RI & MA Property Defense Attorney

What are Property Offenses?


Property offenses are those crimes which relate to the lawful and non-consensual infringement on the property rights of another. The offenses range in severity from minor offenses such as trespass and vandalism to more serious offenses such as burglary. The law affords certain protections to property owners by affording them with the quiet use and enjoyment of their property and to be free from unwanted visitors or intruders. The law also protects the right to exclusively use and possess property without interference from others. Property offenses is a broad category of crimes that also involves theft crimes related to property such as stealing, larceny, robbery, embezzlement, and extortion. However, these offenses are addressed separately as Theft Offenses in this web content.

Read our case results and testimonials for property offenses.


Learn more about specific property offenses below:


If you have been charged with a property offense and need representation, contact the Rhode Island and Massachusetts defense attorneys at the Law Office of John L. Calcagni III by email or call today at (401) 351-5100 to schedule a free consultation.


What is Trespassing?


Trespassing is defined as the intentional entering onto the property of another without authority or permission. The property may consist of vacant land, a home or residence, a business, or even public land from which one is banned from entering. One may be banned from entering public land at certain times, such as the posted hours of a public park or all together such as a military base or installation. One may also be banned from a business open to the public or public land such as a beach or park if after having been asked to leave for causing a disturbance returns without authority or permission. If you have been charged with Trespass, it is important to seek legal representation immediately to protect your rights and to minimize the impact that a criminal charge of this nature may have on your life.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Penalties for Trespass Offenses

A trespassing accusation can escalate from a simple misdemeanor to a felony charge when combined with two or more previous domestic violence convictions.

§ 11-44-26 Willful trespass – Remaining on land after warning – (a) Every person who willfully trespasses or, having no legitimate purpose for his or her presence, remains upon the land of another …, after having been forbidden to do so by the owner of the land… shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both.
Rhode Island Criminal Offenses

…punished by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than thirty days or both such fine and imprisonment.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts-General Laws


What is Malicious Destruction of Property?


Malicious destruction of property is more commonly known as vandalism. Vandalism is willfully and maliciously destroying or defacing someone else’s property. Additionally, if you obstruct the use of someone elses property you could face this type of charge.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island Penalties for Vandalism

Depending on the value of the property in question you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. Property damage in excess of $250 is a felony.

§ 11-44-1 Vandalism – Obstruction of lawful pursuits – (a) Every person who shall willfully and maliciously or mischievously injure or destroy or write upon, paint, or otherwise deface the property of another, or obstruct the use of the property of another, or obstruct another in the prosecution of his or her lawful business or pursuits, in any manner, the punishment of which is not specifically provided for by statute, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000) and/or be imprisoned not exceeding one year, and shall be liable to make restitution for the injury or damage caused. Every person convicted of a first offense under this section shall be required to perform up to one hundred (100) hours of public community restitution work, and for a second or subsequent conviction shall be required to perform up to two hundred (200) hours of public community restitution work.
Rhode Island Criminal Offenses

Section 126A: Defacement of real or personal property – Whoever intentionally, willfully and maliciously or wantonly, paints, marks, scratches, etches or otherwise marks, injures, mars, defaces or destroys the real or personal property of another including but not limited to a wall, fence, building, sign, rock, monument, gravestone or tablet, shall be punished by imprisonment in a state prison for a term of not more than three years…
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts-General Laws


What is Breaking and Entering?


Breaking and Entering is a lesser included offense of the common law felony burglary. Breaking and Entering (B&E) is defined as the breaking and entering of a structure without permission of consent. Breaking describes gaining access to a structure by force. This may involve breaking and entering through a window, lifting up an unlocked window and entering inside, forcing a door open or ajar, opening and entering through an unlocked door without authority or permission, manipulating a locking mechanism, or unlocking a door with a key to which you have no authority or permission to possess. Entering describes crossing over a threshold, whether of a window sill, doorway or otherwise, necessary to gain access to the inside of the structure.

Breaking and entering may be committed on a variety of structures. The common law offense related to dwelling homes. It has been extended over time to now include a house, condominium, apartment, business, school, college, church or public land. Unlike the more serious offense of burglary, breaking and entering does not require the intent to commit a felony once inside the targeted structure. This crime may also be consummated at any time to include day and night without distinction.

There are various factors that can aggravate the severity of a breaking and entering to which courts and prosecutors may cite for increased punishments. These factors include the manner of Breaking and entering; extent of damage (or absence thereof) caused to Break and enter the structure; extent of damage caused to the interior and contents of the structure; possession of weapons by the offender(s); presence or absence of occupants in the structure at the time of the Breaking and Entering; actual use of weapons to inflict harm or fear to the occupant(s); injuries (or absence thereof) sustained by the occupant(s); nature and circumstances of the victim such as age, identity, health, and status; and actions of the offender(s) once inside the structure. Breaking and entering, like burglary, is the type of crime for which courts and prosecutors will want to punish offenders with a jail sentence. If you have been charged with Breaking and Entering, it is important to seek legal representation immediately to protect your rights and to minimize the impact that a criminal charge of this nature may have on your life.

§ 11-8-2 Unlawful breaking and entering of dwelling house – (a) 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.
Rhode Island Criminal Offenses

Section 17: Entering without breaking at night; breaking and entering in day time – Whoever, in the night time, enters without breaking, or breaks and enters in the day time, a building, ship, vessel, or vehicle, with intent to commit a felony, the owner or any other person lawfully therein being put in fear, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than ten years. Whoever commits any offense described in this section while armed with a firearm, rifle, shotgun, machine gun or assault weapon shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than 7 years or in the house of correction for not less than 2 years nor more than 21/2 years.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts-General Laws