A trespassing conviction can result in serious penalties, like having to pay damages to the property owner or jail time. The crime of trespassing occurs when a person intentionally enters or stays on another person’s property without expressed consent or after having been told to avoid the property.
The key element in trespassing cases is “intent.” In order to be charged with trespassing, it must be proven that the accused knowingly entered the property without having permission or remained on the property after they became aware that their presence is unauthorized. Situations involving a person who accidently enters a property are not generally treated as trespassing.
Is a Warning or Notice Required?
Some state laws require a warning or notice that informs people they aren’t welcome on the property before trespassing charges can be issued. Property owners can directly tell trespassers to leave their property, or they can use a sign or fence to mark off their property limits.
Specific examples of criminal trespassing include:
- Hunting on someone else’s land
- Landscaping someone else’s property
- Tampering with vending machines
- Squatting in someone else’s vehicle
When it comes to public spaces, you can be charged with trespassing if you stay after closing time or refuse to leave when asked by the property owner.
Trespassing crimes are related to burglary crimes, though the consequences are less severe. In general, trespassing is a misdemeanor. However, some trespassing situations can be treated as felonies. Trespassers can also face a lawsuit from the property owner in addition to criminal charges.
Get Help From a Rhode Island Defense Attorney
At The Law Office of Thomas C. Thomasian, Esq, we are dedicated to helping clients seek justice. We understand the overwhelming stress of facing criminal charges or having to deal with a lawsuit, which is why we are here to guide you an make sure your rights are protected. Let us review your case today so we can get started building your legal strategy.
Call (401) 312-4385 to schedule your free consultation with our Rhode Island trespassing lawyers. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.