Trespassing After Having Been Forbidden
Offenders cannot be prosecuted simply because they were on someone else’s property. An offender can only be convicted with proof that he entered private property after he was expressly given notice that his entry was forbidden, whether by verbal instruction or with no trespassing warning signs posted on the property that are clearly visible.
Criminal trespass under this code section is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a penalty up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine up to $2,500. The offense escalates to a Class 6 felony, punished by not less than one year and up to five years in prison and/or a fine up to $2,500, if the trespasser intentionally targeted the property based on race, religion, color or ethnicity.
Hunting and Fishing Trespassing Laws
Class 1 misdemeanor. Entering someone’s land, waters, ponds, boats or blinds without verbal permission or in violation of prohibitory signs to hunt, fish or trap violates Virginia Code Section 18.2-134. Penalties include serving up to 12 months in jail and/or paying a fine up to $2,500.
Class 3 misdemeanor. Intentionally entering someone’s land, waters, ponds, boats or blinds to hunt, fish or trap without permission of the property owner violates Virginia Code Section 18.2-132, the penalty for which is paying a fine up to $500.
Virginia Code Section 18.2-132.1 prohibits people from intentionally releasing hunting dogs on someone’s posted land to hunt. This offense is also a Class 3 misdemeanor, but second and subsequent violations of this law within three years of conviction represent an additional Class 1 misdemeanor, which results in a revocation of the offender’s hunting or trapping license for a period of one year.
Visual Trespassing Laws
If a person enters another person’s property and peeps or attempts to peep into the owner’s dwelling, the offender commits a Class 1 misdemeanor under Virginia Code Section 18.2-130.A. Violation of this law carries a penalty of up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500.
Encouraging or Soliciting Trespass
Even if a trespass does not actually occur, a person can be charged with trespassing if she encourages, urges, solicits or instigates trespass by another person, according to Virginia Code Section 18.2-120. If convicted, the offender commits a Class 1 misdemeanor, which is punishable by confinement in jail up to 12 months and/or payment of a fine up to $2,500.
Read More: How to Sue for Trespass
- Humbrecht Law: Trespass
- Virginia's Legislative Information System: Code Section 18.2-119
- Virginia's Legislative Information System: Section 18.2-11 - Punishment for Conviction of Misdemeanor
- Virginia's Legislative Information System: Section 18.2-10 - Punishment for Conviction of Felony; Penalty
- Virginia's Legislative Information System: Code Section 18.2-134
- Virginia's Legislative Information System: Code Section 18.2-132
- Virginia's Legislative Information System: Code Section 18.2-132.1
- Virginia's Legislative Information System: Code Section 18.2-130.A
- Virginia's Legislative Information System: Code Section 18.2-120
- Legal Beagle: How to Sue for Trespass
- Legal Beagle: Difference Between Trespassing & Criminal Trespassing
- Legal Beagle: What Is a Felony?
- Legal Beagle: Laws for Posting No Trespassing Signs
Victoria Lee Blackstone was formerly with Freddie Mac’s mortgage acquisition department, where she funded multi-million-dollar loan pools for primary lending institutions, worked on a mortgage fraud task force and wrote the convertible ARM section of the company’s policies and procedures manual. Currently, Blackstone is a professional writer with expertise in the fields of mortgage, finance, budgeting, tax and law. She is the author of more than 2,000 published works for newspapers, magazines, online publications and individual clients.