Criminal Offenses

Obstructing Justice

SECTION 11-32-6

§ 11-32-6. Jurisdiction of district, superior and family courts.

(a) Any court with jurisdiction over any criminal matter, including the family court when it has jurisdiction of a juvenile by virtue of a wayward or delinquent petition alleging the violation of any criminal statute of the state of Rhode Island, may, in its discretion, upon good cause (which may include, but is not limited to, credible hearsay or the declaration of the prosecutor or defense attorney) that intimidation or dissuasion of any person who is a victim or who is a witness, has occurred or is reasonably likely to occur, issue orders including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) An order that a defendant not violate any provision of this chapter.

(2) An order that a person before the court other than a defendant, including, but not limited to, a subpoenaed witness or other person entering the courtroom of the court, not violate any provisions of this chapter.

(3) An order that any person described in this subsection maintain a prescribed geographic distance from any specified witness or victim.

(4) An order that any person described in this subsection have no communication whatsoever with any specified witness or any victim, except through an attorney under any reasonable restrictions that the court may impose.

(5) An order calling for a hearing to determine if an order as described in subdivisions (1) through (4) of this subsection should be issued.

(6) An order that a particular law enforcement agency within the jurisdiction of the court provide protection for a victim and/or witness.

(b) Every person violating any order made pursuant to subsection (a) of this section may be punished in any or all manner as follows:

(1) For any substantive offense described in § 11-32-5.

(2) As a contempt of the court making the order. No finding of contempt shall be a bar to prosecution for a substantive offense under § 11-32-5, but any conviction or acquittal for any substantive offense under § 11-32-5 shall be a bar to subsequent punishment for contempt arising out of the same act.

(3) By revocation of any form of pretrial release and/or the forfeiture of bail and the issuance of a bench warrant for the defendant's arrest or remanding him or her into custody. Revocation may, after a hearing and upon showing by clear and convincing evidence, in the sound discretion of the court, be made whether the violation order complained of has been personally committed by the defendant or was in any way caused or encouraged to have been committed by the defendant.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1980, ch. 91, § 2; P.L. 1981, ch. 134, § 1.)