Rhode Island Criminal Lawyer

Rhode Island Assault Lawyer

Criminal Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Assault Defense Attorney Ready to Defense Your Criminal Charges

Are you facing a criminal charge of assault and battery in Rhode Island?  As a Rhode Island Assault Attorney I have successfully defended hundreds of people charged in Rhode Island with misdemeanor simple assault, felony assault with a dangerous weapon, felony assault resulting in serious bodily injury, and sexual assault. 

I use all the experience and knowledge I gained as a State Prosecutor, as well as my 27+ years working with Rhode Island criminal law to give clients the best defense if charged with a crime in Rhode Island. 

An assault charge in Rhode Island is a serious offense and you should not leave your life and reputation to a less-experienced defense attorney.  All Rhode Island criminal defense lawyers are NOT the same. My goal in every case is to get your assault charges DISMISSED and then EXPUNGED from your record.   

Call Rhode Island Assault Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esquire today at 401.861.1155 for the best defense of your assault charge.  

Rhode Island assault law is detailed and complicated.  This is why your defense attorney’s experience and knowledge of this criminal offense is so important.   Check out the Rhode Island General Law regarding assault crimes.

Rhode Island law has 2 types of assault crimes a person can face, misdemeanor Simple Assault, and Felony Assault.

What is Simple Assault and Battery in Rhode Island? 

Simple Assault and Battery in Rhode Island is one of the oldest criminal charges in the Rhode Island General Laws, and understanding the terms is important to understanding how to defend an assault charge.  An “assault” is any act that places another person in imminent fear of bodily injury, and a “battery” is any unwanted touching.  A person can be charged with simple assault and battery for either of those 2 acts.  And if the allegation involves a spouse or partner, law enforcement will charge the case as a domestic assault.  Check out this link for more information regarding Rhode Island domestic assault and domestic violence defense.

And although it seems like a straightforward offense, an experienced criminal battery lawyer knows how to defend a complicated Rhode Island assault and battery charge.   A simple assault and battery is an assault on a person which does not cause serious bodily harm.  There are countless examples of assault and battery under Rhode Island general law, but the most common are:

  • Domestic Assault
  • Punching or hitting
  • Slapping
  • Kicking
  • Pushing
  • Tripping 
  • Spitting

But a Rhode Island simple assault charge can also come from an unsuccessful attempt to cause harm, such as swinging a fist and missing, or having to be held back in a fight by other people. 

Often, an assault and battery charge in Rhode Island often comes with a charge of Disorderly Conduct as well.  Rhode Island police departments will usually charge both offenses at the same time to give the prosecutor or attorney general leverage over you.  

Check out Disorderly Conduct to learn more about Disorderly Conduct charges in Rhode Island.

Because there are so many different circumstances which can result in a Rhode Island assault charge it is very important to have the best Rhode Island battery lawyer defending your case.  

What are the Penalties for Simple Assault and Battery in Rhode Island?

Hiring the most experienced and knowledgeable Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer gives you the best chance at defending your assault and battery charge. 

All Rhode Island criminal defense attorneys are NOT the same, not even close, and it is the experience of your battery lawyer which can make the biggest difference in the outcome of criminal cases. 

These are the potential penalties for a Rhode Island assault and battery conviction:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to $1,000.00 in fines, plus court costs
  • 1 year Probation
  • 1 Year Suspended Sentence
  • Alcohol, anger management, or mental health counseling
  • No contact order/restraining order with victim
  • Loss of right to possess firearms

What is a Felony Assault in Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island General law, chapter 11-5, contains numerous factors which can upgrade a simple assault and battery charge to a felony assault and battery charge. 

These factors include whether the victim suffered bodily injury from the assault, whether a deadly weapon was used in the assault, whether the victim belongs to a protected class, or whether the accusations are for sexual assault or sexual abuse. 

Each of these felony assaults have their own requirements, but each requires an aggressive criminal defense lawyer to navigate and defend the criminal charge against you. 

These criminal cases are prosecuted by the Attorney General in Superior Court.  So what are the different types of felony assault in Rhode Island?

Assault resulting in physical injury:  One of the ways a simple assault and battery becomes a felony assault and battery is if the victim suffered physical injury. 

This can include scarring or a broken bone as examples.  Even a single punch, if it results in bodily injury, can be charged as a felony assault in Rhode Island.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon/Assault with a Device Similar to a Firearm:  As a Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer, I know that if any weapon is used in the assault, the charges will become felonies. 

This can be any common weapon such as a gun, knife or bat, or even uncommon weapons such as a shoe, chair or teeth.   Further, simply pointing a gun or firearm at another person also qualifies as a felony assault by deadly weapon in Rhode Island.  

Assault and Battery on a Protected Class of Persons:  In Rhode Island any assault on a person over 60, a handicapped person, or a first-responder qualifies as a felony assault. Assaults on school teachers, depending on the circumstances, can also be charged as a felony assault. 

Sexual Assault and Sexual Abuse: 

Under Rhode Island general law, any assault of a sexual nature is considered a felony criminal charge.  This includes child sexual abuse as well. 

The criminal justice system takes these assault crimes very seriously, and your criminal defense attorney should have extensive experience in these types of criminal cases. 

Many times a sexual assault or sexual abuse allegation requires a bail hearing in district court or superior court to determine whether a person remains in jail or is allowed bail. 

Each and every one of these charges comes with its own specific elements and possible defenses, so it is extremely important to hire a skilled and aggressive Rhode Island defense lawyer who knows the law and has the ability to craft the proper defense of your assault case.

What are the Penalties for Felony Assault and Battery in Rhode Island?

Hiring the most experienced and knowledgeable Rhode Island criminal defense attorney gives you the best chance at defending your felony assault and battery charge. 

All Rhode Island criminal defense attorneys are NOT the same, not even close, and it is the experience of your defense lawyer which can make the biggest difference in the outcome of your assault charge. 

These are the potential penalties for a Felony Rhode Island assault and battery conviction:

  • Up to 20 years in jail
  • Up to 20 years Probation
  • Up to 20 years Suspended Sentence
  • $10,000.00 in fines and cost
  • Anger management, alcohol counseling or mental health counseling
  • No contact orders
  • Loss of right to possess firearms 

What are the Defenses to Assault Charges in Rhode Island?

There are 3 defenses to Rhode Island Assault charges.  A skilled and experienced criminal lawyer will investigate the total circumstances of your assault case to see if any of these defenses apply to you:

  • Self Defense:  This is the most obvious of the assault defenses allowed under Rhode Island law, and one you have probably heard of many times before.  Rhode Island assault law allows a person who is being assaulted to use the force necessary to protect themselves.  Self defense is allowed but only to the degree necessary to defend yourself.  Rhode Island only allows the use of lethal force as self defense if the attacker is also using lethal force.
  • Defense of Others: If a person is being assaulted and is unable to protect themselves from the assault, Rhode Island law allows anyone else to step in and use force only the force necessary to defend that person.
  • Mutual Combat:  If both people involved in the fight were arrested for assaulting each other, then a skilled defense lawyer knows to seek out the other combatant’s defense attorney to convince both sides to not testify in court.

What if the Defendant and the victim are related? 

If a misdemeanor assault and battery, or felony assault and battery, or felony sexual assault occurs between people who have a relationship, the charge falls under Rhode Island’s Domestic Assault laws and subject a person to additional penalties if convicted of a domestic assault offense.   Check out Domestic Violence to learn more about Rhode Island Domestic Violence charges.


  • Former Rhode Island State Prosecutor
  • Judges, Lawyers and Police Officers refer family and friends to my law firm for representation
  • 27+ years of experience in Rhode Island criminal law
  • 300+ Five Star online reviews across all platforms
  • Aggressive, experienced and personal representation of all clients 
  • Strong and long-standing relationships with all Rhode Island Judges and prosecutors 
  • My goal in every case is DISMISSAL and then EXPUNGEMENT of all charges against you
  • I will be the lawyer reviewing and overseeing your case and I will be the attorney standing next to you in court.  Unlike so many other RI criminal defense law offices, I do NOT send associates to do my job.  I am in court every day of the week, and I strongly believe each client deserves this personal service.
  • I copy every client on every single document coming into the law office, or leaving the office, regarding their case.  I think it is critical for every client to be well-informed and fully engaged in the process.  Defending your Rhode Island criminal case is truly a team effort.
  • All calls and emails will be returned by me, not an associate, within a few hours of receiving the email or call.  
  • I provide a free and comprehensive initial consultation in all new cases.
  • I am available 24/7/365
phone Request your free case evaluation today! (401)861-1155

Complete the Form Below For Immediate Assistance