Sunday, June 20, 2010

Rhode Island Shoplifting Defense Lawyer Matthew T. Marin Announces the DISMISSAL of a RI Shoplifting Charge

Attorney Matthew T. Marin announces a recent victory for a client facing a Shoplifting charge. If you need assistance or are facing a Rhode Island Shoplifting Charges, contact Attorney Matthew T. Marin at 401-228-8271 or

POLICE REPORT: Client, a local college student, was seen on video at CVS taking items and concealing them on her person. Client then attempted to exit the store without paying for the items and was stopped by store security. Client was arrested and charged with misdemeanor shoplifting.

For More Information On Rhode Island Shoplifting Defense Visit Our Website at:

RI Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Matthew T. Marin Announces the DISMISSAL of RI Domestic Violence Charges

Attorney Matthew T. Marin announces a recent victory for a client facing a charge of Domestic Assault and Battery. If you need assistance or are facing a Rhode Island Domestic Assault and Battery Charges, contact Attorney Matthew T. Marin at 401-228-8271 or

POLICE REPORT: Client and his wife were intoxicated and had a verbal altercation. The altercation became heated and the Client allegedly hit his wife, threw her to the ground, and began choking her. A third party broke the fight up and the police were summonsed. Upon their arrival and after interviewing witnesses, the Police arrested the Client and charged him with one count of Domestic Simple Assault and Battery.

For More Information On Rhode Island Domestic Violence Defense Visit Our Website at:

Rhode Island Makes Changes to Probation Violation Laws and Procedures

R.I. modifies law on probationers after four-year campaign

Sunday, June 20, 2010

By John Hill

The Providence Journal / Bob Thayer

PROVIDENCE — People imprisoned for probation violations will be freed if they are cleared of the charge that led to their being sent back to prison under a new law Governor Carcieri allowed to take effect without his signature.

The governor’s decision this month capped a four-year effort by supporters to change what they said was an inequity in the state’s probation system, one that they said led to people who were found not guilty of crimes, in effect, serving time for them.

“Sweet,” said John Prince Jr., chairman of Direct Action for Rights and Equality, who was sent back to prison in 1991 because he was arrested on a robbery charge while on probation. That robbery charge was dismissed. Had the new law been in effect then, he would have been freed.

“I’m, like, I can’t describe how I feel,” he said.

Carcieri vetoed previous versions in 2007 and 2008. In response to his past criticisms, supporters said, this year’s bill was tightened to limit the number of cases in which probation violators were allowed to appeal.

A person convicted of a crime can be put on probation instead of serving prison time, or serve some time, get out of prison and be put on probation. In exchange, the probationer agrees to be of good behavior and “keep the peace.”

Under the old system, if that person on probation were charged with a new crime, the fact of the new charge alone was usually considered sufficient evidence of failure to keep the peace, and the person could be sent back to prison to serve some or all of the probation sentence. Even if the probationer was later found not guilty of the new charge, he or she still had to stay in prison.

Now, a person serving a probation-violation sentence can go before a judge and request release if he or she is found not guilty of the new charge, if the charge is dismissed, if a grand jury refuses to indict or if the attorney general decides not to press it.

Carcieri spokeswoman Amy P. Kempe said the governor decided to let this year’s bill take effect in light of the legislature having approved versions of it three times and the narrowing scope in this year’s bill.

If Prince couldn’t describe how he felt, Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch could. He said he was disappointed.

Lynch, who began his prosecution career handling violation hearings, said his office had worked with the governor and legislature on other changes, such as requiring the state to present more proof at a violation hearing.

He said his main objection was that the new law requires judges to release a probationer when the violation charge is dropped. Had the new law given the state a chance to argue against release in some cases, Lynch said his office might have been able to support the bill.

Rhode Island makes more use of probation and parole than most states. In a study of 2007 sentencing statistics, the Washington, D.C.-based Pew Center on the States found that 26,843 Rhode Islanders were on probation or parole, six times the number in the Adult Correctional Institutions.

The analysis said 1 in 31 Rhode Islanders was on either probation or parole, the fifth-highest ratio among the states. But it said Rhode Island was also less likely to resort to a prison sentence. The state’s imprisonment ratio was 1 in every 187 residents, which puts it 46th out of the 50 states.New probation release law

Jailed probation violators can now be released if the charge they were arrested on:

•Results in a not guilty verdict at trial

•Doesn’t lead to an indictment by a grand jury

•Is dismissed

•Is dropped for lack of evidence

•Isn’t prosecuted because the state doubts the defendant’s guilt

Monday, June 14, 2010

Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyer Matthew T. Marin Announces the DISMISSAL of Felony Witness Intimidation Charges

Attorney Matthew T. Marin announces a recent victory for a client facing the charges of Witness Intimidation, Disturbing the Peace, Disorderly Conduct, and Threats to Commit a Crime. If you need assistance or are facing misdemeanor or felony criminal charges, contact Attorney Matthew T. Marin at 401-228-8271 or more information, read the Attleboro Sun’s reporting in a recent article:


Client and her Husband had traveled to Olive Garden for dinner. Once at the Olive Garden, a verbal argument ensued with another couple. The police were summoned, and charged the Client with a number of very serious criminal charges, including Felony Witness Intimidation.

For More Information On Our Aggressive and Experienced Criminal Defense Visit Our Website at:

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Rhode Island Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Matthew T. Marin Announces the DISMISSAL of Rhode Island Domestic Violence Charges

Attorney Matthew T. Marin announces a recent victory for a client facing the charges of Domestic Assault and Battery as well as Domestic Disorderly Conduct. If you need assistance or are facing a Rhode Island Domestic Violence Charges, contact Attorney Matthew T. Marin at 401-228-8271 or

POLICE REPORT: Client and his significant other had gone out to a local bar to celebrate their upcoming graduation. At one point, the two became separated and the Client lost contact and was not able to reach his significant other via telephone. The two met up later in the night and both were highly intoxicated. An argument ensued regarding the lack of contact, the Client then allegedly assaulted the victim. Campus security heard the argument and entered the room with the Client holding the victim down on the ground. Police were summonsed and charged the Client with Domestic Assault and Battery and Domestic Disorderly Conduct.

For More Information On Rhode Island Domestic Violence Defense Visit Our Website at:

Rhode Island DUI Lawyer Matthew T. Marin Announces Recent DUI and Breathalyzer Refusal Victory

Attorney Matthew T. Marin announces a recent victory for a client facing the charges of First Offense DUI / BAC Unknown and Breathalyzer Refusal. If you need assistance or are facing a Rhode Island Drunk Driving or Breathalyzer Refusal Charge, contact Attorney Matthew T. Marin at 401-228-8271 or

CHARGES:Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and Breathalyzer Refusal
Client was driving home from the bar. On the ride home, a local Police Officer witnessed the Client's motor vehicle travel into the breakdown lane, cross over the double yellow line multiple times, and make a left-hand turn without signaling. The Officer initiated a motor vehicle stop. Immediately upon speaking with the Client the Officer detected a strong odor of alcohol, bloodshot and watery eyes, and mumbled speech. The Officer requested the Client submit to standardized field sobriety tests, which the Client failed. The Officer placed the Client under arrest, transported her to the station, and requested that she submit to a breathalyzer test. The Client refused to submit to the breathalyzer test and was charged with Driving Under the Influence (BAC Unknown) and Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test (Breathalyzer).
- Breathalyzer Refusal Charge: DISMISSED
- Driving Under the Influence Charge: AMENDED TO RECKLESS DRIVING with NO FURTHER LOSS OF LICENSE (not a criminal conviction)

For More Information About Our Rhode Island Drunk Driving Defense Lawyers Visit Our Website at:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Three Men Arraigned on Insurance Fraud Charges in 2008 Car Fire

If you or a loved one is facing arson or fraud charges, call to speak with Attorney Matthew Marin now at 401-228-8271 for a free, confidential consultation. Attorney Marin can advise you and help you in dealing with Police Detectives and on-going investigations, a critical part of evidence gathering process, with the goal of effectively asserting your Constitutional Rights. If you have been contacted by the Police and they have asked you to give a statement, call an experienced criminal defense lawyer regarding your rights and options before speaking with the police.

Three Men Arraigned on Insurance Fraud Charges in 2008 Car Fire

By Staff reports
Posted Jun 11, 2010 @ 10:05 AM

A lengthy investigation into a November 2008 vehicle fire in a remote section of Rehoboth resulted in the recent arraignments of three men on insurance fraud and conspiracy charges.

On June 1 in Taunton District Court, Woonsocket, R.I. residents Delin Dambra, 29, and Craig Ostrowski, 22, and Attleboro resident Wesley Salvas, 28, were arraigned on charges brought by Rehoboth police officer Brian Ramos.

Dambra, was charged with burning a motor vehicle to defraud the insurer, accessory before the fact, accessory after the fact and conspiracy, all felonies.

Ostrowski and Salvas are each charged with burning a motor vehicle, burning a motor vehicle to defraud the insurer and conspiracy, all felonies.
The charges were made after a lengthy investigation into a vehicle fire that occurred on Nov. 19, 2008 on Starr Lane. This area is in a remote section of town by the Swansea line.

The vehicle, a grey 1999 Jeep Cherokee, was fully engulfed in flames when police and fire personnel arrived on the scene. The vehicle was destroyed by the fire.

The suspects' next date in court is July 7, 2010 for a pre-trial conference.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

RI Supreme Court rules that Credit will not be given for time served on Parole

Last week the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruled against a prisoner seeking credit for time served on Home Confinement after his release from the ACI. While the decision is not unsuprising, it does further limit the rights of inmates after they have been convicted.

In the case before the Court, the prisoner had been sentenced to time to serve at the ACI. Due to so-called "good time", he was released on parole. A condition of his parole was to be monitored by Home Confinement with an ankle bracelet. This is a typical scenario. While on Home Confinement, the prisoner violated the terms of the parole and was sent back to the ACI. The issue before the Court decided was whether the prisoner should be given "credit" for the amount of time that he served on Home Confinement.

The Rhode Island Department of Attorney General argued that he should not be given credit based on the language of the Statute. The Court agreed, basing their decision on the language of the Statute and the purpose behind Parole. If you have any questions about your or a family member's situation regarding Parole, Home Confinement, or Probation call Attorney Matthew Marin at 401-228-8271 for a free, confidential consultation.

Read the Full Story as reported by the Providence Journal on June 4, 2010 below:

R.I. high court clarifies ‘time served’

Providence Journal
01:00 AM EDT on Saturday, June 5, 2010
By Tracy Breton

PROVIDENCE — The state Supreme Court ruled Friday that electronic monitoring in the community does not constitute confinement in terms of computing time served for parolees who later get sent back to prison for violating the terms of their release.

The court’s 4-0 decision (the newest justice, Gilbert V. Indeglia, did not participate) overturned a lower court judgment made by Superior Court Judge Netti C. Vogel, who sided with the prisoner, Harold E. Curtis, 38, whose last known address was 208 Prairie Ave., Providence.

Curtis pleaded no-contest on July 30, 2003, in Kent County Superior Court to breaking into and entering an East Greenwich dwelling with intent to commit a felony. Vogel sentenced him to 10 years, with 5 years to serve in the Adult Correctional Institutions and 5 years suspended. He was also placed on five years’ probation. Curtis’ sentence was made retroactive to Dec. 10, 2002, when he was originally imprisoned for the offense.

Curtis was paroled on March 22, 2006, but was ordered placed on home confinement with electronic monitoring for 90 days. He was sent back to the ACI as a parole violator on June 1, 2007 — the court decision does not reflect the circumstances. The Department of Corrections determined that, with credit Curtis had earned for good behavior while behind bars, his release date would be July 14, 2008.

But Curtis disagreed with that computation and representing himself, filed a petition with Vogel, contending he should be given credit for the three months he served on home confinement.

Vogel agreed with Curtis’ interpretation and, in June 2008, ordered his immediate release. The Department of Corrections and the attorney general’s office filed an appeal, Vogel’s decision was stayed, and Friday the high court vacated the Superior Court judgment. Curtis, who was represented on appeal by a court-appointed attorney, ultimately completed his sentence at the ACI without credit for time served on confinement.

In Friday’s decision, written by Chief Justice Paul Suttell, the high court rejected Vogel’s interpretation of relevant state statutes. It noted that Rhode Island General Law states that “the time between the release of the prisoner under the [parole] permit and the prisoner’s return to the [ACI] ... under order of the board shall not be considered as any part of the prisoner’s original sentence.”

It also noted that, prior to being released on parole, Curtis signed an agreement that specified the terms and conditions of his parole and that “that agreement specifically excluded time spent on parole from being credited toward his full sentence.”

Prosecutors argued that time spent in the ACI and time spent in the community with electronic monitoring are qualitatively different.

“A correctional institution like the ACI is much more restrictive in terms of the rules imposed, the amount of surveillance, the lack of privacy and the curtailment of individual freedom and movement,” prosecutor Lauren S. Zurier argued in a brief submitted to the high court.

Prisoners do get credit for time served in the ACI while awaiting trial, but not while awaiting trial on home confinement.

However, community confinement with electronic monitoring can be meted out as an actual sentence in lieu of imprisonment.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


This pending legislation could mean big changes for the eligibility requirements for criminal record expungement. Individuals who were previously not eligible due to the Rhode Island Supreme Court's ruling in State v. Briggs in 2006-07 may potentially be eligible. If you are not sure if you are eligible to have your criminal record erased, call Attorney Matthew Marin at 401-228-8271 for a free consultation. We will examine your criminal history and explain to you how the new legislation may affect your ability to cleanse your criminal record.

House panel OKs sealing more criminal records

Providence Journal
7:31 PM Thu, May 27, 2010 |
Katherine Gregg Email

The House Judiciary Committee, chaired by lawyer-legislator Rep. David Caprio, D-Narragansett, has unanimously approved a bill to allow more convicted criminals to have their records sealed.

In addition to Caprio, those representatives voting for the bill were: Timothy Williamson, D-West Warwick; Amy G. Rice, D-Portsmouth; Edith Ajello, D-Providence; Roberto DaSilva, D-East Providence; Rodney Driver, D-Richmond; Robert Flaherty, D-Warwick; Donald Lally, D-Narragansett; Peter Martin, D-Newport; Brian Newberry, R-North Smithfield; Peter Palumbo, D-Cranston, and Scott Pollard, D-Foster.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- While all eyes are focused on the unveiling of the new state budget on Thursday, House and Senate committees will be voting on bills to allow many more convicted criminals to legally tell their prospective employers and landlords they have never been convicted of a crime.

Rhode Island judges are already allowed to permanently seal the record of nonviolent crimes by first offenders 5 years after completion of their sentence for a misdemeanor, 10 years after the completion of a sentence for a felony. A companion law allows a court clerk to automatically seal the records of anyone "acquitted or otherwise exonerated" of a crime with no prior felony record.

Since the year 2000, more than 74,000 criminal records have been permanently removed from public view. Click here to see a breakdown by year and type of crime.

The bills headed for votes by the House and Senate judiciary committees call for the automatic sealing, after five years, of the record of any crime for which an admitted criminal has been given a "deferred" sentence, regardless of the nature of the crime and the age or criminal history of the offender, as long as he or she stays out of trouble for that five-year period.

This would only apply to those who have plead guilty or no contest to the crime.

It remains unclear how many criminals get deferred sentences. But they are not uncommon, especially in cases where a defendant has negotiated a plea that spared the state a trial.

In past years, state judges have handed out deferred sentences to stalkers, domestic abusers and, in at least one case, an admitted child molester, along with an admitted co-conspirator in the Lincoln bribery scandal, the executive secretary for the Barrington police chief who pleaded no contest to embezzling town money, the admitted accomplice to a gunpoint robbery in Waterplace Park, and the former director of operations at Amtrol who pleaded no contest to stealing $186,000.

The debate over the automatic expungement of these types of records has, over the years, pitted a small, but vocal group of defense lawyers, criminal-rights advocates and representatives of the minority community against the police, the attorney general's office and the business community.

In the past, Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch cited a litany of concerns about allowing the destruction of records of people who, in exchange for no-jail sentences, had to admit their guilt in court.

He warned lawmakers that the destruction of the records would allow many more admitted criminals to declare to a potential employer that they had never been convicted of a crime. He told them it would undermine existing statutes that require background checks for job applicants, and "permanently erase the entire records of individuals who may now apply to work with our most vulnerable citizens -- children and the elderly -- without the standards and protections of the expungement statute."

As "one of the few states that allows for the expungement of an adult offense," Lynch told them, "Rhode Island already has one of the nation's most liberal expungement statutes."

But Democrat Lynch, now running for governor, has had a change of heart, and has asked lawmakers to introduce bills on his behalf to allow the automatic sealing of the records of cases in which an admitted criminal served out his or her deferred sentence without getting into further trouble.

The legislation specifically says: "If a person, after the completion of the five (5) year deferment period is determined by the court to have complied with all of the terms and conditions of the written deferral agreement,then the person shall be exonerated of the charges for which sentence was deferred and records relating to the criminal complaint, information or indictment shall be sealed. ''

Lynch spokesman Michael J. Healey said the attorney general felt compelled to reconsider his own position by what has happened in the years since the Rhode Island Supreme Court stopped the early expungement of the records of these admitted criminals, as soon as their five-year deferral periods ended.

"Since that decision," Healey said, "defendants have been less willing to enter into deferred-sentence agreements with us. This is unfortunate, because the deferred sentence is such an effective tool for both parties, the state and defendant."

In that November 2007 decision in a case known as state v. Briggs, the Supreme Court took the position that a "a plea of nolo contendere is an implied confession of guilt" for purposes of weighing who is and is not eligible for expungement, regardless of whether their cases resulted in deferred sentences.

Since the records would be sealed rather than destroyed as called for in earlier versions of the bill, and thus available for use by the police in subsequent investigations, Healey said Lynch views the current bill as "a compromise of public safety, the integrity of criminal records and the integrity of the process."

The Senate sponsors include Charles Levesque, D-Portsmouth, and Providence Senators Harold Metts, Paul Jabour and Juan Pichardo, and in the House, Providence Democrats Joseph Almeida, John Carnevale, Anastasia Williams, and Grace Diaz.

Governor Carcieri vetoed an earlier version of the bill in 2008.