According to Rhode Island state law, trespassing is defined as entering onto public or private property without authorization or permission to do so. This crime is considered a misdemeanor offense, which is punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $1,000.
A simple trespass conviction can result in a permanent criminal record. This can have lasting effects outside of the courtroom and jail system, in terms of your personal and professional reputation.
Fortunately, you have a right to an attorney if you’ve been charged with a crime. A lawyer who has experience dealing with these types of crimes can help you either get your charges reduced or your entire case dismissed.
Since trespassing is a misdemeanor offense, most prosecutors will offer a “plea bargain” to either reduced charges or reduced penalties. Although you are able to accept a plea bargain without legal representation, you will only know if you’re getting a good deal with the help of a lawyer.
On the other hand, if you believe you are innocent and plan to take your case to trial, you will definitely require experienced legal services from a qualified attorney. There are several defenses to criminal trespassing charges and a lawyer will know which ones apply to your case. He or she can investigate your arrest, assess the evidence, cross-examine witnesses, and build a strong defense strategy to obtain the most favorable outcome.