Trespassing on private property or conveyance, in terms of Florida law, is defined as when someone willfully and deliberately enters a structure or property without a prior invitation from the owner of that structure or property. This also includes cases where the person remains on the bounds of the property after they have been asked to leave by its owner. You can still be charged for trespassing on a structure or conveyance even if you have been invited if the owner later rescinded their invite, and you remained on the property.
The punishments for a deliberate trespass on a property, structure, or conveyance in Florida starts at the level of a second-degree misdemeanor. In cases where the structure is occupied by people, these charges could increase to one of a first-degree misdemeanor. There also exists the possibility of a third-degree felony charge if, while trespassing, the accused had possession of a firearm or other weapon considered to be dangerous. Offenses of this kind carry the possibility of five years spent in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, and an additional five years spent under probation. Additionally, a third-degree felony will mean a permanent criminal record, which would make it harder for you to find employment opportunities in the future.
As a charge for trespassing on a property, structure, or conveyance carries the possibility for such severe consequences, it is incredibly important to have the support of a high-quality criminal defense attorney. Choosing representation with the relevant level of experience, knowledge, and skill will give you the best chance of getting the charges held against you reduced or, in some cases, dismissed entirely.
Here at The Law Place in Clearwater, Florida, our criminal defense attorney team draws on a combined level of experience of over 75 years practicing Florida law. We are well accustomed to trespass cases just like yours and have a track record of winning our clients reduced or even dismissed charges. If this interests you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team. We can offer you a free telephone consultation at no obligation, with your confidentiality protected by the attorney-client relationship. Our lines are always open.
For more information on your Florida trespassing on a property, structure, or conveyance case, call our law firm at (941) 444-4444 as soon as it is possible for you to do so!
The Different Levels of Trespass on Property Charges in Florida
The specifics of the laws surrounding trespass crimes are covered in Florida Statute 810.09.
There are three different levels of charge you can expect for trespassing on a property, structure, or conveyance in Florida.
These different charges have different consequences, which will depend upon the specifics of your trespass on property case.
For a free legal consultation with a trespassing of a structure or conveyance lawyer serving Clearwater, call 941-444-4444
Second-Degree Misdemeanor Trespass Charges in Florida
This is the basic, lowest-level charge for trespassing on a property, structure, or conveyance.
Under Florida law, a charge of this kind could result in:
- A maximum sentence of 60 days in jail.
- An additional sentence of six months of probation.
- A fine that can reach as high as $500.
Clearwater Trespassing of a Structure or Conveyance Lawyer Near Me 941-444-4444
First-Degree Misdemeanor Trespass Charges in Florida
This is a step up from the third-degree misdemeanor charge and occurs when the building, structure, or conveyance you have been accused of trespassing on was occupied with people at the time.
Under Florida law, a first-degree misdemeanor charge of this kind could result in:
- A maximum sentence of one year in jail.
- An additional year spent under probation following the year in jail.
- A fine that can reach as high a total as $1,000.
Third-Degree Felony Trespass Charges in Florida
These represent the highest possible charges for trespassing on a structure or conveyance. The repercussions are severe as these charges hinge on the trespasser being armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon.
Under Florida law, the consequences of this type of charge can include:
- A sentence of up to five years in jail.
- A further sentence of five years spent under probation.
- A fine that could total as high as $5,000.
- A criminal record that will label you as a felon. This will follow you for your entire life, even outside the confines of Florida. Amongst other things, future employers will have access to this record, and it will make it much more difficult for you to find high-quality and competitively paid work.
Complete a Free Case Evaluation form now
What Defines a Structure or Conveyance in Florida Law?
As covered in Florida Statute 810.011, a structure represents any type of building, both temporary or permanent, that is covered by roof and curtilage.
What this means, in simple terms, is any building with grounds surrounding, attached, or adjacent to it that can be used for any domestic purposes. A good example would be a shed in the garden of an ordinary home.
A good example of a common instance of this type of trespassing is when someone deliberately and willfully enters or remains in someone else’s shed or detached garage without the permission of the owner of the property.
A conveyance, on the other hand, is any object that is intended for use as transportation. This includes any variety of boats, cars, or trucks.
The rules for occupying a conveyance without the permission of the owner are the same as a structure. Even if you have previously been invited into the conveyance, you can be charged with trespassing if you do not leave when your invite is rescinded.
Common Defenses in a Florida Trespass Case
If you have been charged with a trespass crime, there are several things that your criminal defense attorney can use to defend you against the prosecution.
Some common examples of defenses employed by a lawyer against the prosecution for trespass crimes would include:
- The accused was not actually present at the site where the alleged trespass took place.
- The accused was invited into the site where the alleged trespass took place, and the retraction of that invite was not given to the accused clearly or with notification.
- The accused was forced to remain on the property and, therefore, the trespass was not willful. There may have been extenuating circumstances that made it impossible to leave the property.
- The accused was given implied or express consent to remain on the property they are accused of trespassing on.
- The officers who arrested the accused were not present at the time when the alleged trespass occurred on the property.
As well as this, your criminal defense lawyer will also ask other important questions that call into reasonable doubt the alleged trespass actions. Examples of this would include:
- Did the property have clear ‘no trespassing’ signs?
- How clear exactly was it that the invitation to remain on the property was being rescinded?
- Is the accused aware that the land they are being accused of trespassing on was private land?
Again, in addition to this information, there are likely to be a lot of factors unique to your case that could potentially be valuable in your defense.
This is why, with every case, our law firm is careful to ensure that we have discussed at length the charges against you and the events surrounding them. With a communicative and trustworthy relationship, you and your lawyer stand the best chances of tailoring the strongest possible defense to the situation. To start this process today, call our law firm for a free consultation using the number at the bottom of the page.
The Burden of Proof in a Florida Trespass Case
As trespassing a structure or conveyance is covered under criminal law, not civil law, the burden of proof lies with the government and the prosecution.
What this means, in basic terms, is that the prosecution must be able to demonstrate beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of the crime. It is the job of the criminal defense attorney to cast any level of doubt on the prosecution’s argument.
This manner of demonstrating guilt gives a criminal defense attorney with sufficient skill and knowledge wiggle room to get the charges held against the accused either downgraded or dropped entirely.
Trespass laws are an area of criminal law that works particularly well for this sort of argument. Many of the laws contain areas of nuance or uncertainty, such as the possibility of non-willful trespassing due to extenuating circumstances or the possibility of an unheard withdrawal of invitation.
How Much Will High-Quality Representation From a Law Firm Like The Law Place Cost Me?
As there are large fines involved in any level of trespass case, financial strain is something that could very much be on the mind of the accused. Unfortunately, this is a situation that often leads to people not seeking legal representation and suffering consequences they could have avoided otherwise. Often, the consequences of this have a higher financial impact than the cost of proper representation over time.
This is because the financial disruptions to being labeled a convicted felon, if your trespass case is severe enough, can last long into your future. There is no way to get felonies expunged or sealed, so once they are on your record, they are on there forever. This means each individual potential employer has access to that information without your explanation.
Therefore, we here at The Law Place hold trustworthiness and transparency as the most important values of our law firm. Once you have completed your free telephone consultation and your case evaluation, and we have all the details of your charges, we will be able to give you a full and complete quote. You will not be made to pay more than this quote, as we do not believe in hidden fees or extra costs. For those suffering from financial pressures, we will also be able to work together to create an achievable payment plan.
The reason we are not able to give you a specific quote right here on this webpage is that every single case is different. The circumstances surrounding the charges and the criminal background and history of each person changes on a client-by-client basis. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to providing the best defense possible.
What Should You Look for in a Trespass Defense Lawyer?
There are several things that you should ensure before agreeing to let a lawyer represent you.
The best way to find these things out is to ask the following questions:
- How long have you been practicing law?
- How many relevant trespass cases have you experienced? And how many of these did you win?
- What are your payment guidelines? Are all the costs fully disclosed at the beginning? Is a payment plan a possibility if the costs are too high?
- Would I be able to read some reviews or testimonials from previous clients you have represented?
This final point is perhaps the most important. However, even if the lawyer does show you some testimonials, please remember that the internet is the most powerful tool you hold in this regard. Do some research on your law firm to find out what experiences other people have had with them and to find out if they are the right fit for you and your trespass case.
If the law firm or the specific lawyer is evasive about past testimonials, then this should be considered a red flag, and you should look elsewhere. Trust is a huge part of the attorney-client dynamic and should be promoted at every opportunity
Contact The Law Place in Clearwater Today
If you or one of your loved ones has been accused of trespassing, the best course of action is to hire a skilled attorney to help fight those trespass charges. Even at the lowest level of misdemeanor, the fines and possibility of jail time can be a huge life disruptor. A good trespass lawyer will be able to fight to get these charges downgraded further or, in some cases, dropped entirely.
The Law Place in Clearwater has a team with an excess of 75 years of experience. We have fought and won cases just like yours in the past. Also, unlike other legal firms, we operate each case as a team. While you will be assigned a personal lawyer, who is responsible for your case, we ensure that we pool our resources to guarantee that every lawyer’s wisdom and experience is put to use.
If this sounds appealing to you, and you want the best chances at reducing the consequences for your trespass charges, get in touch with The Law Place today. The first step is to call our office for a free telephone consultation. This is something you can do right away. We ensure our lines are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to work around your busy schedule. Also, to alleviate any concerns, all our free consultations take place without any obligation. Your confidentiality is also legally protected by the attorney-client relationship.
For more information and legal advice on how we can help you to fight against your criminal trespassing charges, telephone The Law Place on (941) 444-4444 as soon as possible.