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NY Penal Law § 140.05: Trespass

July 6, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

There are a number of laws in New York that are in place to protect people’s private property. That is the purpose of the trespass laws. To enter onto another person’s property or remain on another person’s property without that person’s permission is against the law . If you do this, you would get charged with trespass under New York Penal Law section 140.05. In order to prove to the court that you violated the trespass statute, the prosecutor must demonstrate that:

  1. You entered or stayed on the property of another individual and
  2. You did so consciously

For Example

Bob and Lavinia were dating at one time. The entire course of their relationship was tumultuous. Finally, Lavinia broke it off with Bob. Bob made a few attempts to reunite with Lavinia, but she was not interested in getting back with him. One day, Bob turned up at Lavinia’s home. He came into her yard, strolled up to her door and rang the bell. Lavinia came to the door and told Bob to go away. Bob refused to leave. In this scenario, Bob could be charged with trespass, since he knew that he did not have Lavinia’s permission to remain on her property, but refused to leave.

Offenses that are Related

Criminal trespass in the third degree: New York Penal Law section 140.10

Criminal trespass in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 140.15

Criminal trespass in the first degree: New York Penal Law section 140.17

Burglary in the third degree: New York Penal Law section 140.20

Possible Defenses

In order to have illegally trespassed onto another person’s property, according to the statute, you must have the intent to do so. If the prosecutor cannot establish that you did have such intent, then you have a solid defense against a trespass charge. Also, if you had been invited onto the property and you were never asked to leave, then you have a plausible defense against a trespass charge.

The Sentence

Due to the fact that trespass is a violation and not a misdemeanor or a felony, if you violate New York Penal Law section 140.05, The judge could sentence you  to up to 15 days in jail. That said, since it is not a crime, no conviction will go on your criminal record

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