Trespassing is an offense involving the unlawful intruding on someone else’s property that either announces itself to be private by a sign or is privately owned. The general difference between a public place and a private one depends solely on the owner of the property and whether the location is closed to the public generally. Parks and community lots may be open to the public, but may have signs posted signifying when it is closed.
As any criminal offense, a trespasser charge can negatively affect your life and if convicted, can follow you for years to come since it would be on your record. Having such a charge on your criminal record, you might have trouble obtaining the job you want. It will also keep you from pursuing other opportunities that exclude people with criminal backgrounds.
If you trespassed in a home or dwelling (or looked through the windows), a school, or a research facility, it’s a fourth degree crime if convicted. The sentence for this comes with a maximum 18 months in prison. For all other locations besides the ones mentioned, it is considered a petty disorderly person’s offense with a maximum penalty of 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.
There are some defenses that can be used to help get the charges either downgraded or dismissed altogether, but to try to defend yourself may become more detrimental to your cause than anything else. If you find yourself in this situation, you should seek the legal assistance of an experienced attorney well-versed in criminal law who will have the ability to create strategies to give you the best possible outcomes for when your case goes to trial.
Every trespassing case is different, and there are specific details of your situation that must be considered before making a recommendation for the best course of action.
The Law Offices of Leon Matchin have the experience to provide you with top-notch legal advice and fight to help dismiss or downgrade your criminal charge. Call today for a free consultation at (732) 662-7658.