Misdemeanor Crimes in Rhode Island: Facts on Sentences and Fines
November 17, 2015
A misdemeanor is a lesser offense that is typically punishable by a a fine or penalty, and/or time in a county jail. It’s less serious than a felony, but more serious than an infraction.
Most states organize misdemeanor violations into four or five classes, but Rhode Island classifies them into two types: Petty misdemeanors and regular misdemeanors.
A person convicted of a petty misdemeanor in Rhode Island can face up to six months of prison time and/or a fine of up to $500. Examples of petty misdemeanors include the following:
- Disorderly conduct
- Possession of alcohol by a minor
- Possession of one ounce or less of marijuana
- Sale, possession, and use of substances that release toxic vapors
Regular misdemeanors, on the other hand, are punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and incarceration for a period not exceeding one year. Examples of regular misdemeanors include the following:
- Obstruction of justice
- Simple assault and battery
- Failure to render assistance to an injured person
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Possession of more than one ounce of marijuana
Apart from jail time and penalties, some misdemeanor convictions could also result in probation, court-mandated community service, or substance abuse classes.
Those who are facing petty or regular misdemeanor charges should consult as soon as possible a criminal defense lawyer with experience in Rhode Island law. A qualified criminal defense lawyer can represent defendants in court and provide valuable legal advice at every step of the process.