Criminal Trespass

The crime of trespass is committed generally when a person enters or remains on another’s property without the owner’s consent. California Penal Code section 602 includes a broad range of criminal trespass conduct relating to unlawful property entry, refusal to leave and/or property destruction.

Some examples of criminal trespass offenses involving unlawful property entry include: entry with the intent to injury or interfere with the owner’s property rights; entry to interfere with business activities taking place on a property; entry on land where animals are being bred or shellfish grown; entry in a birthing center without lawful business; entering a closed ski area; refusal to leave public property after closed to the public; refusal to submit to screening at an airport; refusal to leave a battered women’s shelter.

Examples of criminal trespass involving property damage include: injuring or taking away timber from another’s land; malicious injury to or removal of produce from another’s property; unlicensed removal of earth or soil; removal or injury to farm animals; and damage to signs, fences and gates.

A criminal trespass offense can be charged as an infraction, misdemeanor, or felony, but most are prosecuted as misdemeanors. Under Penal Code section 601, criminal trespass can be charged as a felony if a person threatens serious bodily injury upon another and then illegally enters that person’s property or place of work within 30 days of the threat with the intent to carry it out. Punishments for a criminal trespass conviction vary widely depending on the severity of the offense and the trespasser’s prior criminal record, and can include fines, jail time, probation, community service, restitution and non-entry orders. A trespass conviction creates a permanent criminal record.

If you have been charged with criminal trespass, you need an experienced and skilled attorney to challenge the prosecution’s case which must meet strict technical requirements. Trespass charges can be dismissed if the accused actually had permissiobn to be on the property, if signs were not posted, or if someone entered in self-defense. Attorney Lance Jacot will work zealously to have the charge dismissed or reduced to an infraction, or to prove you are not guilty at trial.

The Jacot Law Firm has the expertise and dedication to fight and win your case. Contact attorney Lance Jacot toll free at 209-463-1800 for a free consultation.