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What Is Trespassing?
Trespassing is the crime of unlawfully entering another person's property without permission or authority to do so. Additionally, interfering with an owner or legal tenant's use of their property, such as enclosing a portion of their land, also constitutes a trespass. Trespassing is usually a criminal misdemeanor, and is also a crime from which a victim may recover monetary damages.
How Can Someone Be Convicted of Trespassing?
In order to be convicted of trespassing the prosecution must prove:
- Unlawful entry onto another's land
- The trespasser knew that they were not permitted on the land
Some states will not convict trespassers if they entered land that appeared to be unimproved or apparently unused. Thus, landowners with rural properties interested in keeping trespassers out should post signs or put up fences to let people know they are not welcome.
What Are The Consequences of Trespassing?
Common consequences for trespassing include:
- Monetary damages paid to the landowner
In some states, the nature of the property determines the seriousness of the offense. For instance, trespassing at a school is a more serious offense than trespassing in a rural field. Additionally, in some states, trespassing on a construction site may increase the charge to a felony.
What Should I Do If I Am Arrested for Trespassing?
If you are arrested for and accused of trespassing, you should speak to a lawyer immediately. An experienced criminal defense attorney is the best way to learn about your rights, defenses, and what to expect while dealing with the justice system.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 05-19-2014 11:22 AM PDT
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