According to Florida Statute 810.09, the crime of trespassing is the act of wilfully entering a conveyance or structure without the owners’ prior permission or invitation. It is also considered trespassing if you remain in the property or conveyance after being ordered to leave by the owner or renter, even if you had originally been invited or authorized to enter.
Trespassing in an unoccupied conveyance or structure can result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge. If there is another person inside the structure or conveyance at the time of the offense, then you can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. At The Law Place, our team of highly skilled and dedicated Tampa trespassing lawyers are ready to fight these charges and have your case favorably resolved.
Many trespassing charges can result in very harsh penalties, so if you are facing charges for trespassing, it is in your best interest to call The Law Place today. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, meaning someone will always be available to answer your call.
What Charges May You be Facing for the Crime of Trespassing in Tampa?
Trespassing in an unoccupied structure or conveyance can result in a second-degree misdemeanor charge. If the structure or conveyance is occupied, then this is raised to a first-degree misdemeanor. If you have willingly opened or forcefully entered any fences, doors, or gates, then you can also be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor. This is similarly the case if you have willfully committed any acts that expose animals or crops, resulting in damage or destruction to property.
If you are armed with a dangerous weapon such as a knife, crowbar, or firearm, then you can be charged with a third-degree felony. This is also the case if you arm yourself after you enter the structure or conveyance, for example, picking up a knife from the owner’s kitchen. If you are in possession of a dangerous weapon, then the owner or any authorized person within the structure or conveyance may detain you for a reasonable length of time if there is sufficient reason to believe you are trespassing.
A person who takes, attempts to take, kills, attempts to kill, endangers any animals, or knowingly propels any lethal projectile across or over private land without the authorization to do so is committing trespassing and will be charged with a third-degree felony. A person who trespasses on school property possessing any dangerous weapon or firearm will also be charged with a third-degree felony.
How Can The Law Place Help?
If you are facing a charge for trespassing, then you may be facing some harsh penalties. You may feel that these charges are unfair, and you may very well be right. It’s entirely possible that you were charged far more harshly than you deserved. The Law Place will assign you a highly skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney. Your lawyer will investigate all of the circumstances surrounding the incident and work tirelessly to ensure you are treated fairly and that the outcome of your case is fair.
There are many important questions that must be put to the prosecutor to ensure a fair outcome. For example, was the property clearly signposted with a “no trespassing” sign, or were you even aware that the property was private land? If this is not the case, and you have simply made a mistake, then it would be unfair for you to be convicted of felony charges.
In today’s climate, a minor misdemeanor charge can seriously affect your job prospects. This puts your future at risk. If there is a suspicion that you were trespassing in order to carry out more serious criminal acts, then the charges brought against you can be far more severe. This could even put your freedom at risk. All of this can be extremely stressful, which is why having a strong criminal defense attorney who will aggressively fight the prosecution is so important.
Defining Trespassing of a Structure, Conveyance, or Dwelling
- Trespass in a structure – A structure is any kind of building, either permanent or temporary, that has a roof covering. This is a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine.
- Trespass in a conveyance – A conveyance is an object intended to transport, for instance, a car, boat, or truck. This is a second-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine.
- Trespass in a dwelling – A dwelling is any kind of building or conveyance that has a roof covering and is intended to be occupied at night. Putting it simply, a dwelling is any building that is intended for a person to sleep in. This includes a house, trailer, mobile home, and guest house. If you have entered a home or trailer without the permission of the lawful owner, then this is considered trespass of a dwelling. This a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum of up to 1 year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
How Might You Face More Serious Charges for Trespassing in Tampa, FL?
Trespassing with a dangerous weapon means that the charge can jump from a misdemeanor to a felony charge. For example, if you are found to be in a truck without the lawful owner’s permission, then you would be facing a second-degree misdemeanor charge, which comes with the punishment of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine. If you are in possession of a deadly weapon, then you can be charged with a third-degree felony, which means you’ll be facing five years in prison.
Charges can also escalate if there was another person or persons present in the conveyance when you committed the offense of trespassing. If this is the case, then the charges jump from a third-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 12 months in jail.
How Can The Law Place Build Your Defense?
If you have been caught trespassing in a structure in Tampa, in order for the prosecutor to prove a crime has been committed, they must prove the following.
- The property was lawfully owned by another party.
- You did not have permission to enter the property.
- You willfully entered or remained in the property without permission.
- The property was clearly signposted as private.
Your attorney will challenge these points. Call The Law Place and arrange a free consultation as soon as possible so we can begin to build a strong defense for your case.
Why Legal Representation Is So Important
The Florida legal system is complicated and going up against it alone is no easy task. But with a skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney from The Law Place in your corner, you can rest assured that your defense is in strong hands. Your Tampa criminal defense attorney will work hard to guide you smoothly through your legal journey and will strive to build a strong attorney-client relationship based on trust.
Without a strong legal defense, the risk to your future and freedom are much higher. If you trespass on private property, then you may find yourself facing third-degree or second-degree misdemeanor charges that can come with up to 60 days in jail. If convicted, this can be extremely damaging to your future job prospects. It will be a permanent stain on your record and may end up being the deciding for a job you are otherwise qualified for.
Understanding Florida law can be extremely difficult and stressful for anyone. The Law Place will make things as simple and possible and ease the stress of facing these kinds of charges.
Call The Law Place Today
Are you facing charges for trespassing that seem to be unfair or overly harsh? If this is the case, then The Law Place is here to help. Our phones are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for a free consultation. If you choose us to represent your case, you will be assigned an experienced Tampa criminal defense lawyer who will get straight to work, looking over your case and building you a strong defense.
You do not have to go through the stress of facing trespassing charges alone. At The Law Place, there will always be someone available to take your call. So, call day or night and let us navigate the complex maze of Florida law on your behalf. You can rest assured that you will be given the best chance at getting your charges reduced or dropped entirely.
Don’t hesitate. For a free consultation, call The Law Place at (941) 444-4444 today.