Florida Statute 810.08 states that the crime of trespassing is when a person willfully enters or remains in a conveyance or structure without receiving the lawful owner’s prior permission or invitation. If a person remains inside a conveyance or structure after being ordered to leave by the owner or renter, then this is also considered trespassing. Even if a person is invited, if this invitation is revoked and that person refuses to leave, this is still trespassing.
At The Law Place, our team of highly skilled and dedicated Tampa, FL., trespassing lawyers are ready to fight any trespassing charges you might be facing. We will work tirelessly to get your case resolved favorably. As many trespassing charges often result in harsh penalties, you must seek the guidance of a dedicated and skilled attorney as soon as possible. At The Law Place, our experienced criminal defense lawyers are ready and waiting to help.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week; this means someone will always be available to answer your call, day or night. So, for a free consultation, call The Law Place at (941) 444-4444.
Defining the Trespass of a Structure or Conveyance
In order to not be confused with Florida Statue 810.09, the trespassing of both a structure or conveyance has been summarized below:
Trespass in a Structure
A structure is any kind of building, either permanent or temporary, with a roof over it and a curtilage. In simpler terms, it is defined as any permanent or temporary building that has surrounding grounds attached or adjacent to it that are used for domestic purposes. For example, a storage shed in a domestic garden.
A common type of trespassing in a structure would be if a person willfully enters or remains in a detached garage without the permission of the lawful owner of the property or refusing to leave after permission is withdrawn. 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 recognized as an object intended to transport, for instance, a car, boat, or truck.
Therefore, trespassing of a conveyance would be when a person has entered a conveyance without the lawful owner’s permission or has refused to leave after that permission was withdrawn. This is a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by a maximum of 60 days in jail, 6 months of probation, and a $500 fine.
Charges You May Be Facing for the Crime of Trespassing in Tampa
As briefly detailed above, there are different charges you might face for the crime of trespass on a structure or conveyance in Tampa, Florida. The charges you may be facing depend on the circumstances surrounding the offense when it occurred.
These are second and first-degree misdemeanor charges and a third-degree felony charge.
The three levels of charges and the penalties you might face if the prosecution achieves a successful conviction have been more thoroughly detailed below.
Second-Degree Misdemeanor Trespass Charges in Tampa Florida
This is the charge you will face if you were to trespass in an empty structure or conveyance.
As per Florida law, if you were convicted of this charge, you would face:
- A jail sentence of up to 60 days.
- After you have served your time in jail, this would be followed by six months of probation.
- A fine of up to $500.
This would be the most lenient charge you may face due to a conviction for criminal trespassing in a structure or conveyance.
First-Degree Misdemeanor Trespass Charges in Tampa Florida
This is the charge you will face if you were to trespass in an occupied structure or conveyance.
As per Florida law, if you were convicted of this charge, you would face:
- A jail sentence of up to 1 year.
- After you have served your time in jail, this will be followed by 1 year of probation.
- Finally, you would face a fine of up to $1,000.
This is the second level of charges you will face if convicted of trespassing in a structure or conveyance in Florida. Although this is only one step above the previous charge, the penalties are far more severe.
Third-Degree Felony Trespass Charges in Tampa Florida
This the charge you will be facing if you were to trespass in a structure or conveyance while in possession of a dangerous weapon or firearm. With this being the final level of charges you may face for criminal trespassing, a conviction’s resulting penalties are far harsher, as detailed below.
As per Florida law, if you were to be convicted of this charge, you would face:
- A jail sentence of up to 5 years.
- After you have served your time in jail, this will be followed by 5 years of probation.
- A fine of up to $5,000.
It is also important to recognize that if convicted of these charges, you will receive a criminal record along with the label of a felon. This label is permanent as your record can never be sealed, nor can your felony charge be expunged. As a result, this can have a huge negative impact on any future employment prospects.
How Can The Law Place Build Your Defense?
If you have been caught trespassing, the prosecutor needs to prove that a crime has been committed. They must demonstrate that the following circumstances are true:
- The property was lawfully owned by another party.
- You didn’t have permission to enter the property.
- Or, permission was granted to enter the structure or conveyance but was then withdrawn.
- You entered or remained in the property wilfully, and the property was signposted as closed or private.
Your criminal lawyer will work on challenging these points. Often by presenting the following questions:
- Can it be proven that the property was signposted as private or closed?
- Were you permitted to be on the property?
- Was it made clear to you that permission to be on the property was withdrawn?
- Were you misled or coerced into entering the property?
- Were you on the property unwillingly?
Factors unique to your case can be invaluable in building your defense. This is why our lawyers will work closely with you, ensuring that you thoroughly understand your case. By doing so, your lawyer can clearly and concisely lay out your possible defensive avenues and advise you on the best possible steps for when you face the prosecution in court.
The Burden of Proof
The burden of proof for trespassing in a structure or conveyance in Tampa, Florida, is with the prosecution. This is because this type of trespassing falls under criminal law and not civil law. Therefore, it lies with the prosecution to be able to demonstrate beyond any reasonable double that you are guilty.
This means that there is leeway for an experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer to have your charges reduced or dropped altogether, as they can challenge the prosecution, casting doubt on their assertions of guilt.
The laws surrounding trespassing allow for areas of uncertainty. Therefore, it would be entirely possible for your lawyer to argue your innocence.
What Will the Legal Representation of an Attorney From The Law Place Cost?
As you may be facing large fines as a result of the charges brought against you, the potential financial burden of paying for the legal representation of a high-quality law firm may seem like the wrong move. Many people will pass on strong legal representation as a way to try and lessen the potential financial struggle they are already facing.
It has to be stressed that this can often leave people in a far worse position. The negative financial impact of your charges can often far exceed the cost of high-quality legal representation, especially if your lawyer can get your fines reduced. Furthermore, felony charges can not be expunged or sealed from your permanent record. This will greatly hinder your future job prospects, as this information will be freely available to all potential employers. This loss of potential earnings can massively outweigh any legal costs you may incur.
Here at The Law Place, you will not face any hidden charges on top of your initial quote once we have reviewed your case and looked over the charges you are facing, along with any other details that need to be considered. At The Law Place, we hold trust in high regard, and we would never seek to break the trust of a client who may already be suffering financial turmoil with hidden or surprise fees.
However, as every client is assessed on a case by case basis, we cannot offer you a quote before your free consultation and case review. This is due to every case being unique to each client due to the differing circumstances surrounding the charges that they are facing.
Why Is Legal Representation So Important?
If you are facing charges of trespassing without a strong legal defense, then you’re placing yourself in a much worse position. Our lawyers have extensive knowledge of the Florida legal system, along with the skill to navigate through the complex maze of this system. Without this knowledge and skill, your chances of achieving a fair outcome are reduced significantly.
In Tampa, Florida, our team of criminal defense lawyers has decades of collective experience in dealing with the ins and outs of Florida law. We are well versed in trespass cases of all kinds and have a track record of having charges reduced or having cases dismissed entirely.
With the help of a law firm such as ours, you stand the best chance at building a strong defense and at having your charges reduced or your case dismissed altogether.
Call The Law Place Today
Are you facing charges for trespassing in a structure or conveyance that seem unfair or overly harsh? If this is the case, The Law Place is available to help. Our phones are manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you choose us, you will be assigned a highly experienced and skilled Tampa criminal defense attorney who will get straight to work looking over your case and building you a strong defense.
Whether you are facing a second-degree misdemeanor, a first-degree misdemeanor, or a third-degree felony charge, your case will be treated with the same quality and compassion. This is because, at the Law Place in Tampa, FL., every case matters, regardless of whether you are facing 60 days in jail or 5 years in prison.
Call day or night and let The Law Place navigate and guide you through the complex landscape of Florida law. With our legal representation, you can rest assured that you will be given the best chance possible at keeping your freedom and future secure.
For a free consultation, call The Law Place at (941) 444-4444.