For many people, trespassing is seen as a fairly minor offense. What they fail to realize is that under New York laws, trespassing can be considered a felony and carry very serious potential penalties. If you are facing criminal trespassing charges in New York State, now is not the time to take things lightly. By contacting a local defense attorney as soon as possible, you can begin building your defense against such charges, potentially avoiding the worst consequences.
You may have been completely unaware, or just made an error in judgment, going on to someone else’s property without any unlawful intent. But once you’ve been arrested it can seem like no one wants to hear your side of things. Your defense lawyer is there to be your advocate when it feels like no one is on your side.Charged with a crime in New York? Please call (888) 435-4744.
By discussing your case with an attorney, you can work on what the best plan of action is for your case given the specific facts. No two cases are the same and each deserves individualized attention. Contact our offices today to discuss these charges and what can be done.
Under New York laws, trespassing is classified into four different degrees:
New York Trespassing Laws
Trespassing itself is only a violation, a non-criminal charge. You could be faced with this violation and a fine if it’s believed that you knowingly entered or remained unlawfully on some premises. All other trespassing charges are considered criminal offenses and carry the potential for jail time.
Third Degree Criminal Trespassing
Trespassing in the third degree is considered a B misdemeanor charge. This means it can carry up to 90 days in jail. In order to be convicted of an offense like this, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in a building or on property:
- Which is fenced in or otherwise enclosed to keep people out,
- Where the building is a school or used as a day camp or overnight camp fof children,
- Where the building is a public housing project, or
- Where the property is a right of way or a railroad or rapid transit yard.
Second Degree Criminal Trespassing
Criminal trespassing in the second degree involves entering into a home without permission. In order to be found guilty of this offense, it must be proven that you knowingly entered or remained unlawfully in a dwelling. This is often referred to as “squatting.” It is classified as an A misdemeanor offense which carries up to 1 year in jail.
First Degree Criminal Trespassing
Trespassing in the first degree is considered a felony offense. It is classified as a D non-violent felony charge and carries the potential for prison time. You could be charged with this serious criminal offense if it’s believed that you knowingly entered or remained in a building and while there you:
- Possessed or had knowledge that someone else participating in the offense possessed a deadly weapon, or
- Possessed or had knowledge that someone else participating in the offense possessed a firearm, rifle, shotgun, or a readily accessible amount of ammunition.
Ref: NY State Law §140.05-.17
The exact penalty you face for a criminal trespassing charge varies greatly depending on the facts of your case and your criminal history. Contact our offices today to discuss your charges and how you may be able to avoid the worst penalties.