Rhode Island Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences

Unlike most other states, Rhode Island does not have a system in which it organizes felony crimes by severity. For example, some states have different classes of felonies, such as Class A, Class B, and Class C. In those states, a Class A offense might be the most serious type of felony, while a class C felony represents the least serious type.

Instead, Rhode Island classifies any crime that is punishable by a fine of more than $1,000 or imprisonment for more than one year as a felony. Crimes that have a potential punishment less than $1,000 in fines and less than one-year incarceration are classified as misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors, or violations.

For information on misdemeanors, see Rhode Island Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences.

Examples of Felonies and Sentence Ranges

Rhode Island has numerous felony offenses, each of which has a range of potential penalties associated with them. The following list of felonies and their associated penalties is merely a sample of some of the felonies in the state.

  • First-degree arson resulting in death. No less than 20 years and up to life in prison, as well as a fine between $3,000 and $25,000.
  • Bribery. Up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $50,000 or three times the value of the bribe paid.
  • Kidnapping. Up to 20 years in prison.
  • First-degree sexual assault. No less than 10 years' incarceration and up to life in prison.
  • Second-degree sexual assault. No less than three years and up to 15 years in prison.
  • First-degree murder. Life in prison.
  • Second-degree murder. No less than 10 years' incarceration and up to life in prison.
  • Perjury. Up to 20 years in prison.
  • Robbery by use of a dangerous weapon. No less than 10 years' incarceration and up to life in prison, as well as up to $15,000 in fines.
  • Failing to register as a sex offender. Up to 10 years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines.

Statute of Limitations

Every state, including Rhode Island, limits how long prosecutors have to file criminal charges in any case. This time limit is known as a statute of limitations. Essentially, a statute of limitations is a ticking clock that begins running once someone commits a crime. Prosecutors must file charges against a suspect within the time allowed under the statute of limitations or they can no longer do so.

The Rhode Island statute of limitations says that some felonies have no time limit associated with them, while other crimes are limited to 10, 7, or three years. For more detailed explanation of these limits, read Rhode Island Criminal Statute of Limitations.

Find a Lawyer

Felony charges are the most significant crimes with which a person can be charged. If you have been arrested, charged with a crime, or have been approached by police and investigators, you need to speak to an experienced Rhode Island criminal defense lawyer immediately. A Rhode Island criminal defense attorney is the only person capable of giving you legal advice about your case. If you don’t seek the advice of a lawyer as soon as you can, you may damage your ability to offer the strongest possible legal defense.