Bronx Criminal Trespass Lawyer
On its face, trespassing is a fairly simple legal concept to understand. Any time a person enters onto land without the owner’s permission, they are trespassing. This can include entering that land without express permission or remaining on land after the owner tells them to leave.
However, only certain types of trespassing become a criminal offense. When determining the seriousness of such a charge, courts in the Bronx consider the type of land a defendant enters and any items they are carrying. As a result, there are three different levels of criminal trespassing under New York Penal Law, which range in severity from minor misdemeanors to felonies.
No matter the type of trespassing charge you may be facing, a Bronx criminal trespass lawyer may be able to help. A qualified criminal defense attorney could work with you to understand your side of the story and form a defense tailored to your specific case.
Trespassing Laws in the Bronx
In short, a trespass occurs any time that a person enters another’s land without permission. This permission can be express or implicit, and it can set certain boundaries—such as open hours at a retail store—that could result in someone who violates them being charged with trespassing.
The severity of a trespassing offense depends on the type of land that a person enters and what they have on their person at the time. For help determining which level of severity an act of trespassing might fall under, contact a Bronx criminal trespass attorney.
Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree
According to New York Penal Law §140.10, the lowest level of criminal trespass applies when a person enters a public housing facility, any railroad property, or private land that is fenced off. A conviction here is a Class B misdemeanor, meaning that the court may order a defendant found guilty to serve up to three months in jail.
Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree
The medium level of criminal trespass, listed under New York Penal Law §140.15, applies whenever a person enters a private home. This can be a house or apartment. Since this is a Class A misdemeanor, the potential penalties upon conviction increase to a maximum of one year in jail.
Criminal Trespass in the First Degree
The most serious version of trespassing applies when a person trespasses while carrying an explosive, a deadly weapon, or a firearm with ammunition. The type of land is irrelevant in this case, as it is the presence of the dangerous item that increases the severity of the charge. Under New York Penal Law §140.17, first-degree criminal trespass is a Class D felony. Whether the individual is facing a first, second, or third-degree charge, it is essential that they contact a Bronx criminal trespass lawyer.
When Other Individuals are Involved in Trespassing
New York Penal Law punishes both participants in a crime for the actions of all the other people involved. For example, if one person is carrying a knife when they and another person trespass inside a store, both parties are responsible for that weapon under the law. As a result, prosecutors could charge both defendants with criminal trespass in the first degree. In this way, the law punishes all participants in a trespassing crime for the most serious allegations made against one of them.
How a Bronx Criminal Trespass Attorney Could Help
Allegations of criminal trespass range in severity from a relative nuisance to serious felonies. Because of this, your goals for your case may differ. People facing minor misdemeanors may be able to avoid jail time and serve probation, but if you are charged with felony-level trespassing, your best option could be to fight the charges at every opportunity.
The choice of what to do is always yours, but a Bronx criminal trespass lawyer could help you make the best one for your case no matter what your goals may be. Call today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case.