Would you be comfortable with a strange man breaking into your property? The answer is an obvious “NO”. Therefore, to ensure the safety of one’s property, there are laws in place that protect the owners’ rights. A property owner has the right to choose who can stay on his property at any given moment. To some extent, this right includes restricted use of the property and preventing others from entering the property without permission.
What Is Trespassing: Trespassing is a criminal offense in which a person enters another person’s property without their consent. Trespassing may occur in the public and private sectors, and the trespasser may receive a verbal warning from the owners for barging into the property. However, even if you get permission from the owner of the building or property to enter, you can still commit a trespassing crime if the proprietor asks you to leave and choose not to. In addition, those who have restriction orders issued on their names may commit trespassing crimes if they violate the court orders.
Categories and Penalties: The law can impose various penalties on a person convicted of Trespassing. Most courts do not impose fines, jail penalties, though the charges differ among states. However, illegal entry is considered a criminal offense, and the accused might get severely punished. Depending on the nature of the case and the laws of your state, a significant trespassing act can lead to jail and penalties. There are two degrees of trespassing charges: the first-degree trespassing penalty is more severe than the second-degree trespassing act.
- Jail Time: State laws allow judges to impose a jail sentence to the accused for Trespassing. The average jail sentence for most trespassing offenses can range from several days to months. However, in some states, defendants may face up to one year in prison for damages caused by the unauthorized entry.
- Fines: Generally, an accused gets fined for trespassing activities. In addition to imprisonment, the judge can also impose a fine on the defendant individually. Trespassing fines usually range from a few hundred dollars to 3,000 dollars or more.
- Court Cost: Along with charges of Trespassing, you might have to pay during the court session. Legal fees vary from state to state but do not exceed approximately $100. In addition to fines, imprisonment, and other penalties, court fees are included too.
Speaking With Attorney: Even though Trespassing is not a serious criminal activity, some states like Arizona have laws against Trespassing. People charged with a trespassing crime reach out to premises liability attorneys to represent them in court. Being convicted of Trespassing can not only penalize you with fines but also can lock you up to jail for at least one year. You will also get your name enlisted on the criminal records list, which will follow you for the rest of your life. Therefore, it would help if you spoke to an attorney as soon as you get arrested with trespassing charges.