What is Trespassing?
Trespass is the crime of unlawfully entering another person's property without permission or authority. Interfering with an owner or legal tenant's use of their property, such as enclosing a portion of another's land, also constitutes trespass. Trespass is usually a criminal misdemeanor, and is also a crime from which a victim may recover monetary damages.
In Order to Be Convicted of Criminal Trespassing the Prosecution Must Prove
- The 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 land. Thus landowners with rural properties interested in keeping trespassers out should post "no trespassing" signs.
The Consequences of Trespassing Include
- Monetary damages paid to the landowner
In some states, the nature of the property determines the seriousness of the offense. For example, trespassing at a school is a more serious offense than trespassing in a rural field.
What Can You Do if You are Arrested for Trespassing?
If you are accused of trespassing you should speak to a lawyer immediately to learn more about your rights, your defenses, and the complicated legal system.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 02-14-2011 12:14 PM PST
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