Trespassing is a serious property crime that suggests you have entered someone else’s property without permission. Trespassing often goes hand in hand with burglary which means you have entered someone else’s property and stolen (or attempted to) steal something from them.
Trespassing crimes are often mistakes – you may have wandered the wrong way, you may have been put up to the intrusion by a friend or you may be chasing after a lost pet. If you are accused or arrested of trespassing, however, the police officer may not see it that way. You will need legal representation to defend you in court.
What Constitutes Trespassing?
Trespassing allegations may be laid in the following instances:
- If you allow a domestic animal under your control to go onto the land or another within a city. For example, if you let your dog go to the toilet on the neighbor’s lawn, you could be facing a trespassing misdemeanor conviction if that neighbor calls the police
- If you interfere with a sign or monument marked to designate property lines. It may seem funny to steal the cones from a highway construction site but this is a criminal offense
- If you trespass on the premises of another and refuse to depart
- If you enter or are found on cemetery property when a cemetery is closed.
- If you enter the dwelling or locked building of another without consent
- If you enter the property of another to take fruit or vegetables growing there without consent.
- If you return to the property of another after being told to leave with the intent to abuse or disturb.
- If you enter a locked or posted construction site without consent
- If you enter a mining site without consent. Not only is this a misdemeanor offense but also incredibly dangerous.
- Gross misdemeanor offenses such as when you trespass and refuse to leave a place providing emergency shelter service for battered women or transitional housing for battered women and their children
Trespassing Conviction and Penalties
Trespassing is a misdemeanor or a gross misdemeanor offense depending on the circumstances. A misdemeanor trespassing conviction comes with up to $1,000 fine and 90 days in prison. A gross misdemeanor trespassing offense comes with up to $3,000 in fines and a one year prison sentence.
Juvenile Law and Trespassing
Trespassing is often a crime committed by those under the age of 18. If you are a juvenile and found guilty of trespassing, you will still be punished with a number of penalties. You may be looking at community service, house arrest, time in a detention facility, restitution to the victim or probation. What this means is that you may be required to work for free at the farm where you were caught stealing fruit or that you may need to spend your free time scrubbing toilets at the community center you broke into after hours.
Don’t let an accusation of trespassing affect the rest of your life. Protect your rights and reputation as well as your personal and professional life. If you or someone you love is facing a criminal conviction, then now is the time to step up and fight back. Contact Anoka criminal lawyer Michael Brandt at 763-421-6366 for a free, no obligation consultation.