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Have you been arrested on a trespassing charge in Rhode Island?  We can help.  Our team of Rhode Island Criminal Defense Lawyers at the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm have defended thousands of criminal cases including individuals charged with trespassing throughout the State of Rhode Island.  Our effective and proven criminal defense strategies have helped many of our clients stay out of jail, avoid a criminal convictions, and oftentimes leave the criminal justice system with no criminal record at all.

Rhode Island Trespassing Lawyers
Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm
Available 24/7 at 401-228-8271

We have experience representing clients facing Rhode Island Trespassing Charges and related criminal offenses.  Our criminal defense strategies have a proven track record of success.  Let us put them to work for you.  We are available 24/7 to discuss your Rhode Island trespassing charge at 401-228-8271.

Should I hire a Rhode Island Trespassing Attorney?

Since you are researching Rhode Island Trespassing charges you now know how severe the penalties for trespass or domestic trespass can be. With the possibility of a year in prison, a $1,000, and potentially domestic violence enhancements, you should not leave the outcome of a trespass charge to chance.  If you or a loved one has been charged with trespass or domestic trespass, call us today and put one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys to work fighting your case.

What is a trespassing charge in Rhode Island?

Trespassing under Rhode Island law is when an individual having no legitimate purpose for doing so enters or remains on the land of another after having been forbidden to do so.  More simply put, if you enter onto a property having been told not to or you refuse to leave property after being told by the owner to do so, you may be charged with trespassing. 

What is the criminal trespassing statute in R.I.?

“Willful trespass – Remaining on land after warning” is a misdemeanor and is codified in Rhode Island General Law 11-44-26.  If the parties or individuals involved are in a domestic relationship as defined in Rhode Island General Laws chapter 12-29 then a conviction can include the domestic enhancements spelled out in Rhode Island General Law 12-29-5. 

What is the penalty a Rhode Island trespassing charge?

Under Rhode Island General Law 11-44-26 trespassing is categorized as a full misdemeanor, and is punishable by up to one year in prison, up to a $1,000 fine, or both.  A conviction may also include a continued “no trespass order” which forbids a defendant from returning to the property by order of law.

What are common forms of criminal trespassing?

While trespassing comes in many forms, some are more common than others.  For instance, an individual enters onto property despite there being posted warnings not to do so.  Another common example is when someone has previously been ejected or banned from a place, often a nightclub, bar, or casino, and returns to the premises anyway.  There is also the instance where someone is told that they must vacate the premises but refuses to do so. 

Are there any defenses to Rhode Island trespassing charges?

Absolutely.  While trespassing may seem straightforward to those unaccustomed to the law, there are various exceptions and loopholes that can be used as a defense to a trespassing charge and they vary on a case by case basis.  For instance, there may be an issue of “notice,” meaning that the individual charged may not have any reason to know that they were not allowed on the property.  Another example is a claim of right to the property, which is to say that the person charged with trespassing may be legally entitled to enter or remain on the property.  There may also be examples of necessity or a legal justification for something that may otherwise be an illegal trespass.  If you or a loved one has been charged with trespassing, let our experienced attorneys work with you to find the best defense to win your case.

Can a landlord press trespassing charges to evict a tenant?

Under Rhode Island General Law 11-44-26(b) lawful tenants or ex-tenants are precluded from prosecution for trespass by the authorities if they had rightfully entered the premises at the beginning of the tenancy or lease.  The law does not allow a landlord to circumvent the lawful eviction process by having a tenant charged with trespassing; rather, the law requires the landlord to go through the appropriate civil process.  If you or a loved one has been the victim of an illegal trespassing charge by a landlord, call one of our attorneys now to aggressively defend your rights.

Is trespassing charge a felony or a misdemeanor?

Under Rhode Island law, trespassing is categorized as a one year misdemeanor.  While a misdemeanor is certainly less severe than a felony, the penalties for a trespassing conviction can be cost you your liberty and tarnish your criminal record.  It can make it difficult to find employment or housing, and in some cases jeopardize your ability to obtain a loan.  Do not let the misdemeanor fool you, you need an attorney to make sure that your rights are protected, and you have the best possible chance of success.

Is trespassing the same thing as breaking and entering?

While there are similarities between breaking and entering and trespass, they are not the same thing.  Under Rhode Island law, a trespass is considered a “lesser included” offense of breaking and entering.  Notwithstanding that breaking and entering is a felony and trespass is a misdemeanor, as trespassing conviction can still have life-altering consequences in a similar way that a breaking and entering conviction can.

Is trespassing a domestic violence offense?

Potentially yes.  If the parties are in a domestic relationship as defined in Rhode Island General Laws 12-29, then the offense becomes a “domestic trespass.”  In addition to the penalties for vandalism outlined in 11-44-26, those convicted on domestic trespass are also subject to the domestic violence penalties, including having to complete domestic violence counseling and the imposition of a No Contact Order against the victim of the trespass.  Domestic trespass is legally characterized much the same way as domestic assault and the ramifications can be life changing, so it is important to have a skilled, aggressive attorney fighting your case.

Rhode Island Trespassing Laws

§ 11-44-26. Willful trespass – Remaining on land after warning – Exemption for tenants holding over.

(a) Every person who willfully trespasses or, having no legitimate purpose for his or her presence, remains upon the land of another or upon the premises or curtilage of the domicile of any person legally entitled to the possession of that domicile, after having been forbidden to do so by the owner of the land or the owner's duly authorized agent or a person legally entitled to the possession of the premises, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.

(b) This section shall not apply to tenants or occupants of residential premises who, having rightfully entered the premises at the commencement of the tenancy or occupancy, remain after that tenancy or occupancy has been or is alleged to have been terminated. The owner or landlord of the premises may recover possession only through appropriate civil proceedings.

(c) Where the provisions of The Domestic Violence Prevention Act, chapter 29 of title 12, are applicable, the penalties for violation of this section shall also include the penalties as provided in § 12-29-5.

Attorney Marin Named A SuperLawyer for Ten Consecutive Years 2014-2023

Attorney Matthew Marin has been named a Rhode Island SuperLawyer for 10 consecutive years from 2014 thru 2023. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Rhode Island are selected by the Research Team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers selects lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement in their practice area.

Rhode Island Members of the National College for DUI Defense

Attorneys Matthew Marin and Kensley Barrett are both Rhode Island General Members of the National College for DUI Defense. Members represent some of the most experienced and cutting edge DUI defense attorney's throughout the Country. Nationwide, DUI laws are extremely complex and constantly changing and the College facilitates the exchange of innovative defenses throughout the Country.