In general, criminal trespass occurs when a person enters or remains on another person’s property without consent. The property can be an apartment, house, office building, vehicle, or aircraft.
Does Georgia Have a Criminal Trespass Law?
Yes. In Georgia, criminal trespass is a misdemeanor crime.
How Does a Criminal Trespass Charge Happen?
A person commits the crime of criminal trespass in Georgia when they knowingly and without permission:
- Cause $500 or less worth of damage to another person’s property
- Maliciously interfere with the use or possession of someone else’s property
- Enter upon the land or premises of another individual or into any part of another person’s vehicle, aircraft, watercraft, or railroad car for an unlawful purpose
- Enter upon the premises or land or into the watercraft, vehicle, railroad car, or aircraft of another individual after being given notice by the owner or rightful occupant that they are not allowed to enter
- Remaining on someone’s property after the rightful owner or rightful occupant, or an authorized representative of the owner or occupant, has told the person to leave
- Intentionally mutilate, deface, or defile a memorial, grave marker, or monument to one or more people who served in military service to a state, the United States, or the Confederate States of America
Is Criminal Damage to Property the Same as Criminal Trespass in Georgia?
No. Criminal trespass is entering someone’s land or premises without consent. Under Georgia law, criminal damage to property involves causing damage in excess of $500 to someone’s property, other than a memorial, monument, or grave marker, without the consent of the owner.
What Is the Punishment for Criminal Trespass in Georgia?
As previously mentioned, criminal trespass is a misdemeanor in Georgia. The punishment for a misdemeanor in Georgia is a fine of up to $1,000 and/or a maximum of 12 months in county jail.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Yes. Contact a Georgia lawyer as soon as you can to start fighting this charge. A lawyer will explain how you can avoid severe consequences by using defenses that may be available to you.