Understanding the legal elements of criminal trespassing can be essential to avoid potential criminal charges – or, if they’ve already been filed against you, to strategize an effective defense. 

In Dayton, criminal trespass encompasses actions that go against the rightful owner’s or occupant’s wishes regarding their property. This can include various scenarios where an individual knowingly goes beyond these boundaries without permission. If you engage in any of the following behaviors, you could be guilty of criminal trespass:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining on someone else’s property without their explicit permission is considered criminal trespass.
  • If an individual knowingly enters onto another person’s property, knowing they should not be there, this also constitutes criminal trespass.
  • A person becomes guilty of criminal trespass when they recklessly enter or remain on the premises even after clear indications that their presence is not permitted – such as warning signs, fences designed to keep out intruders, or direct communication from someone authorized by the property that entry is prohibited.
  • Refusing to vacate a person’s property after learning through visible signage or being informed by someone with authority that their presence is unauthorized.

Understanding these elements helps you from inadvertently committing a crime. Doing so can also assist you in developing an appropriate legal defense if you’re a defendant charged with criminal trespass.

Examples of Criminal Trespass

Criminal trespass can manifest in various scenarios, reinforcing the importance of understanding when your presence might be considered unlawful on someone else’s property. Here are some examples that should give you a better idea of what criminal trespass might look like:

Ignoring Private Property Signs

You decide to explore an interesting building and ignore the “Private Property – No Trespassing” signs posted around its perimeter. Entering or even remaining on this land without permission from the owner is an act of criminal trespass.

Staying After Closing Hours

In a scenario where you remain in a shopping mall, restaurant, or other public place after it is closed and all patrons are expected to be gone, this could also constitute criminal trespass. Even though these places invite the public in during operational hours, they turn into private properties outside those designated times.

Refusing To Leave a Bar or Restaurant

You could face criminal trespass charges if you refuse to leave a public establishment, such as a bar or restaurant, after being asked to leave.

Occupying Vacant Buildings

In cities with large numbers of vacant buildings, it’s not uncommon for squatters to move in without permission from the building’s owner. Even if a property is not being actively used, unlawfully inhabiting such buildings amounts to criminal trespass.

Understanding the legal definitions and various examples of criminal trespass leads to better awareness, which helps you avoid putting yourself in situations that might lead to such charges. 

Criminal Trespass Penalties in Ohio

The implications of being found guilty of criminal trespass in Ohio could be more substantial than you may realize. This offense is typically charged as a fourth-degree misdemeanor, carrying up to 30 days in jail and fines of up to $250.

If the trespassing involved using a snowmobile, an off-highway motorcycle, or an all-purpose vehicle on another’s property without permission and you are found guilty, potential fines could be doubled.

Additionally, if you have been charged with criminal trespass twice before and used any of the vehicles stated above in every occurrence, then your current penalty can also include impoundment of your vehicle for at least 60 days.

Contact the Dayton Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

Facing these penalties can cause significant disruption to your life, leading to other collateral consequences, like difficulty finding housing or a job because of your arrest record. This makes it essential to work with a criminal defense attorney if you’re facing charges.

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers give us a call today at (937) 531-0435 or visit us at our Dayton Law Office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Dayton
130 West Second Street #17-129
Dayton, OH 45402
United States