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Maria F. Deaton

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Practice Areas:

  • Criminal Law


Maria Ferro Deaton has over 15 years of experience as a litigator. She has served as a criminal prosecutor in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts. During her tenure as an Assistant District Attorney Maria was responsible for the prosecution of major felony cases, including narcotics trafficking, motor vehicle homicides, operating under the influence cases, domestic violence and sexual assault cases (including civil commitment for sexually dangerous persons). In addition to her duties as an Assistant District Attorney, Maria acted as a judicial liaison for the Portuguese speaking community. As a specialized bi-lingual prosecutor Maria worked closely with the Brazilian and Portuguese speaking community to educate them regarding domestic violence and its resultant effects on all involved. This included a full explanation of the court system, resultant penalties of domestic violence crimes and resources available to the victims of domestic violence and their families. Maria served as an Assistant District Attorney for the Cape and Islands District Attorneys Office for approximately 6 years and tried over 100 jury trials to verdict.

After leaving the District Attorney's office Maria joined the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office. For approximately 6 years she worked as a Special Assistant Attorney General, serving as lead counsel for the State of Rhode Island in both misdemeanor trials and felony jury trials in the Rhode Island Superior Courts and District Courts. During the course of her employment in the Attorney General's office she worked in the Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Unit, the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit and served as the designated Firearms prosecutor. As a result she has handled all levels of narcotics possession and distributions matters. She has handled all types of firearm cases, including unlicensed possession of firearms, assault with a firearm and murder. She has also handled domestic assaults, robberies, breaking and entering, child molestation and sexual assaults. Her duties ranged from assisting during the investigative stages to handling all levels of litigation (including, presenting cases to the county and statewide grand juries, to arraignment, pretrial matters, such as bail hearings, motions, legal research, preparing legal memoranda, oral arguments and jury trials).

In 1997 Maria moved to Yuma, Arizona where she opened her own law firm. While in Arizona she represented clients in matters involving personal injury, divorce, child support, child custody, and various criminal issues. She zealously represented her clients from pre-trial negotiations through trial and post trial matters.

Maria has shared her vast litigation experience with police officers, law student and lay persons. She has taught the RI State Police Academy on issues relating to DUI investigations; the Providence Police Municipal Academy regarding the Administration of Justice and Constitutional matters. Maria has taught various classes for the Barnstable and Sandwich Police Citizens Academies. She has covered numerous classes at Roger Williams University School of Law as a guest lecturer for Advanced Trial Advocacy. She has also served as a "Mock Trial" coach for middle school students.

Maria Ferro Deaton is a Rhode Island native. In 1993 she graduated from Providence College with a degree in Political Science. Maria received her Juris Doctorate degree from New England School of Law in 1996.


  • New England Law, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Juris Doctorate - 1996
  • Providence College
    • 1993
    • Major: Political Science

Bar Admission

  • Arizona, 1997
  • Massachusetts, 2000
  • Rhode Island, 2005
  • U.S. District Court, 2010


  • Portuguese

Professional Associations

  • Rhode Island Bar Association
  • Rhode Island Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Women's Bar Association