What to Do if you are Charged with Trespassing
Trespassing is defined as the act of entering a private area without permission from its owner. This can be a house, a section of a home or public building, or even an empty lot. If you do not have authorized permission to enter a space or structure, entering it can be deemed to be an act of trespassing. Remaining in a structure that you once had permission to enter, but the permission expired, can also be considered an act of trespassing.
Trespassing is simply the act of entering such an area without permission. In contrast, burglary is the act of entering an area without permission with the intention of committing a criminal offense, such as vandalism or theft, while inside. It is important to understand the difference between these two offenses and their respective criminal penalties. If you are accused of burglary but the available evidence merely shows that you entered a property without permission, not that you planned to commit a crime while inside, you may face a trespassing charge. If you are in this type of situation, discuss it and its possible outcome with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
Know the Penalties for Trespassing in Florida
In Florida, there are two types of trespassing charge: trespass in structure or conveyance and trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance.
Trespass in a structure or conveyance is typically charged as a second degree misdemeanor. It is defined as the act of willfully entering or remaining in a building or vehicle. An individual convicted of this offense can face up to 60 days in jail.
Trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance generally refers to trespassing on open land or structures other than buildings or vehicles. This is often charged as a first degree misdemeanor, which can land a convicted defendant in jail for up to one year.
Possible Defenses to a Trespassing Charge
There are numerous possible defenses to a trespassing charge. The defense strategy to use depends on the type of trespassing charge an individual faces and the circumstances of the case. Examples of these include:
- A lack of notice not to trespass on a plot of land or structure;
- The defendant did not willfully enter the property;
- The defendant did not know he or she could not enter the property; and
- After lawfully entering the premises, the defendant did not receive clear communication to leave.
Work with an Experienced Miami Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been charged with trespassing or any other criminal offense, you need to work with an experienced Miami criminal defense lawyer who can help you develop a solid defense strategy for your case. Never assume that you will be able to handle your case’s defense on your own – you do not have the legal experience and expertise that a criminal defense lawyer has. Even if you are a criminal defense lawyer, you are not removed far enough from your case to effectively handle your own defense. Contact our team of Miami defense lawyers at Ratzan & Faccidomo, LLC today to set up your initial consultation in our office.