 2018 Craig Hein Law

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16 sept 2016

Rhode Island's Probation Reformation and How This Could Affect You

This past June, the Rhode Island Supreme Court approved changes to the court rules that govern probation sentences. Many in the defense and criminal-civil-rights communities believe this to be the first successful step to reform a “broken” probation and parole court system. Over the years, there have been several bills related to this matter that have failed to make their way through the legislature. Recently, due to ongoing pressure by the Rhode Island Public Defender’s Office, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Rhode Island Justice Reinvestment Working Group, the court decided to address the issue again. It is expected that further progress will be made in reforming the Rhode Island probation and parole system. You should contact your criminal defense attorney for any further action your attorney may bring on your behalf.

What Changes Have Been Made?

One major change made during the current probation reformation is the cap term period put in place for non-violent offender’s probation. After this reformation, the cap is now three years. If a judge is to exceed three years in the sentencing of probation, the reform adds that the judge is required to justify his reasoning for making the sentence greater than the three year cap.

Another noteworthy area of probation reform stipulates that the state, or prosecutors, must show “by a preponderance of the evidence” that the defendant has violated their probation. This means that a majority of the evidence brought to the attention of the court must show the defendant actually violated their probation.

How Could This Effect Me?

In 2013, prior to the reform, Rhode Island had the third-highest probation rate in the United States, with more than 2,700 people on probation per 100,000 adults. Even more staggering, in 2014, one in 44 adult residents were on probation supervision in Rhode Island.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate circumstance of being on probation, knowing that the term is now capped at three years can help reduce the prior stress brought on by being unaware of the maximum amount of time you could potentially spend on probation. Further, if you are currently completing a sentence of probation greater than three years, your case may be eligible for review by a judge to determine whether you qualify for a reduced sentence. It is important you speak with your criminal defense attorney who can help you further these actions.

Contact RI Criminal Defense Lawyer Craig Hein

Attorney Craig Hein has been successful in defending those who have been criminally accused. Craig’s style is both aggressive and steadfast. From your first conversation with him, you will realize both his capability in the court room and ability to alleviate much of your stress. Craig has made a living out of turning problems into solutions and does not rest until he does everything possible to achieve a desirable outcome. For a free consultation please call 401-619-7214.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

Copyright © 2018 Craig Hein Law

Read More

15 august 2016

Driving Under The Influence (DUI) and Refusal To Submit To A Chemical Test

When you are pulled over under the suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, it is important to realize that police officers are ultimately looking for evidence that could help aid in the prosecution, with the ultimate goal of achieving a DUI conviction. Although you must provide requested documentation such as a license and registration, very little more is required of you. In fact, anything you say or do will be used against you. Officers will immediately make observations of an operator such as slurred speech, bloodshot/watery eyes, flushed face or confusion to gain reasonable grounds to ask the operator to take a chemical test. Any admission of imbibing will certainly help officers in their goal of effectuating an arrest. These signs are almost always used by officers as evidence of a DUI.

Do I Have To Take The Standardized Field Sobriety Tests?

When you get pulled over under the suspicion of DUI, police will often ask you to take standardized field sobriety tests. You do not have to take these tests. There is no penalty associated with refusing to take a Standardized Field Sobriety Test, which again is designed to provide evidence of a DUI. A field sobriety test is inherently difficult for even completely sober people to pass. These tests are highly technical in both their instruction and administration. If you are charged with DUI or refusal to submit to a chemical test, it is a good idea to speak to an attorney with experience in DUI defense.

Should I Submit to A Breathalyzer (Chemical Breathe Test)?

Unfortunately, there is no clear cut answer to this question. However, submitting to a chemical test and failing, makes it much easier to prove the criminal DUI case against you. Although in many cases refusing a chemical test is in your best interest, it is different from refusing a field sobriety test. Here, aside from being charged with a DUI, a separate civil charge will be brought for the refusal to submit to a chemical test, which does carry the possibility of license suspension, fines and community service. There are both positives and negatives to refusing the chemical test. Contact an experienced attorney at Craig Hein Law for an analysis of your matter and to have the best defense presented for you.

Do I really need an attorney?

An experienced DUI attorney is always a good idea. Experienced DUI attorneys have the ability to negotiate with police and prosecution with whom they have formed bonds over their years of practice. Such negotiations may very well lead to dismissals and other favorable outcomes. DUI cases are extremely complex and there are various nuances that a DUI attorney will likely be able to handle effectively on your behalf. In addition, if your DUI case went to trial, DUI attorneys are familiar with the procedural aspects of a DUI trial and know how to effectively examine and cross-examine witnesses.

Contact RI Criminal Defense Lawyer Craig Hein

Attorney Craig Hein has been successful in defending those who have been criminally accused. Craig’s style is both aggressive and steadfast. From your first conversation with him, you will realize both his capability in the court room and ability to alleviate much of your stress. Craig has made a living out of turning problems into solutions and does not rest until he does everything possible to achieve a desirable outcome. For a free consultation please call 401-619-7214.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of an attorney/client relationship.

Copyright © 2018 Craig Hein Law

Read More