Trespassing is a crime that comes under many definitions, which is why it is important to understand what category you fall under should you be convicted of this crime. According to Florida Statute 810.09, the crime of trespassing can be defined as the act of wilfully entering a conveyance or structure without prior permission from the owner or without invitation. If you remain in the property or conveyance after you have been ordered to leave by the owner or renter, this could also be defined as trespassing.
If you are convicted of trespassing in an unoccupied structure or conveyance, the punishment is a second-degree misdemeanor charge. If you are trespassing on a structure or conveyance where another person is inside, you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. Here at The Law Place, we have an experienced team of criminal defense attorneys who are familiar with the Port Charlotte law around trespassing and are ready to help minimize your charges. They will act as strong legal representation who can tailor the best possible defense to your case.
If you or a loved one are facing trespassing charges, please get in touch with The Law Place today. We offer a free consultation to those who call, and our telephone lines are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – meaning a criminal defense attorney will always be available to take your call, no matter what time.
For your free consultation and to begin the steps towards your defense, call us at (941) 444-4444 today.
The Different Types of Trespassing
As trespassing can fall under several different categories, it is important you understand the following definitions:
Trespass in a Structure
A structure can be defined as a kind of building that has either a permanent or temporary roof covering, as well as a curtilage that is attached or adjacent to it. To put it simply, a structure is a permanent or temporary building that has any kind of roof covering and is being used for domestic purposes, as well as having surrounding grounds attached to it or adjacent to it that is utilized for domestic purposes too. E.g., a detached garage that also has a domestic garden. If you trespass on a structure, you face a second-degree misdemeanor charge. This is punishable by 60 days imprisonment, a 6-month probation period, as well as a $500 fine.
Trespass in a Conveyance
A conveyance is something that is intended as a mode of transport, such as a car, truck, boa,t, etc. If you trespass on a conveyance, it means that you have entered it without the intended owner’s permission. It is also trespassing if you refuse to leave the conveyance when asked. Similar to a structure, this trespassing is also a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by 60 days in prison, 6 months’ probation, and a fine of $500.
Trespass in a Dwelling
A dwelling can be defined as any kind of building or conveyance that has a roof covering and has the specific purpose of being a lodging at night. In other words, a dwelling is a building or conveyance that has the intended purpose for a person to sleep in. This includes a house, guest house, mobile home, or trailer. It is considered to be trespassing if you enter this dwelling without the lawful owner’s permission. This is a first-degree misdemeanor, and the consequence is 1 year of imprisonment as well as a $1000 fine.
Defenses Against Trespassing in Port Charlotte, FL.
There are several different points that the prosecution must be able to successfully prove to confidently imply that you have committed the crime of trespassing. They must be able to prove the following points listed below:
- That the property was lawfully owned by another party.
- There is no evidence to prove you had permission to enter the structure or conveyance.
- There was original permission given to enter the property that was then withdrawn.
- You wilfully entered and remained in the property.
- The property in question was clearly signposted as private or closed.
It is found that in certain cases, the trespasser in question might not have been aware that they were trespassing a property and had believed that they had consent from the owner. Therefore, it is crucial to have strong legal representation on your side, as an experienced criminal defense attorney will be able to fight these points in your favor. They can argue the validity of whether the property was truly signposted correctly as closed or private. They can argue against the claims on permission: questioning the clearness in communication on how the permission was withdrawn from you. Equally, there is the question of how you came to be on the property in the first place: were you misled? The court will look at all the facts and details surrounding the case to determine if there was a reasonable explanation for the situation.
Something else that can be used in your defense is the validation of a trespassing warning. A trespass warning is signage that advises people of private property lines and the penalties that individuals may face for crossing that boundary. In some cases, there might not be adequate signage in place for unenclosed land or private property, meaning that an individual cannot be charged for intentional criminal trespass. Your Port Charlotte criminal defense attorney can use this as substantial evidence for your criminal defense case.
This is why, at The Law Place, we base our attorney-client relationship solely on honesty and trust. The more truthful you are with your attorney on the circumstances around your trespassing charges, the more they will be able to use these details in order to build the best possible defense.
Further Penalties for Trespassing in Port Charlotte, FL.
As mentioned previously, trespassing charges are categorized under first or second-degree misdemeanors. However, there are further penalties that could be added to your charge if further evidence is disclosed to support the following:
- If there is evidence to support that you were carrying a weapon on the property that you were trespassing, this will subsequently result in charges of a third-degree felony. If you are convicted of a trespass crime, then you could potentially be facing up to 5 years of imprisonment, up to 5 years of probation, and a hefty fine of up to $5,000.
- If you were caught trespassing on a site larger than one acre that included a warning addressing that the site was off-limits to enter, this is also a third-degree felony. This also includes a punishment of 5 years in prison, 5 years of probation, and a fine of $5000.
There are also similar consequences in the event that you are found to be trespassing on an agricultural site that is designed for research purposes. Also included within this category are the situations of trespassing onto a property of a domestic violence center or taking and killing an animal without legal permission or true authorization.
Contact The Law Place Today
Have you been accused of trespassing a structure or conveyance and are now facing criminal charges? Then it is imperative that you have a skilled criminal defense lawyer on your side to fight and defend your legal rights and ensure the best possible outcome for your criminal case.
At The Law Place, we boast over seventy-five years of collective experience and knowledge in defending cases of trespassing onto a structure or conveyance for clients across Port Charlotte and the entire State of Florida.
As mentioned previously, the penalties you face if you are convicted of trespassing are life-changing to both you and your loved ones. Without the help of a professional criminal defense attorney, you are facing either a first-degree misdemeanor, second-degree misdemeanor, or even a third-degree felony. All of which are heavily dependant on the circumstances that surround your trespassing criminal case.
At The Law Place, you don’t just get one criminal defense lawyer – you get an entire team! Our team combines their knowledge and expertise on the law surrounding trespassing and can utilize all of their resources to provide the most reasonable outcome for you. If you place your trust in The Law Place to represent you during this time, your criminal defense lawyer will analyze all of the evidence around your case and present it clearly to whoever might be hearing it, judge or jury.
The Law Place will always have the client’s best interest at the heart of all the work they do. We are here to help, and that is exactly what we aim to do. We understand how stressful this is, and we want to reduce as much of the pressure as we possibly can.
Please do not hesitate to contact us. Call today on (941) 444-4444 for a free consultation with one of our Port Charlotte criminal defense lawyers. The fight for your justice begins today!