Criminal trespassing is generally understood to be a minor crime. However, the truth is much more serious. Most trespassing charges are considered second or first-degree misdemeanors under Florida law. Some criminal charges of trespassing of a structure or conveyance can result in a third-degree felony charge with penalties including up to five years in prison.
It is unfortunately common that people are charged and convicted of trespassing even if they did not know they were committing a crime. Prosecutors often seek unjust sentences to improve their record at the expense of the average Florida citizen. More often than not, these cases are the result of inadequate legal protection.
If you have been charged with trespassing on a structure or conveyance, you need qualified legal aid as soon as possible. You could be facing thousands of dollars in fines and years in prison if you don’t have a strong defense. Our law firm has a combined experience of 75 years representing clients in trespassing cases just like yours. We can offer the best chance of having the charges against you dismissed or reduced to a lesser crime.
Start preparing your defense today with a lawyer from The Law Place.
Contact us to schedule a free consultation at (941) 444-4444.
Definition of Trespassing on a Structure or Conveyance in Florida
As per Florida Statute 810.08, trespassing on a structure or conveyance can be defined as knowingly and intentionally entering a structure or conveyance without authorization or permission. In other words, if you enter someone else’s private property or public property during incorrect hours without permission from the owner or manager, you have committed trespass.
Also, if you were given permission to enter a property but that permission was rescinded, for whatever reason, you can be charged with trespass.
Trespassing on a structure or conveyance is a serious charge that can end in jail time and thousands of dollars in fines. If you are under investigation for trespassing or have been arrested and charged with the crime, contact The Law Place immediately. We can represent your interests in police interviews, court trials, and sentencing hearings.
For a free legal consultation with a trespassing of a structure or conveyances lawyer serving Bradenton, call 941-444-4444
Definitions of Terms Used in Trespass Charges
There are several terms used in trespass of property or conveyance charges that you should understand. These include:
- Structure – A building of any kind with a roof. It can be temporary or permanent, and this also includes the curtilage, or land, the building is situated on. During a state of emergency, this definition also includes buildings without a roof or wall.
- Dwelling – Any type of structure meant to be occupied by people at night. Typically refers to homes, apartments, or shelters meant for people to sleep in. During a state of emergency, this definition also includes buildings without a roof or wall.
- Conveyance – Any type of motor vehicle, such as a car, boat, train car, etc.
- Posted land – Any land upon which there are trespass warnings posted no more than 500 feet apart.
- Person authorized – The owner, lessee, or another approved person with authority over the property in question. This includes law enforcement officials with written permission from the property owner to communicate an order to vacate the structure or conveyance.
If you are confused by the charges prosecutors have leveled against you, contact The Law Place for a free consultation. We can thoroughly examine your case and clear up any misunderstandings you might have about the prosecution’s case.
Bradenton Trespassing of a Structure or Conveyances Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
Penalties for Trespassing of a Structure or Conveyance in Bradenton, Florida
Trespassing of a structure or conveyance is typically charged as a misdemeanor. Depending on how serious the act of trespass was, the charges can be more or less severe. The following outlines the possible penalties for varying degrees of misdemeanor trespass:
If trespass of a structure or conveyance was committed, and there was no one other than the suspect present, the defendant can be charged with a misdemeanor in the second-degree. This is punishable by:
- Up to $500 in fines
- Up to 60 days of jail time
- Up to six months of probation
If trespass of a structure or conveyance was committed, and another person is present, the defendant can be charged with a misdemeanor in the first-degree. This is punishable by:
- Up to $1,000 in fines
- Up to one year of jail time
- Up to one year of probation
If someone committed trespassing of a structure or conveyance while carrying a firearm or dangerous weapon, the charge could be upgraded to a felony. This is punishable by:
- Up to $5,000 in fines
- Up to five years in prison
- Up to five years of probation
Any type of trespassing case is a serious criminal charge. Contact The Law Place to enlist the aid of a qualified criminal defense lawyer and increase the chances of getting your case dismissed or reduced. Your freedom could depend on it.
What Is a Trespass Warning in Bradenton, Florida?
Any signage meant to warn people of private property lines and penalties for entering the property without permission is known as a trespass warning. These warnings are used to prove that the suspect knew that the property they entered was private and that they had no permission to do so.
Most structures or conveyances do not need a trespass warning to bring charges against people for committing trespass. However, unenclosed plots of land need to have a trespass warning to make people aware of the penalties for crossing the property line without permission.
If you are being charged with trespassing onto a plot of land and there were no visible trespass warnings, a qualified Florida attorney can have the case dropped. Contact The Law Place to find out your options.
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The Burden of Proof in a Trespassing of a Structure or Conveyance Case in Bradenton, Florida
In any criminal case, prosecutors have what is known as a “burden of proof.” Essentially, this is what must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt for the defendant to be found guilty.
In criminal trespass of structure or conveyance cases, prosecutors must prove several things.
Trespassing is what is known as a “general intent crime.” Basically, this means that prosecutors only need to prove that suspects intended to trespass. They do not need to prove that the suspect intended to commit a crime by trespassing or a crime after the trespassing was committed.
Prosecutors need to have evidence that the trespassing took place. This can include physical evidence like footage from CCTV cameras, fingerprints, and anything else real and tangible that the prosecution can use to prove the suspect trespassed. Evidence can also include testimony from eyewitnesses and police reports of arresting officers, among others. Prosecutors must be able to prove that witnesses are credible to have their testimony admitted as evidence.
Under Florida law, owners or authorized users of a structure or conveyance have the right to detain anyone found trespassing on their property. This can be used as indisputable evidence of trespass, as the suspect was caught in the act.
No matter what evidence prosecutors have against you, The Law Place is ready to fight your trespass charges. Contact The Law Place today to find out how we can argue your case and potentially get the charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely.
Statute of Limitations for Trespass of a Structure or Conveyance in Florida
Criminal charges must be brought against suspects within a certain time after the crime was committed. This is known as a Statute of Limitations.
For trespass of a structure or conveyance cases in Florida, prosecutors have limited time to bring charges depending on the severity of the crime. The following outlines the statute of limitations for varying degrees of trespass as per Florida Statute 775.15:
- Second-degree misdemeanor – One year
- First-degree misdemeanor – Two years
- Third-degree felony – Three years
If suspects do not reside in Florida or cannot be located by Florida authorities, then prosecutors have an extra year to press charges against them.
Contact The Law Place to find out how much time Florida prosecutors may have to take you to court.
Possible Defenses for Trespassing on a Structure or Conveyance Charges
A qualified Florida criminal defense lawyer can strategize your defense in several ways. The Law Place has experienced lawyers who have dealt with trespassing cases just like yours and can aggressively defend you from the criminal charges against you.
Some strategies to defend against trespassing charges include:
- You trespassed unintentionally – You were unaware that you did not have permission to enter a structure or conveyance or didn’t know that it was not allowed.
- A trespass warning was expired or miscommunicated – If one authorized person told you not to enter the property, while another authorized person said that you could, a lawyer could argue that you did not intentionally commit an act of trespass.
- The trespass warning was not visible – If there was a posted trespass warning, but it was not reasonably visible, a lawyer could argue that you did not intentionally commit an act of trespass.
- There was no trespass warning – If there was no posted trespass warning, a lawyer could argue that you could not have known you were committing an act of trespass.
If you are unsure of what benefits a criminal defense lawyer can provide you, contact The Law Place to schedule a free consultation. We will examine your case’s details and give you possible defense strategies we can employ on your behalf. You have a much better chance of getting the charges against you dropped or reduced with a lawyer from The Law Place by your side.
What If Another Crime Was Committed in Addition to Trespassing?
If prosecutors suspect another crime was committed after the trespass occurred, the trespass case can be upgraded to a different type of criminal charge.
Trespass requires no intent to commit a crime after entering a property without permission. Burglary, on the other hand, is essentially trespassing with the intent to commit another crime, typically theft.
If a more serious crime, such as assault or robbery, occurred, prosecutors won’t usually pursue a trespass charge as the main criminal offense. However, it is possible that you could be charged with trespassing as well as any other crime they allege you committed.
If you are worried about the consequences of a trespass charge in addition to another criminal charge, contact The Law Place to get qualified legal assistance immediately. You could be facing years in prison for serious criminal charges like burglary, robbery, or assault, which could leave you with a felony criminal record for life.
Can I Have a Trespassing Charge Expunged?
Expungement is the process of erasing a criminal conviction from the public record. In Florida, you cannot have a criminal conviction expunged.
However, if your case was dropped or the alleged victim declined to press charges, you can have the arrest record expunged. This means any information regarding your arrest for trespassing will be erased from your public record.
Also, if you were a minor at the time of the trespassing, you might be able to have your conviction record expunged. This is a complex legal process that involves multiple hearings with clerks of the court and judges to file paperwork and argue your case for expungement. You need a qualified lawyer to handle these proceedings.
If you are unsure whether you can have your trespassing arrest or conviction expunged, contact The Law Place. We can help you through the process and advise you on how best to approach getting your conviction record erased. A criminal conviction can negatively impact background checks for jobs, bank loans, and scholarships, so it’s best to get the record expunged if you can.
Contact The Law Place Today!
Have you or a loved one been charged with trespassing of a structure or conveyance in Bradenton, FL? Are you worried about possible jail time and the fines you could face if you are convicted?
Contact The Law Place to schedule a free consultation. Our lawyers have over 75 years of combined experience representing clients across the state. We have gotten many serious criminal charges dismissed or reduced and aim to get the best possible outcome for our cases. No matter what type of trespassing charge you are facing, The Law Place can help.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation at (941) 444-4444.