Westchester County Trespassing Lawyer
Trespassing laws in New York and around the country are centered on the concept of protecting people and property. At the core of these laws is the idea that private property ought to remain private. Any person who violates this idea may be charged with the crime of criminal trespassing.
State criminal trespass laws vary in seriousness depending on the type of property entered and any weapons an alleged perpetrator possesses at the time. For particularly severe allegations, a conviction can result in significant jail time.
If you are charged with illegally entering someone else’s property, a Westchester County trespass lawyer could fight tirelessly to protect your freedoms and rights. Discuss your case with an established criminal attorney as soon as possible.
What is Considered a Trespassing Offense?
It is illegal for any person to enter onto private property without the owner’s permission. This permission may be implied, such as to enter a shopping mall, or an express invitation, such as to a house party.
Any time that a person does not leave private property after being asked to leave, or enters onto land without the owner’s permission, New York Penal Law considers the action to be a violation-level trespass. However, for trespassing to become a criminal matter, special conditions must apply. An attorney in Westchester County could help review a person’s trespassing charges and determine how to best move forward with their case.
Classifying Misdemeanor Trespassing Charges
There are three levels of criminal trespass under New York’s Penal Law. The least severe version of this crime is criminal trespass in the third degree, defined by New York Penal Law §140.10 as any trespassing onto fenced off land. This can also include trespasses onto railroad property, public housing facilities, or schools.
Criminal trespass in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor, for which a convicted individual can be sent to jail for up to three months or be assigned up to one year of probation.
Criminal trespassing becomes more serious if the land is a private dwelling. This is criminal trespass in the second degree, which according to New York Penal Law §140.15 is a class A misdemeanor. The potential penalties for class A misdemeanors include a maximum of one year in jail. A lawyer in Westchester County lawyer could help someone prepare for legal proceedings depending on their exact trespassing charges.
What are Felony Trespassing Charges?
The most severe version of this offense is criminal trespass in the first degree, which is classified as a class D felony. Under New York Penal Law §140.17, this applies when the person trespassing possesses any explosive or dangerous weapon. However, this provision only applies to firearms if they also have ammunition for that gun in their possession.
It should be noted that these provisions apply to all people who participate in the act, even if a specific person is not carrying the weapon. For example, if two people enter onto private land without the owner’s permission and one of them has a knife, both trespassing individuals can be charged with criminal trespass in the first degree.
Can Someone Be Arrested for Trespassing in a Public Space?
Someone can be arrested for trespassing in public spaces as well as in privately-owned spaces. However, there are specific conditions that must be met for this to be the case. Essentially, the state must establish that the “privileged or licensed” entry that most members of the public enjoy were revoked in this case.
For example, public parks are typically open to everyone. However, a person banned from entering the park by the city for violating a rule could face trespassing charges. This is because their license to enter the property is no longer valid. The same is true for a private business that is typically held open to all customers but has banned a specific patron.
What is the Difference Between Trespassing and Burglary?
Burglary and trespassing are similar criminal offenses. There are important differences however, which is why burglary typically carries steeper penalties. The primary difference between these two criminal acts is intent.
Trespassing is not a crime of intent, in that it makes no difference what the accused’s purpose was when entering property illegally. The same is not true for burglary. Burglary involves not only entering property unlawfully but also doing so with criminal intent. The intent to commit a crime once entering the property unlawfully is what sets burglary apart. An attorney in Westchester County could further explain the difference between trespassing and burglary and how this distinction could impact a particular case.
Work with a Westchester County Criminal Trespass Attorney
Whether your goal is to come to a fair plea deal or fight your charges at trial, a Westchester County trespass lawyer may be able to help. An attorney could work with you to understand the nature of your charges and formulate a defense designed to produce a positive outcome. Do not take any unnecessary chances; take a step to protect your future and contact our the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman today to discuss your case.