State Laws

Rhode Island State Laws

Rhode Island Law Articles | Rhode Island Gun Laws | Rhode Island Divorce | Rhode Island Bankruptcy Laws | Rhode Island DUI Laws | Rhode Island Labor Laws | Rhode Island Marijuana Laws

Rhode Island was the last of the thirteen colonies to ratify the new Constitution but was the first to declare war on Britain. As the smallest state in the country, Rhode Island is known as the Ocean State for its many inlets and bays.

Fifteen states have declared capital punishment to be illegal in their borders. Rhode Island is one of these abolishing states and was the second to do so after Michigan. Rhode Island also states that prostitution is fully legal within its borders as long as activity takes place indoors. Medical marijuana is also legal in the state.

Studies have shown that this small state is considered the ninth-safest state in the nation. However this state has high property taxes, local taxes, real estate taxes, and state taxes. Like these laws Rhode Island has created others to govern its people. Some of these include bankruptcy laws, expungement laws, felony conviction laws, divorce laws, labor laws, gun laws, and drunken driving laws.

Rhode Island has two forms of bankruptcy for personal use: Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy and Chapter Seven bankruptcy. Chapter Thirteen bankruptcy allows individuals to eliminate their debts through personal payment plans designed for specific monthly payments for no more than five years.

Chapter Seven bankruptcy allows individuals to eliminate their debts through property liquidation. Some kinds of property are deemed exempt from liquidation and include motor vehicles, furniture, real estate, some kinds of jewelry, books, and other less valuable, personal items. Bankruptcy is not granted to all those who apply.

All divorce petitions in the United States are to be filed to an individual's county of residency. If a petition is incorrectly filed, the case will be dismissed. Rhode Island requires that all those filing for Rhode Island divorces first reside in its state borders for at least one year prior to filing. Rhode Island law states that only one individual is required to file for divorce and may do so in his or her county of residency or that of his or her spouse, if a spouse lives in a different county.

Drunken Driving
When an individual is charged with driving under the influence he or she can be tried in one of two ways. The first is on charges of intoxication where evidence will be produced to prove he or she was intoxicated. These can include blood alcohol content levels, driving patterns, and physical appearance. The second is on per se charges where he or she can be convicted solely on the fact that he or she had a blood alcohol content above the legal limit.

In Rhode Island no permit is required to purchase a rifle or a shotgun. Seven days after a purchase, however, an individual is required to complete a safety course. This course must be completed prior to the purchase's completion. No firearm registration is required nor are permits for carrying shotguns or rifles. Permits are required when possessing and carrying handguns.