Punishments for Trespassing

By EmilyD
Illegal trespassing can lead to criminal prosecution.

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Criminal trespassing is the act of unlawfully entering or remaining on property without the permission of the owner. It includes anything from walking into a house without an invitation to entering a business to commit a robbery. The punishment varies from state-to-state, but such an offense is typically prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a low-grade felony.

First Degree

First degree trespass is committed when a person illegally enters or remains in a building with the intent to commit a crime. Criminal trespass in the first degree is a felony and considered a serious crime. The punishment can vary depending on the state, but it typically ranges from one to three years in prison. A fine can also be included in a first-degree trespass punishment.

Second Degree

A person can be found guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if she enters or remains illegally in the home or on the property of another person. If convicted, a violator can be charged with a class A misdemeanor. The punishment for second degree criminal trespass can range from up to a year in jail to a $1,000 fine or three months probation. A first-time offender will most likely receive probation.

Third Degree

Knowingly entering or remaining on property or in a building that is fenced off or marked private is considered third-degree criminal trespassing. It is the most minor criminal trespassing offense and is considered a class B misdemeanor. The punishment for third-degree criminal trespassing is up to three months in prison, a fine or both.

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