How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask P. Simmons Your Own Question

P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26501
Experience:  16 yrs. of trial experience
11181181
Type Your Legal Question Here...
P. Simmons is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My son is a freelance photographer and was taking photos at

Resolved Question:

My son is a freelance photographer and was taking photos at Watch Hill Rhode Island on Saturday 7/6/2013. He wanted to get the "perfect" shot of a lighthouse there and started climbing a steep rocky incline, which was leading to Taylor Swift's home. He stated that he was not aware that this was celebrity property. Security called him down and he did climb down. He also stated that there were NO No Trespassing signs on the property. The only sign that was there stated "No bottles, No pets, No coolers? According to my son. My son stated that he was very cooperative with security and the police. Police arrived, handcuffed him, brought him to the Westerly Police Station, fingerprinted him, took his picture, put him in a prison cell. Did not read him his rights. Let him go after 20 minutes. He arrived back at our home in Connecticut with a fine for $100.00. Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

First, lets talk about the trespassing charge

Here is the law in RI for criminal trespass


a) 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.


This law is quite clear...the trespass must be "willful"...so the owner (or their agent) has to tell the person to leave and if the person does not leave? They are guilty of a crime.

What you describe is NOT trespass. It there was no indication that this was private property, and your son left immediately when he learned it was? He is not guilty of any crime

I would not pay the fine....since it is a criminal offense, if he pays the fine, he will have a conviction.

I would pay a lawyer to fight this.

Again, what you describe, this is not a crime...and the state has the burden to prove the crime, beyond a reasonable doubt. What you describe? No signs, no notice it was private property? Not a crime.


Now, lets address the issue of "reading of rights"

There is no legal requirement that a suspect be read their rights on arrest. This is a common misconception...but no place in the constitution or any federal or state law is there such a requirement. Such a requirement would be unwieldy, since there is no basis for a requirement.

Now...there is a requirement under the 5th Amendment of the US Constitution that an individual not be forced to incriminate themselves. This led, many years ago, to the Supreme Court case of Miranda v Arizona, where the Supreme Court ruled that a criminal suspect, in custody of police, must be advised of their right to remain silent prior to interrogation.

This is the so called "Miranda" warning. And is administered by law enforcement (or should be administered by law enforcement) prior to any questioning.

In fact, if the police arrest a person, and interrogate him without first advising him of his right to remain silent, any statement given by the person can be suppressed (kept out of the criminal trial)

This is why all law enforcement agencies use the warnings...it allows them to interrogate the suspect and gain information to prosecute them.

IF they fail to issue the warning, they can not use the results of interrogation at trial.

But there is no requirement that they read the warning...and if they are not planning to question the suspect, they may decide not to issue the warning and legally it would not impact he police case at all.


So for your son, if he was arrested, and then interrogated and not advised of his right to remain silent, at his criminal trial, he could ask the judge to keep his statements out of the trial.

P. Simmons, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26501
Experience: 16 yrs. of trial experience
P. Simmons and 17 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
< Last | Next >
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
  • Not only did he answer my Michigan divorce question but was also able to help me out with it, too. I have since won my legal case on this matter and thank you so much for it. Lee Michigan
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/MU/multistatelaw/2011-11-27_173951_Tinaglamourshotworkglow102011.64x64.jpg Tina's Avatar

    Tina

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    8436
    JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    19941
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/FL/FLAandNYLawyer/2012-1-27_14349_3Fotolia25855429M.64x64.jpg FiveStarLaw's Avatar

    FiveStarLaw

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    8189
    25 years of experience helping people like you.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jespoag/2008-12-17_222355_jessepic.jpg JPEsq's Avatar

    JPEsq

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    2132
    Experience as general attorney, in house counsel, SSDI, Family Law attorney, and law professor
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/gsenmartin/2008-04-22_214950_me1.jpg Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.'s Avatar

    Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    110
    7+ years of experience handling various legal matters.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PA/PaulmoJD/2013-10-10_195858_JAImage.64x64.jpg Law Educator, Esq.'s Avatar

    Law Educator, Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    31621
    JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/dkaplun/2009-05-17_173121_headshot_1_2.jpg Dimitry K., Esq.'s Avatar

    Dimitry K., Esq.

    Attorney

    Satisfied Customers:

    15975
    Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.