Hearing that you’re being criminally charged is always a scary experience. Understanding the “legal-ese” of what you’re up against is no small feat. But the more you know, the easier and less stressful things will be for you.
That’s why we put together this FAQ on what a “Filing” is in a misdemeanor case in Rhode Island. Keep reading to learn what a one-year filing means for you, and why hiring an RI criminal defense attorney is the best path forward.
A one-year Filing in Rhode Island is a type of penalty reserved for misdemeanor cases. Here are some other key aspects:
Another important distinction is that you can have multiple one-year Filings active at once.
The typical charges that warrant a Filing include shoplifting, harassing phone calls, failure to relinquish a phone, reckless driving, cyber-harassing, cyber-stalking, domestic disorderly conduct, simple domestic assault, and simple assault.
All in all, a one year Filing is among the most lenient penalties for Rhode Island criminal offenses. If you aren’t arrested for new charges and don’t violate the conditions of your Filing for 1 year, your case is dismissed.
And remember, your case will be automatically, too. Complying to the conditions of your filing is the fastest way to put all of this behind you.
There are 3 separate types of Filings in Rhode Island:
Nolo contendere Filings are ideal, which is why they’re the most common. Guilty Filings will always result in a conviction upon violation, unlike nolo contendere.
No, you should never accept a plea deal from the prosecution before consulting with your criminal lawyer. You see, it’s true that plea deals can be better than the worst-case scenario you’re facing, but a skilled and dedicated RI criminal defense attorney knows what the “deals” should be.
Whether you’re facing a one year Filing penalty or wondering if your case is eligible, hiring legal representation is the best investment you can make.
Filings don’t get expunged; they get sealed instead. You see, first-time offenders don’t go through expungement– that’s reserved for when you plead guilty or if you’ve been convicted.
But setting aside the terminology difference, yes, you can get your filing sealed at the end of the time period. Best of all, it’ll be sealed automatically– no extra paperwork required on your part.
If you receive new criminal charges during your one year filing in RI, the outlook isn’t good. You’re automatically subject to a 14-day holding period at the ACI (jail) without a hearing. Basically, even if you’re innocent, getting charged warrants up to 2 weeks in jail.
You’re also at risk of being charged and punished for the new crime, on top of the penalties for the Filing violation. It’s absolutely crucial that you stay out of trouble and avoid risky situations during this time period.
If the court determines you’ve violated your one year Filing, they can sanction you in several ways:
Working with a successful and focused Rhode Island criminal defense attorney can help you avoid the most serious potential penalties.
During an RI Filing violation hearing, you can expect:
Under Rhode Island state law, you’re guaranteed the above rights at this hearing. But in most scenarios, the presentation of evidence won’t be necessary. It’s most likely that you, your lawyer, the prosecution, and the judge will reach an agreement or resolution before you get to evidence.
If the state can’t meet the burden of proof, they’ll withdraw their violation accusation.
This can happen when:
In a nutshell, it’s possible for your Filing violation to be withdrawn or dismissed. And if this happens, your case will be automatically sealed after 1 year. Your lawyer will be a huge help in preparing for this hearing and achieving this outcome.
Now you have a clear understanding of one year filings in Rhode Island and how they relate to your misdemeanor charges.
But this knowledge can’t replace legal representation from an experienced, focused RI criminal defense attorney.
You see, even being accused of violating your Filing can have harsh and immediate consequences. And the prosecution will do absolutely everything within their power to see you convicted.
If you or a loved one is facing a one year Filing or is accused of violating one, contact us right away. We’re open 24/7/365 because these things often happen outside of standard “business” hours. Call the RI Criminal Defense Law Firm of S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq. at (401) 861-1155 for your FREE consultation now!