What is the Legal Definition of Trespass in California?
Trespassing PC 602. The legal definition of trespassing is the entering or remaining on someone else’s property without their permission. It is a crime against someone’s property rights.
Most of my Trespassing cases happens when a client is on private property with permission then loses consent. once this happens, they are no longer allowed to be there but for one reason or another, they remain on the property triggering a form of trespass thus resulting in a criminal tresspass charge.
What offences are related to trespass?
Trespass Used to Stop Dometic Violence
An example a common trespass is when an officer uses the misdemeanor trespass because to quiet things down. This is used to get people away from each other to avoid the imminent safety risk of having people together for too long. When people are arguing and in heated discussions, the risk of domestic violence or battery increases significantly. Thus an officer may use the trespassing laws and cite a violation to order a person to be removed from the property for a period of time.
Trespass Used top Prevent Theft
The second most common forms of trespass are when it has to deal with theft crimes. This will happen when a person is facing charges of burglaries but the prosecution is unable to make the case against them. (one of the most common reasons is because a defendant exercised his rights to remain silent and they were unable to prove intent) When this happens then criminal trespass charge is used to convict the person instead of a theft violation. The conviction on a trespass charge is significantly less than a charge of burglary.
An example of this is when a defendant who gets caught shoplifting or is suspected of shoplifting is asked to leave the store location by a manager. The defendant would not leave or comes back to the store at a later date the store and the manager would call the police. This happens often with department stores
There are some places that are common and some that are just strange. Some examples of these strange examples include taking stone or dirt off someone’s property. If they are on the beach/shore taking oysters or shellfish off their land. lastly refusing to go through the screening process at the airport or courthouse is also trespassing.
Possible Defenses to Trespassing Charges
So there is definitely more to this crime than just being on someone’s property without permission. In order to be guilty of trespassing, you had to willfully enter a person’s property.
You had the intent to interfere with that person’s land. And that you actually did interfere with that person’s land. This could be through damaging the land itself or its business. Occupying someone’s property is also trespassing. Say if you built a cabin to live in for 3 months on someone’s ranch then it is considered a crime. It’s a crime if you occupy their land for a long time.
Sentencing and Punishment for Criminal Trespass
Trespass can be considered an infraction, misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. Most trespass cases are charged as misdemeanours. That includes probation, up to a year in jail, and up to a $1,000 fine. The most common infraction trespassing crime happens when.
1. You enter someone’s property without permission.
2. If the property was surrounded by fences or has a no trespassing sign (has to be 3 per mile). As an infraction it is a $75 dollar first offence, $ 250-second offense (on the same land).
However, a Third offence is a misdemeanor.
If you threaten to injure someone and go to their land/property within 30 days with the intention to carry out the threat, it’s an aggravated trespassing.
It can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. as a misdemeanor you have a year in jail and a $2,000 fine. As a felony, you can see up to 3 years in prison.
If you were charged with trespassing, talk to an attorney. You still have options.