The District Court Unit in Providence County prosecutes a multitude of criminal matters brought forward in the 6th Division District Court and the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal. Each day, District Court Unit prosecutors are responsible for conducting bail hearings on capital cases and enumerated drug delivery offenses, hearings to which any defendant who is held without bail is entitled, according to the Rhode Island General Laws and Article 1 Section 9 of the Rhode Island Constitution.
Unit prosecutors also regularly handle cases against defendants accused of violating the terms and conditions of either their bail on an existing case or of a pending sentence of probation or suspended time. Additionally, Unit prosecutors handle motions to expunge, motions to reduce and/or modify bail and bail conditions, motions to vacate no-contact orders, applications for post-conviction relief and waivers of information for certain felony offenses on a daily basis.
The Department of Attorney General has exclusive authority to prosecute every charge of breathalyzer refusal brought under Rhode Island General Law §31-27-2.1. The District Court Unit prosecutes all breathalyzer-refusal cases at the Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal.
The District Court Unit prosecutes pretrial and trial matters brought by various state law enforcement agencies throughout Rhode Island, primarily the Rhode Island State Police. In addition, Unit prosecutors handle all criminal cases referred by the state Contractors Registration and Licensing Board (CRLB) and from the Department of Labor and Training (RI-DLT).
The District Courts traditionally are the busiest courts in the judicial system.