How to Charge Someone With Trespassing

By Owen E. Richason IV - Updated June 15, 2017
Private, Keep Out

Trespassing is "an unlawful act committed on the person, property, or rights of another; especially a wrongful entry on real property," as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary. Laws vary by jurisdiction, but in general, trespassing is a misdemeanor offense. In some cases, however, trespassing can become a felony offense if the circumstances so warrant, such as the trespasser carry a firearm or a weapon.

Identify the person trespassing and phone the police or sheriff's department. Describe the individual by approximate height and weight, gender, race and clothing.

Meet the police officer or sheriff's deputy at the location of the trespass. Point-out the individual trespassing and recount the circumstances, such as whether the individual was asked to leave the establishment and did not comply. Indicate if the individual is on private property that contains signage that warns against trespassing.

State to the police officer or sheriff's deputy that you would like to press or file criminal trespass charges. If the individual is intoxicated and/or non-compliant, more charges may be added by the law enforcement official.

Receive a no-trespass citation or order. In most jurisdictions, you will receive a no-trespass citation or order containing the name and description of the trespasser along with a phone number to the law enforcement agency to report any future violation of the no-trespass order or citation.

About the Author

Owen Richason grew up working in his family's small contracting business. He later became an outplacement consultant, then a retail business consultant. Richason is a former personal finance and business writer for "Tampa Bay Business and Financier." He now writes for various publications, websites and blogs.

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