New York Trespassing Criminal Defense Attorneys
Criminal trespass generally occurs when a person enters an area in which they had no right to enter, or remains in an area after their permission to remain has expired or been withdrawn. While trespass might seem like a minor act, a conviction for criminal trespass can have severe consequences. Depending on the circumstances and the defendant’s actions, trespassing could even be chargeable as a serious felony and lead to significant prison time.
If you’ve been arrested or charged with criminal trespass, you need a seasoned New York trespass defense attorney in your corner as soon as possible. With the right defense, you can avoid the more serious forms of trespassing charges, and you may be able to get the charges dropped entirely. The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Dupée & Monroe, P.C. can help you build the strongest defense available after your trespass arrest and ensure that you do not face unnecessary, draconian punishments. We’re ready to protect your rights, your livelihood, and your freedom.
What Constitutes Criminal Trespass?
In New York, criminal trespass is chargeable as anything from a class B misdemeanor to a class D felony, depending upon the circumstances. A defendant is guilty of Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree, a class B misdemeanor, when the following can be shown:
- The defendant knowingly and unlawfully entered or remained on the property of another, AND any of the following is true:
- The property was fenced or otherwise enclosed to prevent intruders
- The property was a school or camp
- The property was a housing project
- The property was a railroad yard
The defendant may be charged with Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, if the relevant property was a dwelling. A “dwelling” means any type of building where a person usually lodges or remains overnight. Registered sex offenders who trespass on school grounds can also be charged with Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree.
The defendant may be charged with Criminal Trespass in the First Degree, a class D felony, if the defendant possessed a deadly weapon, explosives, a firearm, or committed the trespass with another party whom the defendant knew was carrying such a weapon.
Other special circumstances can constitute trespass, such as if an evicted party returns to their former dwelling without permission. Permission to enter part of a building that is open to the public does not give the party permission to enter other areas that are closed to the public; entering any closed-off area without permission may constitute trespass. Moreover, just because a party is permitted to enter the property at one time, if that permission is revoked or withdrawn, then a subsequent return may constitute trespassing.
In all circumstances, however, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant knew that they lacked authority or permission to enter or remain on the property. A savvy New York criminal defense lawyer can poke holes in the prosecution’s proof, undermining their evidence that either the defendant lacked permission, that the area was closed to the public, or that the defendant knew they lacked permission or authority to enter.
Penalties for Trespassing
The penalty for criminal trespass depends on the severity of the charges:
- Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree is a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail.
- Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree is a class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.
- Criminal Trespass in the First Degree is a class D felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.
It’s vital to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to ensure that you avoid the most serious potential consequences of a trespass conviction. Call a New York trespass defense lawyer as soon as possible to start building your defense and protecting your rights.
Call for Help After a New York Criminal Trespass Arrest
The lawyers at Dupée & Monroe have decades of experience helping people like you build the strongest defense possible against criminal trespass charges. If you have been arrested for trespassing or other offenses in Goshen, Orange County or anywhere in the Hudson Valley region, contact Dupée & Monroe, P.C. for immediate assistance from experienced criminal defense attorneys.