Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.

Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney Defending Cases in RI for 30 Years

Top Rated Criminal Lawyer in Rhode Island

  • Aggressive Advocacy from a Former Rhode Island State Prosecutor
  • Judges, Lawyers and Police Officers have Referred Family and Friends
  • I will be the lawyer standing next to you in Court, NOT associates
  • Over 500+ 5-STAR Internet Reviews among all platforms
  • Free Case Walk-Through: Every case outlined IN DETAIL in my Free Consultation
Contact me - Available 24/7 30 Years DUI Lawyer Experience
Rhode Island Criminal Lawyer and RI DUI Attorney

Awards & Honors

  • Best Rated Lawyers in Rhode Island 2023
  • Preeminent RI DUI Lawyer and Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney
  • Avvo RI DUI and Criminal Lawyer
  • 30 Yrs Experience Criminal Attorney Rhode Island
  • Best DUI Lawyers in Providence RI
  • Distinguished RI DUI Lawyer and Rhode Island Criminal Defense Attorney
  • RI Criminal Defense and DUI Lawyer Reviews

Does S. Joshua Macktaz Have Experience Defending My Specific Type of Criminal Case?

RI Criminal Defense Lawyer Experienced in The Following Areas

Facing criminal charges in Rhode Island can be a daunting and confusing process. Your first step is to hire an experienced Rhode Island criminal defense attorney to start working on your case immediately. Beyond that, understanding your criminal charges, what happens after an arrest, potential penalties, and any defenses that may be available can help you feel more positive and confident about moving forward.

S. Joshua Macktaz,Esq., offers a free comprehensive consultation to go over the charges, a complete timeline of your case, how S. Joshua Macktaz,Esq. defended similar cases and much more. Finding the best legal representation with experience is key. RI Criminal Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz's 30 years experience covers the following practice areas and crimes including:

Why Hire S. Joshua Macktaz Over Other Criminal Defense Attorneys?

I am a former Rhode Island Special Assistant Attorney General from 1993-1997. During those years I prosecuted hundreds of criminal cases ranging from disorderly conduct to first-degree murder in every Rhode Island County. Additionally, along with other prosecutors, I lectured in-coming police academy cadets on proper drunk driving and Rhode Island DUI investigations and prosecutions.

This unique experience has allowed me a wealth of knowledge not readily available to the average Rhode Island DUI Attorney.

Who Will Be Handling Your Case?

  • I am the attorney reviewing or overseeing your case
  • I am the attorney appearing in court with you
  • I am in court just about every day
  • I strongly believe that each client deserves this personal service
  • My office provides free consultations
  • I am available 24 hours a day for emergencies

My firm specializes in criminal defense law and provides aggressive, personal and experienced criminal defense representation in Rhode Island.

More About S. Joshua Macktaz
Rhode Island Attorney S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.



If you’re hesitant about hiring a defense criminal lawyer or defense DUI attorney, read the hundreds of testimonials from satisfied clients. Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq. has spent 30 plus years successfully defending and expunging criminal offenses in Rhode Island. Hiring the top criminal lawyer and DUI defense in Rhode Island will ensure that your case is in the right hands, and we have the reviews to prove it!

443+ 5 Star Rating
five star ratings on Google

This was my first time ever needing a Lawyer and Josh went above and beyond ensuring that I was well represented as well as walking me through the entire process. The outcome was fantastic and I would recommend Josh for his professionalism and responsiveness.
Truett Stevens
17:45 24 May 20
Josh was very helpful and knowledgeable when it came to my family court case. He was there for us when I needed him and he helped get the desired outcome. I was very pleased with his work and would highly reccomend . Thank you josh!!
elaine siegel
15:41 26 Apr 20
Josh gave me a free consultation over the phone as I was unable to go to his office. He explained the entire process so I fully understood what to expect in and out of court, while making the experience as easy, and painless as possible. He will work directly with the court system to get you the best possible outcome, given your case. For mine, It went exactly as he said it would. I am extremely satisfied with his services!
Mike Alessandro
19:15 06 Mar 20
Josh was hands down the best. He was never misleading with any information and let me know step by step how everything was going to go. All of my questions and concerns were answered by him in a timely manner and he made the whole process as easy, stress free (considering the circumstances) as possible. I would HIGHLY recommend Mr. Macktaz as a DUI lawyer. Thank you again!
Em S
19:49 05 Mar 20
Josh is an incredible asset as your attorney. He truly is a master of his craft and will give you realistic expectations regarding your case. His honesty is truly commendable, keeping you in the loop at all times and on top of your case. Always prompt in his response, Josh is always willing to help ease your concerns regarding your legal issues. Can’t thank Josh enough for his help, the guy is the best and the only attorney I’d recommend to my friends and family!!
Mark V
19:13 05 Mar 20
This was my first time having to seek the services of a lawyer. Josh was friendly, transparent and incredibly informative. He helped me understand the process every step of the way. I'm grateful to have found him and wouldn't think twice about seeking his services again.
23:04 02 Feb 20
My experience with Josh was nothing short of great. From day one he was upfront about the process going forward and really helped ground me during what was an exceptionally stressful time. He is easy to get in contact with and always returns communications promptly via email or phone call. I'd highly recommend Josh to anyone who finds themselves in like circumstances, he is a fantastic lawyer who understands that good people make mistakes.
Thomas Briggs
12:21 22 Dec 19
Josh Macktaz, Esq. has a combination of strong analytical and advocacy skills to assist any client. His intelligence, experience, and communicative skills is exactly what you want defending you!! I highly recommend his services.
Ashley Napolitano
17:31 20 Dec 19
Can’t even imagine the mess I would be in with out Joshua’s help. I was guided from the prompt first returned phone call through the entire process. The following day after my event we meet in Newport for a free consultation and he basically told me how things would unfold. In the end I achieved the best possible outcome for me and I owe it to the relationships he has developed and the years of experience that he brings to the table.
david crowley
17:19 19 Dec 19
From the beginning my case had a lot of difficulties and as we continued, new obstacles kept coming up. Josh always took the time to explain everything to me and to make sure I understood what was going on with my case. Every obstacle we encountered, he was always able to work around it and find solutions. He worked very hard to make sure I got a fair result from my case. Overall, Josh is a lawyer that truly cares about his clients and would go the extra mile to help. I strongly believe I wouldn’t have received the results I got without a lawyer like Josh. Highly recommend his services.
Karina G
22:10 05 Dec 19
Great legal defense. Makes you feel comfortable every step of the way. Thank you for everything Josh.
Sam M
15:24 21 Nov 19
Superb layer. Explained everything very clearly for me and helped me greatly to get an aggressive driving charge dismissed. Will recommend him as a lawyer to anyone that is seeking one. Very professional and helpful. You will not go wrong with hiring Josh Macktaz as your lawyer.
Christopher White
15:40 13 Nov 19
Attorney Joshua Macktaz is very professional and personable, emanating energy and confidence in all he does. Informs you every step of the way and easy to reach via email or phone call. Very knowledgeable with the law and how he takes action to get the desired result is truly remarkable. If he says something will happen, you can bet your bottom dollar it will! I Would and Will recommend Attorney J. Macktaz to anyone in need of an excellent trustworthy Attorney.I really hope this review helps someone that is not sure where to turn for help.
Nicholas Silva
18:03 11 Oct 19
Joshua was awesome in every aspect with me and my husband for his DUI case would hands down reccomend him to anyone. He is very knowledgeable and will be there every step of the way to make this process as easy and painless as it can be. Overall we had a great experience.
Erin Barche
14:36 09 Sep 19
Joshua was awesome in every aspect with me and my husband for his DUI case would hands down reccomend him to anyone. He is very knowledgeable and will be there every step of the way to make this process as easy and painless as it can be. Overall we had a great experience.
Erin Barche
14:36 09 Sep 19
Josh is the best hands down. Excellent customer service. Very respectful. Always on time. You can tell he truly puts 100% into your case to get you the best results. Wouldn’t go to anyone else thank very much Mr. Macktaz I appreciate you
brian car
13:17 06 Sep 19
If I could leave more then 5 stars I absolutely would. No one else I would rather have in my corner
Craig James
12:59 30 Aug 19
Josh is the attorney to call to help you solve your problem. He knows the law and he works for your best interests. I would not bother to call anyone else. If you are facing trouble, call Josh first, don't waste valuable time. I called his office and he called me back right away and consulted with me. You will not go wrong by hiring this attorney. I certainly did not. I received a very favorable outcome due to Josh's diligent work. Definitely the best out there !
Jennifer Chandler
15:32 29 Aug 19
Mr. Macktaz handled my case in a prompt and professional manor with the necessary legal experience that achieved a positive and beneficial result.
Bryan Stewart
00:35 21 Aug 19
I chose Josh because he seemed experienced and reputable. I was right. Josh knew the ins and outs of my situation, and he provided comforting wisdom every step of the way. When all was said and done, he did exactly what he said he would do, and I couldn't be happier with the results.
Jon Doe
19:12 31 Jul 19
Excellent attorney. Did exactly what he said he would and didn't promise anything he couldn't. Very knowledgeable and professional.
Seth Med
15:31 31 Jul 19
Joshua Macktaz is a very good very professional lawyer. Throughout me case he handled it seriously and kept me in the loop even when I was not present in the court room. Joshua represented me over a year long trial, and he never gave me a issue and in the end he got me a great result. All around I seriously recommend Joshua as a lawyer.
Caleb Butler
18:43 30 Jul 19
Josh was very professional. Took time to answer all my questions in a timely fashion. Made me feel at ease about the situation. Great lawyer
Brandon Nantais
10:06 07 May 19
Mr. Macktaz is an outstanding lawyer. He goes above and beyond for his clients making sure they get the best possible outcome there is! He believes good people sometimes make bad mistakes. I would highly reccommend his services. He will be with you every step of the way.
Haley Nims
17:00 05 May 19
Josh Macktaz is is an excellent attorney who really goes above and beyond for his client.I found him to be very trustworthy and intelligent. I had a technical probation violation. I needed a good lawyer for representation and Josh came highly recommended. He was very honest, respectful and made you feel at ease throughout the whole process. I would highly recommend him to family & friends.Thank You Josh & God Bless -Sam
Sam Wlt
18:21 01 May 19
Josh is committed to following through with his clients and ensuring they are happy. He is not only thorough but he is very responsive and cares. I appreciated his help and he adequately explained the process.
Aly Starr
02:27 25 Feb 19
My Experience with Josh representing me was beyond what I could have hoped for. Josh explained his thoughts and exceptions on my case & followed through to receive the best outcome.. Cannot thank you enough Josh!
Troy McGann
13:12 15 Jan 19
I highly recommend the services of Josh Macktaz. He was responsive, efficient and very realistic about my case and the associated penalties. My legal costs were exactly as he suggested on our first call (which were fair). He is very knowledgeable of the Rhode Island law and has very strong contacts at the traffic tribunal. Related, he handled minor hearings without me which saved me money and travel time. He did the best possible job for a guy in my situation. Anyone that has a drunk driving charge in RI that does not consider Josh Macktaz is risking their future and wasting their dollars.
Chad M
23:10 13 Jan 19
My experience with Josh was beyond positive. If I could rate higher than five stars I would. Through out my entire process he was professional, straightforward, knowledgeable and understanding. It did not take long after meeting him I knew I needed him to represent me. Although my road was long Josh stuck with me every step of the way. There is no doubt in my mind without him I would not have been able to get the best possible outcome in my case. For that my family and I are forever grateful to him. He truly is a master of his craft and a fighter through and through. If you need representation look no further " This is the Man you want In your corner."
Daniel James
14:08 22 Dec 18
I hired Joshua Mactaz to represent me. He did an amazing job. He is very knowledgeable, hard worker and will do anything for you. I would recommend him to anyone and I would certainly have him represent me again.
Susan DeFedele
06:41 14 Dec 18
We always dealt with Josh Macktaz directly. He walked us through every step of the process and answered all our questions. His representation for us in the court room was handled professionally and we are extremely happy with the outcome.
Cheryl DeFeo
00:24 14 Dec 18
Amazing lawyer. Josh explained every step to resolving my issue and got me the best possible outcome for my case. He is very to the point and will fight to defend his clients in their toughest times. If you find yourself in trouble in Rhode Island, there is no one I would recommend more than Josh!
James McKeown
04:46 06 Oct 18
Prior to contacting Joshua I was a mess. He put me at ease during my free consultation and I decided he was the right person to represent me on the spot. He delivered on everything he said he would.
Anthony Mayer
19:38 14 Sep 18
Joshua was great he dealt with my case with effectivness and in a very timely manner. He call me when he was telling me that he was going 2 change or do something that would benefit my case I appreciate the professionalism he gave and showed I would highly recommend using his services
Chris Baccelli
19:59 12 Sep 18
After meeting with several lawyers I chose Mr. Macktaz to represent me. His professionalism and positive attitude helped ease the stress of a difficult situation. Josh provided a detailed timeline of the court process and was clear on what my expectations should be. He was prompt in returning my calls and answered any questions or concerns that I had. I would recommend Josh to anyone in need of representation as he went above and beyond in securing the best possible outcome for my case.
Paul DiLorenzo
04:31 14 Aug 18
With Joshua Macktaz, Professional... he helped in my case and I thank him for his help and I truly recommend him for any case, one of the best in the business
jose carrion
23:23 11 Aug 18
Mr. Macktaz was very professional and helped me with my legal issues swiftly and very effectively. Who knew what to do and every steps to take. Highly recommended, one of the best in the business.
Uodam Sann
15:08 10 Aug 18
I will start off by saying I knew nothing about the criminal or traffic court system until March 2018. I made a choice to have one too many and was arrested (DUI). Dealing with the embarrassment of an arrest and fear of losing my job, I "google searched for a DUI lawyer" and Josh Macktaz name appeared. Although apprehensive about using a a Google Review to determine my future, I made the call. This is my experience... 1) Mr. Macktaz made time to meet me the day I outreached him. (free consultation)2) During our initial meeting Macktaz outlined in detail what I had ahead of me; including court dates and car insurance details.3) Mr. Macktaz was at every court appearance and explained what was going to happen in court and the potential outcome.4) He was confident in what the outcome would be... and he was right!In closing... would I retain Mr. Macktaz if I ever needed criminal representation again? Yes, he would be my first phone call. He continually follows up with his clients. I never felt the need to outreach Mr. Macktaz since he called or emailed first!
22:15 03 Jul 18
Professional, experienced and extremely knowledgeable! Josh took the time to answer all my questions, and was always very responsive. He was able to put my mind at ease. He was able to get my charges dismissed and my case expunged. Best Attorney in RI!!!
15:56 09 May 18
Josh was very professional and extremely knowledgeable of my situation. He took the time to meet with me face to face multiple times to gather all the facts so he could develop the best plan possible. After collecting the facts he sat me down and he discussed all the options I had and why certain options may or may not be available in my situation. During this very difficult time, I at least felt comfortable that I received the best possible outcome and Josh is the reason why. A true professional through and through.
Neal Manaskie
19:28 23 Apr 18
For someone who is totally new to the court system Josh took the time to sit and explain options,situations and solutions before he even a dollar was given. He made you feel protected within the court system, and I would recommend him to anyone looking for good help. He was a total down to earth and knowledgeable person someone you'd want on your side. Any help or questions I had were solved within hours by email and he kept connected with me throughout the whole process. Me and my whole family are greatful for the help! Thanks Josh !
Dylan Nunez
02:54 22 Mar 18
Josh is unlike any attorney I've ever had contact with: and I have worked with and for several. Customer service is a key part of the great service he personally delivered. It is with great confidence that I am able to refer him. He brought me the best results possible. He also returned every single phone call. Thanks Josh!
Kathleen Whitmarsh
17:07 13 Mar 18

view all testimonials

How Does the Criminal Court Process Works in Rhode Island?

After an arrest in Rhode Island for a criminal offense, the following steps generally occur in the criminal justice process:

  1. Booking: After an arrest, the individual is taken to the police station for booking. During booking, the police will record the individual's personal information, take fingerprints and photographs, and inventory any personal property. The individual may also be searched.
  2. Initial Appearance: Following the booking process, the individual will typically have an initial appearance before a Justice of the Peace. During this appearance, the Justice of the Peace will inform the individual of the charges against them and advise them of their legal rights. The judge may also set bail, which is an amount of money that the individual can pay to be released from custody while awaiting trial.
  3. Arraignment: At the arraignment, the individual stands before a Judge or Magistrate to be formally charged with the alleged offense. They will be asked to enter a plea of guilty nolo contendere), or not guilty, to the charges. If the individual pleads not guilty, the case will proceed to the pretrial and trial stages.
  4. Pretrial Proceedings: Before the pretrial proceedings, the prosecution and defense may exchange evidence, file motions, and engage in plea negotiations. The defense may challenge the legality of the arrest, the admissibility of evidence, or other aspects of the case.
  5. Trial: If the case goes to trial, both the prosecution and defense will present evidence and arguments to a judge or jury. The prosecution must prove the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If the defendant is found not guilty, they will be released. If the defendant is found guilty, the case will proceed to sentencing.
  6. Sentencing: If the defendant is convicted, the judge will determine the appropriate sentence. Sentencing may include fines, probation, community service, imprisonment, or a combination of these penalties.
  7. Appeals: After sentencing, the defendant has the right to appeal the conviction and/or sentence to a higher court. The appeals process involves reviewing the legal and procedural aspects of the case.

What To Do After Being Arrested in Rhode Island?

If you or a loved one have been arrested and charged with a criminal offense in Rhode Island, you are probably wondering how soon should I hire an attorney or what steps to take. You should consider taking the following steps. Keep in mind that the information provided here is a general overview of the criminal justice process in Rhode Island and may not apply to every criminal case. Each criminal case is unique, and the specific steps and procedures may vary. It is important to consult with a qualified RI criminal defense attorney who can provide legal advice and representation tailored to your specific situation.

  1. Remain Silent: You have the right to remain silent and not answer any questions without an attorney present. It is generally advisable to exercise this right to avoid inadvertently incriminating yourself.
  2. Hire an Attorney: You have the right to an attorney. And it's key to find the best possible RI defense lawyer, experienced in the area of criminal law and that have defended similar criminal cases. If you cannot afford one, the court will appoint a public defender to represent you. It is important to have the best legal representation to help you navigate the criminal justice system and protect your rights.
  3. Comply with Law Enforcement: While you have the right to remain silent and request an attorney, you should comply with law enforcement officers' instructions. Do not resist arrest or engage in any behavior that could escalate the situation.
  4. Understand the Charges: Make sure you understand the criminal charges against you and the potential consequences. Your criminal defense attorney can explain the charges and help you develop a defense strategy.
  5. Attend All Court Appearances: It is important to attend all scheduled court appearances. Failure to appear in court can result in a warrant being issued for your arrest.
  6. Follow Court Orders: If you are released on bail or subject to other court orders, be sure to comply with all conditions. Violating court orders can lead to additional legal consequences.

Learn the differences between a misdemeanor and a felony or schedule a free consultation with Top RI Criminal Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz


  • Explain the charges/law about the charges
  • Complete timeline for the case
  • Who is the prosecutor, how he/she handles such cases and my relationship and history with that prosecutor
  • How i have successfully defended similar cases
  • All possible outcomes of their case
  • How we can get it erased (expunged) from their record


    Latest Articles


    If you have a questions about Rhode Island DUI charges or other criminal defense related topics, you can find your answer here. If you don’t you can give us a call at (401) 861-1155 and defense attorney S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq. will answer all of your questions in a free consultation!

    View Legal Blog

    Areas Served in Rhode Island


    S. Joshua Macktaz has successfully defended thousands of criminal cases in all Rhode Island courts.

    Providence County
    • Barrington
    • Bristol
    • Burrillville
    • Central Falls
    • Cumberland
    • East Providence
    • Pawtucket
    • Providence
    • State Police - Lincoln Barracks
    • Warren
    • Woonsocket
    Kent County
    • Coventry
    • Cranston
    • East Greenwich
    • Exeter
    • Foster
    • Glocester
    • Johnston
    • Lincoln
    • North Kingstown
    • North Providence
    • North Smithfield
    • Scituate
    • Smithfield
    • State Police - Hope Valley
    • Barracks
    • Warwick
    • West Greenwich
    • West Warwick
    Newport County
    • Jamestown
    • Little Compton
    • Middletown
    • Newport
    • Portsmouth
    • State Police - Wickford Barracks
    • Tiverton
    Washington County
    • Charlestown
    • Hopkinton
    • Narragansett
    • New Shoreham
    • South Kingstown
    • State Police - Hope Valley Barracks
    • Richmond
    • Westerly

    Frequently Asked Questions


    If you have questions about Rhode Island’s general laws and penalties on various criminal charges, we have the answers. I want all my clients to feel fully informed and confident moving forward with their criminal case. Here you’ll find basic information on common legal questions which many clients encounter after facing an arrest. For further information on your specific criminal charges and circumstances, contact my Rhode Island law office today for a free consultation and a more comprehensive look at your case.

    When facing a criminal offense in Rhode Island, it's crucial to have the best criminal defense lawyers by your side. Our lead attorney, S. Joshua Macktaz, understands the intricacies of Criminal Law in Rhode Island and is committed to providing the highest quality legal representation.

    Understanding Your Legal Rights in Rhode Island

    As an accused, you have important legal rights. Our firm ensures that clients understand their rights and the legal process ahead. We are here to navigate the complex Rhode Island Court System with you, every step of the way.

    Criminal Defense Strategies Tailored to Your Case

    We don't believe in one-size-fits-all solutions. Each case is unique, and therefore, requires a unique defense strategy. We specialize in various areas, including DUI Defense in Rhode Island, Drug Offense Defense, and Assault Defense. Our commitment is to find the best approach for your specific situation.

    Experienced and Successful Rhode Island Legal Representation

    Our track record speaks for itself. With numerous success stories in defending Rhode Island Felonies and Misdemeanors, we have the knowledge and experience to help you reach a positive outcome.

    The Cost of Legal Defense in Rhode Island

    Worried about the cost of hiring a lawyer in Rhode Island? Our firm is committed to providing top-notch legal defense. We believe everyone deserves high-quality legal representation. Remember, when you're facing criminal charges in RI, choosing the right lawyers for criminal defense can make all the difference. Contact S. Joshua Macktaz today for a free consultation and let us show you why we're the right choice for your defense.

    First, it’s crucial to understand you should never have to face criminal charges alone. Many people will often ask why it’s necessary to hire the best lawyer for criminal defense after being arrested for the first time. Keep in mind the Rhode Island criminal justice system can be incredibly complicated. If you have no previous legal experience, it can be very difficult to file the necessary paperwork, create a defense strategy, and represent yourself using the proper legal channels and procedures. And the criminal penalties can have life-long effects.

    In addition, facing criminal charges in Rhode Island can be terrifying, stressful, and emotional. This makes it even more difficult to represent yourself when you’re dealing with all of the negative emotions and anxiety which typically come along with criminal charges. Lastly, building a strong criminal defense is incredibly time-consuming. If you already work a full-time job or are a full-time student, there may not be enough hours in a day for you to properly prepare your case, nor are you familiar with the law, rules and procedures.

    Only an experienced criminal defense attorney can provide the desired results.  For the best possible outcome, contact Rhode Island criminal defense attorney S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq. to review your case. 

    Yes, I have successfully defended DUI charges in all Rhode Island courts.

    If you have been arrested by police and charged with a criminal act, it is common sense to have an seasoned criminal defense lawyer represent you. Some people will ask if they can use the latest legal apps or online law forums to build their defense and get desired results. The problem with apps, online legal assistance, or researching your own case is that Rhode Island laws are specific and complex. It’s absolutely imperative to work with an actual Rhode Island criminal defense attorney who knows the Rhode Island laws and penalties inside and out, is familiar with the judges and prosecutors, and understands the criminal justice system. If your case goes to trial, nothing can compare to having the best criminal defense attorney on your side.

    The cost of your criminal defense attorney will depend on the specific circumstances surrounding your criminal case and the severity of your criminal charges. To get a better idea of what your case will cost, it’s best to take advantage of a free consultation appointment to fully discuss your case and what the expenses will look like.  

    Remember, the goal is to get your charges dropped, your criminal case dismissed, and then Expunged from your record.   The cost of not hiring the best criminal lawyer can be your reputation and your future.   See our client testimonials for first-hand reviews on the best criminal defense attorney in Rhode Island.  

    I have experience defending all offenses from speeding tickets to First Degree Murder. I’ve seen it all and defended it all. Whether you’re facing drug offenses, a domestic violence arrest, a DUI, or shoplifting charges, contact the best Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer to review your case today.

    Let me be perfectly clear, as a Rhode Island criminal lawyer my goal for all my clients is to have their criminal charges DISMISSED AND EXPUNGED. I will work to defend you and provide the best possible outcome for your case. Sometimes criminal cases do not get dismissed. In those situations I work tirelessly at choosing the most optimal paths for my clients to help them avoid severe penalties while producing the best results.

    Having a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney with a strong relationship with the prosecutor has many advantages. When a defense lawyer has had the opportunity to work with the prosecutor for a number of years, the defense lawyer can gain an understanding of how the prosecutor typically works, acknowledge any potential biases, identify patterns in their legal actions and behavior, and more. If your defense attorney has no relationship with the prosecutor, or a poor relationship with the prosecutor, it can make it very difficult to design a specific defense and predict outcomes. 

    If you’re facing criminal charges in Rhode Island, it’s highly recommended to only work with a criminal defense attorney who has a strong relationship and a history with the prosecutor.  Having begun my career as a prosecutor at the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General I have a background and experience which most Rhode Island defense lawyers simply do not have.  I was a prosecutor, so I know how they think and how they work.

    The BEST. Common sense tells us that former prosecutors make the best criminal defense lawyers. This is because criminal defense attorneys with backgrounds as prosecutors know how to get into the mind of the prosecutor. They can detect and predict their legal moves and create counter-arguments for every point. In other words, there are no surprises when you’re working with a Rhode Island criminal defense attorney who was a former prosecutor. They’ve worked on both sides of the courtroom and they know how to approach your case using a comprehensive and aggressive strategy.

    There are two types of criminal offenses in Rhode Island: 

    Misdemeanors and felony charges.

    A misdemeanor is a less serious criminal offense, although no arrest or crime should never be taken lightly.  A conviction for a misdemeanor crime can have long-lasting and negative effects on a person’s life.  A misdemeanor penalty might include fines, community service, and/or up to a year in jail. Examples of misdemeanors are DUI charges, petty theft, reckless driving, assault and battery, disorderly conduct, domestic assault and battery, domestic disorderly conduct and prostitution.   These cases are handled in the Rhode Island District Court.

    A felony charge is a more serious criminal charge in Rhode Island. Felony charges can result in penalties such as years in prison, heavy fines, and other severe consequences. Examples of felonies include delivery of narcotics, possession of large amounts of controlled substances, assault and battery resulting in personal injury, white collar crimes, burglary, rape, murder, and arson.  These cases are handled in the Rhode Island Superior Court.

    Regardless if you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, having a trusted criminal defense lawyer representing you is what is most important. 

    Yes, in my 30 plus years defending criminal charges in RI I have provided DUI Defense in all Rhode Island courts including the Newport County District Court where Middletown DUI cases are presided.

    THIS IS MY GOAL IN EVERY CRIMINAL CASE.   If you’re a first time offender looking to have your criminal record expunged, your expungement eligibility will depend on what the criminal charge was and how the case ended in court.   I can tell a person if they are eligible for expungement in the first 5 minutes of a phone call.  If so, the total timetable to have a crime expunged from a criminal record is 3-4 weeks.  AND, expunging or sealing a criminal record does not require you to go to court.   A very simple process when handled by an experienced criminal defense attorney.

    As stated above, all Rhode Island criminal charges fall into one of two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. Different expungement laws apply for misdemeanors versus felonies, but the process of expungement of a criminal record is generally the same. 

    Only an experienced Rhode Island criminal lawyer can tell you if you’re eligible to have a felony or misdemeanor charge expunged and what your path to expungement looks like.  

    The results of these two actions on a criminal record are exactly the same. The Court uses different words depending on how your case ended.  

    If you’re a first time offender and your criminal case was either dismissed by law enforcement or the prosecution, or you were found not guilty by a judge or jury of the criminal charges for which you were arrested, the process is called sealing the criminal record. 

    If you were convicted of a criminal charge or you pled guilty to a criminal offense and received a sentence, the process is called expungement

    Three things happen when a criminal record is either expunged or sealed: 

    1. Your arrest record, whether it be a criminal charge, sentence, probation, suspended sentence, a plea of nolo contendere, or criminal conviction will be deleted from the Bureau of Criminal Identification (this is the official term for your criminal “record”, which is kept by the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General)
    2. The criminal law court deletes your arrest record, criminal charge, the sentence, probation, suspended sentence plea of nolo contendere, criminal conviction, and criminal case information from the Court computer. The important part is no one will be able to access this record from now on. 
    3. Finally, law enforcement and the courts are ordered to destroy the physical file, record, and any other evidence of your legal matter in their possession. 

    Basically, under Rhode Island expungement law, once a criminal history has been sealed or expunged, it won’t appear anywhere for the public, law enforcement, or the courts to access it. 

    In addition, you’re not legally obligated to ever answer any questions about your criminal history. For instance, on a job application, you can mark “no” to having a criminal record.  It is considered the legal equivalent of “it never happened”. 

    Facing criminal charges in Rhode Island can be a daunting and confusing process. Your first step is to hire an experienced Rhode Island criminal defense attorney to start working on your case immediately.

    Beyond that, understanding your criminal charges and what happens after an arrest can help you feel more positive and confident about moving forward. If you’re facing criminal charges in Rhode Island, either misdemeanor or felony charges, it is esssential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

    Rhode Island DUI law is very specific and very complicated.  If you have been charged with a misdemeanor DUI or a felony DUI in Rhode Island, you absolutely need the best RI DUI lawyer as your legal representation.  A conviction for a Rhode Island DUI can carry jail time, hefty fines and costs, mandatory community service, mandatory attendance and completion of DUI classes, and a significant loss of your license to operate a motor vehicle.  A Rhode Island DUI case is no joke, and requires an experienced and knowledgeable Rhode Island DUI attorney to prepare the best DUI defense.  

    So many people we may know have found themselves arrested for a Rhode Island DUI.  It is one of the most common criminal offenses in Rhode Island.  Law enforcement take DUI cases very seriously because they happen so often.  GOOD PEOPLE MAKE MISTAKES TOO.  But do not make the mistake worse by hiring the wrong Rhode Island DUI lawyer.  My law firm has defended thousands of Rhode Island DUI charges and there is NOTHING I have not seen or defended.  An experienced criminal defense lawyer makes all the difference in the world. 

    Rhode Island takes domestic violence crimes very seriously. Some of the harshest penalties in the state are associated with crimes involving domestic violence. This is why it’s so vital to have a criminal defense attorney with years of experience in domestic violence and assault charges. 

    Rhode Island law classifies the following actions as domestic violence criminal charges: 

    • Domestic Battery
    • Assault Causing Bodily Injury
    • Disorderly Conduct
    • Malicious Damage to Property
    • Failure to Relinquish a Telephone
    • Abuse
    • Violation of a Restraining Order or No Contact Order
    • Cyber Harassment (on social media is a common example)
    • Stalking
    • Child Abuse
    • Breaking and Entering
    • Family Violence
    • Any Bodily Injury
    • Trespassing
    • Kidnapping
    • Child Snatching
    • Emotional Abuse
    • Sexual Assault
    • Domestic Abuse
    • False Imprisonment
    • Homicide/Murder
    • Arson
    • Burglary

    If you’re facing any of the domestic violence charges in the list above, it’s important to speak with an experienced criminal defense lawyer who specializes in domestic violence in Rhode Island. I have years of experience defending clients who have faced domestic violence charges, which are some of the most serious offenses in Rhode Island and can have significant penalties.  

    This is why it’s crucial to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who has specific experience in domestic violence.  I have defended hundreds and hundreds of these cases as a Rhode Island criminal lawyer. 

    The marijuana laws have drastically changed across the country and specifically in Rhode Island. Today, Rhode Island has established marijuana legalization for possession of cannabis in small amounts and for personal and recreational use. Rhode Island also has approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes. 

    However, it is possible to face marijuana criminal charges in other circumstances. For instance, a criminal marijuana charge can be brought for simple possession of marijuana (if you possess more than 1 ounce of marijuana), possession with intent to deliver marijuana, delivery of marijuana, and cultivation of marijuana. 

    Remember also that possession of cannabis in a motor vehicle can also lead to a DUI charge. 

    While most people consider traffic tickets simple violations they can handle by themselves. Consequences for traffic violations can be expensive and can cause a lot of disruptions in people’s everyday lives. Expensive fines and driver’s license suspensions can create issues with employment, paying monthly bills, or simply handling daily routines. Regardless if this is your first speeding ticket or your third or fourth moving violation in the state of Rhode Island, it’s a smart idea to hire a defense attorney to resolve these issues for you. An experienced defense lawyer who has specific experience in traffic violations can help you avoid costly fines and make sure your driving record remains clean.

    View All FAQs

    Office Locations in Rhode Island

    The Law Offices of S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq. are conveniently located throughout Rhode Island.

    1000 Chapel View Blvd Suite 260
    Cranston, RI 02920
    127 Dorrance St
    Providence, RI 02903
    Warwick OFFICE
    33 College Hill Road Suite 15G
    Warwick, RI 02886
    Narragansett OFFICE
    140 Point Judith Road Suite 28
    Narragansett, RI 02882
    North Smithfield OFFICE
    176 Eddie Dowling Highway Suite 202
    North Smithfield, RI 02896
    Newport OFFICE
    37 Bellevue Ave
    Newport, RI 02840