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Trespassing Laws, Charges and Statute of Limitations

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

Trespassing Overview

Trespassing is a type of crime in which a person has entered a property or remained on it without permission or authorization. This includes criminal trespassing, which can be a state or federal offense. However, the individual committing the trespassing must have been informed either verbally or through writing by an individual with authority that they are indeed trespassing. Generally speaking, the laws pertaining to trespassing vary depending on the state.

Trespassing Laws

Individuals who are caught trespassing can face criminal and civil charges, although the act is always considered a crime. The laws of trespassing vary depending on the state. At the same time, most states require the prosecution to prove that the defendant knowingly entered or remained on a property belonging to another person while not having the authorization to be on it. However, the manner in which the individual can receive authorization depends on the state as well.

Trespassing is a crime that is charged as a misdemeanor, but in some instances, a person can be charged with felony trespassing. Whether they receive a felony charge depends on the circumstances surrounding the crime. a defendant who is arrested and subsequently convicted of trespassing usually receives a fine and even a jail or prison term. There are also usually civil charges the person can face that are instituted by the owner of the property.

Penalties for Trespassing

Trespassing is commonly linked with other crimes such as burglary but is considered less serious. As previously mentioned, some situations can result in a trespassing conviction being classed as a felony. The specific penalties that come with a conviction depend on the state but may be severe. In some cases, a person can receive a fine ranging from $250 to $500 and jail time lasting 90 days or a full year in prison.

It’s very common that the most severe penalties for trespassing come from civil lawsuits rather than from the criminal charges. For instance, a property owner can choose to sue for damages even if the property and people are unharmed. This can result in hefty fines and even a restraining order that states the individual must stay off the property.

Sentencing for Trespassing

Sentencing for a trespassing conviction also varies depending on the state and the severity of the crime. There are different degrees of a trespassing conviction as well, which include the following:

Trespassing in the first degree

A person is charged with a felony if they are convicted of first-degree trespassing. This form of trespass is committed when the individual has the intention of committing another crime while on the property. A conviction usually includes a fine and up to three years in prison.

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
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Brendan huisman
2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
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Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.

Trespassing in the second degree

This crime is considered a Class A misdemeanor and is committed when a person enters or remains on a property without legal permission. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, one year in jail and/or three months of probation.

Trespassing in the third degree

As a Class B misdemeanor, this crime occurs when someone enters private property that is marked as such or fenced off. Punishment includes a fine and/or three months of jail time.

Statute of Limitations for Trespassing

All states have a statute of limitations for trespass cases. This is the exact amount of time a plaintiff has to file a case with the court. While it varies depending on the state, on average, the statute of limitations for trespassing is two years.

Elements of Trespassing

There are certain components that make up the elements of trespassing. They include the following:

Intent

In order for a person to be guilty of trespassing, they must intend to commit the act of illegally entering a property or remaining on it.

Notice or a warning

There must be a warning given to the individual, such as a “no trespassing” sign, a fence or locked doors. Another warning can be verbal, directly from the property owner or manager.

Specific acts

Some states require a person to have committed specific acts in order to be accused of trespassing, such as hunting, cutting something or entering a vehicle.

Even though certain areas are open to the public, a person can be convicted of trespassing when entering them as well. For example, if a store is locked up for the night but a person opens a window and enters the property, this is considered criminal trespassing.

A person charged with criminal trespassing should immediately retain a criminal defense attorney.

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