Laws Regarding Criminal Trespassing

Trespassing, in general, comes under the category of criminal law as well as tort law. However, this article will be focusing on criminal trespassing. It is also known as breaking and entering.

Entering or staying on a land or property without any authorization, permission or right is called criminal trespassing. It also includes entering a place of worship and committing offence, which comes under sacrilege. In such instances, the notices in opposition to entering or residing on the property, are sent, either through oral or written communication, by the owner or through the agent who has been given the authority to do so.

When it comes to legal actions, laws differ from country to country. The consequences may be punishable in some places and simply offensive in other areas. The intention of the trespasser and the circumstances they had to do it in, also come into consideration. With the accusation of a misconduct and felony, the trespasser usually has to pay a fine or spend some time behind bars.

Trespassing on Private Residence

The punishment of a Criminal trespasser differs, based on whether they are entering a place of residence or not.

If the trespassing person is aware of the presence of the owner in that place and still continues to enter or stay within the property, they are deemed as being guilty. The punishment for a basic crime of trespassing includes spending 3 years in jail, and for serious crimes along with trespassing is 5 years behind bars.

The Place of residence in this case, comprises of any building, vehicle, or space utilized as a residence.

Criminal Trespassing with Malicious Intent

If an individual enters and stay in a property as a trespasser, which is not publicly open, with the purpose of theft, assault, arson or any other malicious intent, they will face three or more than three years of imprisonment according to criminal law. Other penalties depend upon the type of property that the trespasser has entered, which are listed below.

  • If criminal trespassing took place in a commercial or non-residential building, then the punishment is 10 years in jail and if the crime is aggravated, then the penalty increases to 20 years behind bars.
  • Criminal trespassing taken place in a residential building with the aim to commit a crime, results in imprisonment for 15 years and if that offence is aggravated, then a lifetime sentence is declared.
  • Trespassing unlawfully on any premises includes 6 months of imprisonment or a $2500 fine.

Knowledge about the presence of the owner in any structure; increases the risk of aggravation.

On numerous occasions, people have also been wrongly accused by the police for trespassing. For instance, the actual charge may simply be an unlawful presence on the premises, but individuals are charged with stealing property during trespassing.

Keeping these laws in mind, the consent for entering any property becomes necessary; otherwise, it will be considered unlawful and will be regard as a criminal offence. To get the consent, the use of threat, force, fraud, arms, or any illegal means is prohibited and greater legal actions may be taken if these means are used.

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