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Trespassing may be defined as the act of knowingly entering another person’s property without permission. Such action is held to infringe upon a property owner’s legal right to enjoy the benefits of ownership. In Rhode Island, most trespassing charges are classified as misdemeanors. However, circumstances could elevate the charge to a felony, particularly if it is combined with a domestic violence allegation or it is not the first offense. Even a misdemeanor charge of trespass can result in substantial monetary fines and even jail time, so it is vital that you hire qualified legal representation to protect you throughout the legal process.

Archambault Law consists of a team of seasoned legal professionals, led by Attorney Stephen Archambault, who are ready to provide you with the representation necessary to ensure the best possible outcome in your trespassing case. We realize that an arrest can be a high-stress event for most people and will work with you from your arrest to your verdict to ensure you understand the charges and the necessary proceedings to bring your case to completion.

Types of Trespassing Charges

There are two situations in which you might be charged with trespass:

  • You knowingly enter a person’s property without permission to be there
  • You legally enter the property but do not leave when the property owner orders your exit

In the latter situation, courts have even ruled that the property owner may use force to remove the trespasser if the individual does not leave voluntarily.

The intricacies of a trespass charge in Rhode Island can be somewhat complex, depending on the specific circumstances of your case. It is difficult to navigate the legal landscape on your own if you do not have any background in Rhode Island law. Fortunately, the team at Archambault Law has all the experience and expertise necessary to make sense of your case and ensure a positive outcome whenever possible.

Penalties for Misdemeanor Trespassing

If you are found guilty of misdemeanor trespassing, you could face monetary fines of up to $1,000. If the trespassing took place on private recreation property, such as a golf course, the maximum penalty is $500. In addition, a conviction can lead to up to one year of imprisonment. The charges will remain on your record for many years as well, which could impact your ability to get some jobs or financial services. Because the impact of misdemeanor trespassing can be long-lasting, we will do everything possible to have your charges dismissed or reduced.

Burden of Proof and Possible Defenses

To secure a conviction on the misdemeanor trespass charge, the prosecution must show two circumstances exist:

  • The person accused of trespassing did not have a valid reason for entering the person’s property
  • Advanced notice was posted to prohibit the accused from entering the property

Advanced notice may be as simple as posting a “No Trespassing” sign at the entrance of the property. However, if a notification does not exist, this fact can be used in favor of the defendant. Another possible defense for trespassing charges might include the fact that the trespasser entered the property to retrieve personal items. In this case, the allegation that the individual did not have a valid reason for entering the property would be negated.

What You Need to Know about Domestic Trespassing

Domestic trespassing is a more severe charge that might include other allegations of domestic violence, domestic assault and battery, or domestic disorderly conduct. These charges may result in heftier fines and more jail time. In addition, the accused may be required to participate in domestic violence counseling. There is also a substantial social stigma associated with these charges that could affect both your personal and professional life. Qualified legal representation is essential in these cases as well, to protect both your privacy and your rights, while working toward the best completion of your case possible.

The Legal Help You Need, When You Need It Most

Trespassing may not seem like a significant criminal offense, but the consequences associated with the action can have long-lasting ramifications. The only way to ensure you receive the best possible verdict in your case is to enlist qualified, experienced legal representation. The team at Archambault Law is prepared to defend your trespassing charges and provide an outcome that is positive, based on the circumstances of your case. To receive a complimentary case evaluation and answers to your legal questions, contact Archambault Law today at 401-231-9700.

Ever been charged for trespassing? Contact Archambault Law Offices for our help.Contact Us Now