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NY Penal Law § 140.10: Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree

July 6, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

No matter if it is someone’s home, business or some other type of property, it is against the law to enter or remain on property that belongs to someone else without having that person’s permission to be there. If you do this, then you will be trespassing. In the New York Penal Law, there are a number of trespass laws. The specific trespassing charge that you would be facing in the event that you are accused of this offense depends on the type of building you enter, whether or not you have a weapon in your possession, and your criminal background.  You will have committed the crime of criminal trespass in the third degree pursuant to New York Penal code section 140.10 if you knowingly enter or remain unlawfully on the property of another, and:

  1. The property is enclosed to keep intruders out
  2. The property is the premises of as a camp or school
  3. The property is a public  housing project
  4. The property is a railroad train yard

According to New York Penal Law section 140.00(5), the concept of entering or remaining unlawfully on property is defined as doing so without being licensed or privileged to do so. In plain English, it means being on the property without having permission.

For Example

Theo graduated from High School A in May of 2014. Then, in 2015, he wandered into the school to look around for old time’s sake. In this scenario, Theo could potentially be prosecuted for criminal trespass. Because he is no longer a student at High School A, and he does not appear to have permission to otherwise be on the school property, he is there without license or privilege.

Offenses that are Related

Trespass: New York Penal Law section 140.05

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

One of the most effective defenses against a charge of criminal trespass is to prove that you have permission to be on the property. For instance, someone in a position of authority may have given you permission to be on the property, but a security guard did not know that this was the case. Over your protests, the security guard could  demand that you leave the premises and even go so far as to have you arrested. In this scenario the trespass charge would have to be dropped.  You can provide evidence that an authority figure at the location granted you permission to be on the premises.

The Sentence

Due to the fact that trespass in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor and not a felony, if you are convicted, The judge could send you to jail for up to 3 months and you may be obligated to pay a fine of up to $500. It is also possible that in lieu of jail, the judge may require you to serve a probation term of 1 year.

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