- The state allows certain first-time offenders to continue working or attending school while serving their sentence at a minimum-security facility.
Art. 1, § 8. Bail, fines and punishments: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted; and all punishments ought to be proportioned to the offense.
Judges may sentence certain first-time offenders to terms in minimum-security, overnight facilities and allow them to continue reporting to work or school during business hours. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19-2(b). Corrections officials may charge these first-time prisoners for their stays. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19-2(e).
The state mandates sentencing enhancements of up to 25 additional years in prison for offenders upon their third felony conviction. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19-21.
Each year the justices of the superior court (with approval of the justices of the state’s supreme court) adopt a schedule of presumptive sentences for each type of felony that constituted more than 5% of the criminal caseload in the superior court during the preceding year. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19.3-2. Trial judges may stray from the presumptive range when they find “substantial and compelling circumstances” which justify an alternative sentence. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19.3-3. The aggrieved party has 20 days to appeal a sentence that departs upwardly (the defendant) or downwardly (the state) from the presumptive range. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19.3-4.
The state supreme court will uphold a postconviction relief decision absent clear error or a determination that the hearing justice misconceived or overlooked material evidence. Rodrigues v. State, 985 A.2d 311 (R.I. 2009).
The penalty enhancements under the state’s habitual offender statute are mandatory, and a trial judge commits reversible error if he or she refuses to impose an additional sentence on a defendant found to be a habitual offender. State v. Chielli, 762 A.2d 450 (R.I. 2000).
The proportionality principles embodied in the state constitution are “identical” to those of the federal constitution. State v. Monteiro, 924 A.2d 784, 795 (R.I. 2007). The court will overturn a sentence when it is unduly harsh when compared to the crime. McKinney v. State, 843 A.2d 463, 470 (R.I. 2004). The court will conduct a comparative analysis of sentences for similar convictions only if it first finds that the sentence is unduly harsh when compared to the crime. McKinney, 843 A.2d at 470.
Court upheld a five-year assault sentence, with a 25-year enhancement pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19-21, against a prisoner who threw urine and feces at a correctional officer. The offender was sentenced to a total of seven years worth of additional time, with 23 years of probation. State v. Lyons, 924 A.2d 756 (R.I. 2007).
Court upheld 20-year sentence for second-degree child molestation and simple assault; sentence was “far in excess” of those generally imposed for second-degree child molestation convictions, according to a statistical analysis provided during the postconviction relief hearing. Alessio v. State, 924 A.2d 751, 755 (R.I. 2007).
Court reinstated plea-bargained sentence of 60 years (defendant to serve 40) stemming from an armed robbery during which the defendant fired shots at a security guard and police officer. McKinney, 843 A.2d at 465.
A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence: A Trial Practice Handbook for Criminal Defense Attorneys
This Guide to Federal Evidence is the only federal evidence handbook written exclusively for criminal defense lawyers. The Guide analyzes each Federal Rule of Evidence and outlines the main evidentiary issues that confront criminal defense lawyers. It also summarizes countless defense favorable cases and provides tips on how to avoid common evidentiary pitfalls. The Guide contains multiple user-friendly flowcharts aimed at helping the criminal defense lawyer tackle evidence problems. A Defender’s Guide to Federal Evidence is an indispensable tool in preparing a case for trial.
Modern Digital Evidence & Technologies in Criminal Cases
Modern cases need modern defenses, and modern lawyers can't practice with an outdated playbook. This program is a contemporary training that identifies emerging technologies and digital evidence encountered in today's criminal cases and arms you with the tools necessary to combat expert witnesses, prosecutorial overreach, and an uneducated judge and jury. This comprehensive CLE program covers both general aspects of new technologies as well as practical courtroom application and legal challenges to the use of these new technologies.
Top Shelf DUI Defenses: The Law, The Science, The Techniques (2021)
If you are serious about being an effective DUI defense advocate, or if you’re considering adding DUI defenses to your portfolio, you need to know the latest scientific and legal strategies to optimize your success at trial. Learn from the best-of-the-best in the field in this unique CLE Program, updated for 2021.
Defending Modern Drug Cases (2021)
From challenging the arrest and seizure to picking a jury and cross-examining police officers, defense attorneys handling drug cases must be able to construct a defense that will increase the chances of the client getting a positive result for your client.
Effective motion practice, juror selection, and storytelling have never been more important. This seminar will introduce defense counsel to techniques that have been used at recent drug trials to rebut specific claims and overcome the emotion created in today’s criminal legal system.