As reported in the July 18, 2014 edition of the Providence Journal, a Massachusetts man was found guilty of trespass and disorderly conduct and sentenced by a Judge this week. The man was arrested earlier this year for trespassing at Taylor Swift's home in Westerly, RI. When police arrived, the man acted in a disorderly manner, swearing at the officers. The Judge sentenced the man to one (1) year probation on the trespass charge and six (6) months probation on the disorderly conduct charge. In addition, the man will have to undergo anger management counseling and have no contact with Taylor Swift or her property.
Pursuant to Rhode Island General Laws 11-44-26, trespass is defined 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.
(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.
The penalties if convicted include a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.
Disorderly conduct, R.I.G.L. 11-45-1, is broadly defined to include any number of behaviors. A person commits disorderly conduct if he or she intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly:
(1) Engages in fighting or threatening, or in violent or tumultuous behavior;
(2) In a public place or near a private residence that he or she has no right to occupy, disturbs another person by making loud and unreasonable noise which under the circumstances would disturb a person of average sensibilities;
(3) Directs at another person in a public place offensive words which are likely to provoke a violent reaction on the part of the average person so addressed;
(4) Alone or with others, obstructs a highway, street, sidewalk, railway, waterway, building entrance, elevator, aisle, stairway, or hallway to which the public or a substantial group of the public has access or any other place ordinarily used for the passage of persons, vehicles, or conveyances;
(5) Engages in conduct which obstructs or interferes physically with a lawful meeting, procession, or gathering;
(6) Enters upon the property of another and for a lascivious purpose looks into an occupied dwelling or other building on the property through a window or other opening; or
(7) Who without the knowledge or consent of the individual, looks for a lascivious purpose through a window, or any other opening into an area in which another would have a reasonable expectation of privacy, including, but not limited to, a restroom, locker room, shower, changing room, dressing room, bedroom, or any other such private area, not withstanding any property rights the individual may have in the location in which the private area is located.
The penalties if convicted include imprisonment for a term of not more than six (6) months, or fined not more than five hundred dollars ($500), or both. Although not in this case, both trespass and disorderly conduct charges can be charged as domestic violence crimes if there is a specific relationship between the victim and the defendant.
If you or a family member has been charged with trespass, disorderly conduct or other domestic violence crimes, please allow Attorney Robert H. Humphrey's reputation, experience and skill to successfully guide you through the legal process. Please contact Attorney Robert H. Humphrey, Esq., at 401-816-5862 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.