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What Are the Trespassing Laws of Maryland?

Maryland trespassing laws can be applied in both civil and criminal court cases.

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Criminal trespassing laws in Maryland can be found commencing with Section 6-401 of the Maryland Code. The Code contains several provisions relating to trespass sign posting requirements, trespassing through the use of a vehicle, refusal to leave a property and trespassing on government property.

General Trespassing Law

The general common law definition of trespassing is entering the property of another without consent or legal authority. This is the definition used in civil trespass court cases filed by property owners. In Maryland, criminal trespassing is defined in Section 6-401 of the Code.

Maryland Criminal Trespassing Laws

Section 6-402(a) prohibits trespassing on land of another where a sign has been posted at the entrance of a property. Sections 6-404 and 6-405 prohibit entering property with a vehicle without permission. These sections prohibit the use of off-road vehicles on public or private property without the property owner's consent.

Penalties

Violation of the trespass law is a misdemeanor. Code Section 6-402(b)(1) provides that first-time violators can be sentenced to jail for up to 90 days and/or fined up to $500, as of 2010. Subsection (2) provides that second-time violators can be jailed for up to six months and/or fined up to $1,000 when the violation occurs within two years after the first offense.

About the Author

Roger Jewell has been a professional writer for over 20 years. He is a published author for both the Graduate Group and PublishAmerica, and is also a freelance writer. Jewell is a former attorney and private investigator. He earned his law degree from the University of La Verne School of Law.

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