Title 12
Criminal Procedure

Chapter 29
Domestic Violence Prevention Act

R.I. Gen. Laws 12-29-5



 12-29-5.  Disposition of domestic violence cases.


(a) Every person convicted of, or placed on probation for, a crime involving domestic violence or whose case is filed pursuant to  12-10-12 where the defendant pleads nolo contendere, in addition to any other sentence imposed or counseling ordered, shall be ordered by the judge to attend, at his or her own expense, a batterer's intervention program appropriate to address his or her violent behavior; provided, however, that the court may permit a servicemember or veteran to complete any court-approved counseling program administered or approved by the Veterans' Administration. This order shall be included in the conditions of probation. Failure of the defendant to comply with the order shall be a basis for violating probation and/or the provisions of  12-10-12. This provision shall not be suspended or waived by the court.

(b) Every person convicted of, or placed on probation for, a crime involving domestic violence as enumerated in  12-29-2, or whose case is filed pursuant to  12-10-12 where the defendant pleads guilty or nolo contendere, in addition to other court costs or assessments imposed, shall be ordered to pay a one hundred twenty-five dollar ($125) assessment. Eighty percent (80%) of the assessment collected pursuant to this section shall be provided to the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence for programs to assist victims of domestic violence and twenty percent (20%) of the assessment shall be deposited as general revenue.

(c) (1) Every person convicted of an offense punishable as a misdemeanor involving domestic violence as defined in  12-29-2 shall:

(i) For a second violation, be imprisoned for a term of not less than ten (10) days and not more than one year.

(ii) For a third and subsequent violation, be deemed guilty of a felony and be imprisoned for a term of not less than one year and not more than ten (10) years.

(2) No jail sentence provided for under this section can be suspended.

(3) Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as limiting the discretion of the judges to impose additional sanctions authorized in sentencing.

(d) The court shall determine, for every person who pleads nolo contendere to, or is convicted of, an offense involving domestic violence as enumerated in  12-29-2, whether, as a result of the plea or conviction, the defendant is prohibited under  11-47-5(a)(3) or  11-47-5(a)(4) from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in his or her possession any firearm.

(1) Prior to the entry of a plea of nolo contendere to an offense involving domestic violence as enumerated in  12-29-2, the court shall advise the defendant that a plea of nolo contendere has the same legal effect and collateral consequences as a plea of guilty.

(2) Prior to the entry of a plea of nolo contendere to an offense punishable as a felony involving domestic violence as enumerated in  12-29-2, or an offense enumerated in  11-47-5(a)(4), the court shall advise the defendant that, in addition to any other sentence or penalty, the defendant shall, as result of the plea, be prohibited from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession any firearm under  11-47-5.

(3) The person required to surrender his or her firearms pursuant to this section shall not be responsible for any costs of storage of any firearms surrendered pursuant to this section.

(e) For the purposes of this section, "batterers intervention program" means a program that is certified by the batterers intervention program standards oversight committee according to minimum standards, pursuant to  12-29-5.1, 12-29-5.2, and 12-29-5.3.

(f) For purposes of this section, "servicemember" means a person who is presently serving in the armed forces of the United States, including the Coast Guard, a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard. "Veteran" means a person who has served in the armed forces, including the Coast Guard of the United States, a reserve component thereof, or the National Guard, and has been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.

(g) The court shall indicate on every record of conviction or a plea of nolo contendere for an offense punishable as a felony involving domestic violence, as defined in  12-29-2, that the defendant is prohibited under  11-47-5 and 11-47-5.3 from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession, any firearm(s). The court shall inform the defendant of their prohibited status and shall order the defendant to surrender any firearm(s) in their ownership, possession, care, custody or control in accordance with  11-47-5.3.

(h) The court shall indicate on every record of conviction or a plea of nolo contendere for an offense enumerated in  11-47-5(a)(4) that the defendant is prohibited under  11-47-5 and 11-47-5.4 from purchasing, owning, carrying, transporting, or having in their possession, any firearm(s). The court shall inform the defendant of their prohibited status, shall order the defendant to surrender any firearm(s) in their ownership, possession, care, custody or control, and shall ensure that surrender is made in accordance with  11-47-5.4.

(i) No proceeds shall be provided to any person if the firearm(s) is destroyed pursuant to this section.

(j) Any firearm(s) used in the commission of the offense leading to the conviction pursuant to this section shall be forfeited to the state upon conviction.

History of Section.
P.L. 1988, ch. 539, 6; P.L. 1990, ch. 368, 1; P.L. 1991, ch. 223, 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 214, 1; P.L. 1995, ch. 370, art. 40, 42; P.L. 1997, ch. 164, 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 373, 1; P.L. 2009, ch. 386, 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 58, 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 96, 1; P.L. 2016, ch. 212, 2; P.L. 2016, ch. 214, 2; P.L. 2017, ch. 374, 4; P.L. 2017, ch. 385, 4.