Can I be charged with trespassing if I rented a poolside hotel room andwas in the common pool area after posted hours?

I was staying at a hotel in SD. I had rented a poolside room with a sliding glass door accessing the common pool area. I was sitting in the pool area after posted hours and was arrested for trespassing after notice 22-35-6. This seems extreme to me. Is this right and what consequences will I face at my mandatory court date? Should I speak with a criminal law attorney? In Yankin, SD.

Asked on January 3, 2011 under Criminal Law, South Dakota

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It does seem extreme, but is probably technically correct--while you were a guest at the hotel, if you were there after posted hours with notice of those hours and the impropriety of being there then, you were in fact trespassing. The odds are good that if there was no damage or injury to anyone, you weren't doing anything improper at the time, and you have a clean record, that the matter will either be dismissed (best case) or that you will get a very light punishment (e.g. a fine) to a very minor charge. That said, all criminal prosecutions should be taken seriously and you are advised to retain an attorney to advise and represent you. Good luck.


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