In December of 2010, our Client was charged by the Narragansett Police with (1) one count of felony breaking and entering and (2) two counts of misdemeanor larceny under $500.00. Through a series of plea negotiations and legal issues raised, Attorney Humphrey was able to have the felony charge dismissed and recharged as misdemeanor willful trespass. The benefit to our Client was that he avoided a lengthy jail sentence and did not sustain a criminal conviction.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Law, 11-8-2, breaking and entering is defined as:
Every person who shall break and enter at any time of the day or night any dwelling house or apartment, whether the dwelling house or apartment is occupied or not, or any outbuilding or garage attached to or adjoining any dwelling house, without the consent of the owner or tenant of the dwelling house, apartment, building, or garage, shall be imprisoned for not less than two (2) years and not more than ten (10) years for the first conviction, and for the second and subsequent conviction shall be imprisoned for not less than four (4) years and not more than fifteen (15) years, or fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or both.
(b) Every person convicted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall be ordered to make restitution to the victim of the offense or to perform up to five hundred (500) hours of public community restitution work, or both, or any combination of them approved by the sentencing judge. The court may not waive the obligation to make restitution and/or public community restitution work. The restitution and/or public community restitution work shall be in addition to any fine or sentence which may be imposed and not in lieu of the fine or sentence.
R.I.G.L. 11-44-26 defines willful trespass as:
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.
If you or a family member have been charged with breaking and entering or other serious crimes please allow attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Contact Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.