The District Court
handles arraignments for felony and misdemeanor cases. Misdemeanor cases
are punishable for up to one (1) year in prison and fines are not to exceed
$1,000. There are no jury trials heard in District Court. If you are being
charged with a crime, you are referred to as a "defendant."
If you are posting
bail on behalf of a defendant or for yourself, there are a few procedures
that you should know.
Pursuant to G.L. 1956 §
2-13-10, any balance of bail funds available after the payment of
restitution, fines, and costs, or any other assessments issued by any court
within the Rhode Island Judiciary, must be refunded to the defendant or the
individual who posted the money on behalf of the defendant.
If you are a party
posting bail for a defendant at the court, you must have a license or a
Rhode Island Identification Card to post bail.
If you post bail for a
defendant at the prison or at the police station with a Bail Commissioner
(Justice of the Peace), any fees that you pay are non-refundable and are not
part of your bail.
Under G.L. 1956 §
12-10-2(d), a person arrested is afforded the opportunity to be arraigned
and released on bail by a Bail Commissioner (Justice of the Peace), when
appropriate, if taken into custody when court is not in session.