Rhode Island Misdemeanor Crimes by Class and Sentences

Rhode Island organizes misdemeanors into two basic types: misdemeanors and petty misdemeanors. Each category of crime has maximum penalties associated with it, though individual crimes may have maximum penalties that are less than the category allows.

For information on felonies, see Rhode Island Felony Crimes by Class and Sentences.

Sentence Range for Each Level

Anyone convicted of a misdemeanor offense in Rhode Island faces a fine of not more than $1,000 and an incarceration sentence of no more than one year, while someone convicted of a petty misdemeanor in Rhode Island faces a maximum of six months incarceration and a fine of no more than $500.

People convicted of either a misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor offense can receive a sentence of jail time, fines, or both. Also, sentences in individual cases can differ significantly from one another, and courts can give sentences lower than the maximum allowed by law.

Examples of Crimes in Each Level

The following list of misdemeanor and petty misdemeanor crimes represents a small sample of crimes in Rhode Island.


Petty Misdemeanors

  • Disorderly conduct
  • Failure to render assistance
  • Releasing toxic vapors
  • Damage to instrumentality of public transportation
  • Unauthorized presence on locomotive or freight train

Talk to a Rhode Island Defense Attorney

Even though Rhode Island misdemeanor charges are less serious than felonies, you always need to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer near you whenever you’re charged with a crime. Even if you haven’t been charged, but have only been approached by investigators, you should contact a local criminal defense attorney immediately. Your ability to protect your rights often depends on receiving legal advice from an experienced attorney at every step of the criminal justice process. Only lawyers who have represented clients in Rhode Island courts and who have experience negotiating with state prosecutors can give you the legal advice you need to protect your rights.

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