Under Rhode Island state law, trespass is defined as a misdemeanor offense of entering onto public or private property without authorization or permission to do so.
There are two ways to obtain a trespass offense. You can be charged by entering onto private property with disruptive or violent intentions against the owner, or entering a property without a legitimate purpose and refusing to leave the property when asked. Properties range from private homes and businesses to public parks and recreational centers with posted closing hours. A common and legitimate reason for an alleged trespasser to enter or remain on another person's property is to collect personal property.
Rhode Island Penalties for Trespass Offenses
Combined with two or more previous domestic violence convictions, or obtained along with a domestic violence allegation, a trespassing accusation can escalate from a simple misdemeanor to a felony charge. In these cases, punishment may include heftier fines and prison time exceeding one year.
In some cases posted notices, such as No Trespassing signs, offer advanced warnings against entering the premises and serve as the owners means of communication with potential trespassers. However often times these posted notices are not clearly visible or effectively placed.
If you or someone, you know has been charged with trespassing contact Trespass Defense Attorney Chad Bank immediately at 401-229-5088 or fill out our contact form for more information.
§ 11-44-26 Willful trespass – Remaining on land after warning – (a) Every person who willfully trespasses or, having no legitimate purpose for his or her presence, remains upon the land of another ..., after having been forbidden to do so by the owner of the land... shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.