Any property not owned by the government is considered private property in every state. Among other things, this includes privately owned businesses, offices, and houses. Trespassing means entering another person’s property without permission.
This is considered trespassing as well, when someone attempts to enter someone else’s property despite being refused access. You are responsible for determining whether to take action on a trespass that was malicious, accidental, or intentional.
In What Sense Is Trespassing?
Trespassing is defined as the intentional entry of or presence on someone else’s property without permission under state law. There are unfortunately many other things that are required for someone to be charged with trespassing. To pursue criminal charges, you must meet a few other requirements. In order to consider trespass as a crime, it must be committed as a free act, and it must be done on purpose.
However, if they’re just exploring a park or on a hike, and your land borders the park, accidentally entering your land is not trespassing. If they refuse to leave after you ask them to do so, then you may be able to take action against them.
When It’s Trespassing And How To Tell People It’s Your Land
Having a fence or locking your house securely helps to inform people that it is private is a practical way to suggest it is private. Other reasonable ways include setting up a boundary or posting signs. There cannot be any assumption that people will know where the lines between private and public property are, so at the very least you can put up signs telling people not to trespass or to inform them when they are trespassing and allow them to leave.
Someone who accidentally wanders onto your property in the middle clearly doesn’t intend to disrupt your daily routine and should respectfully leave when told. But someone who deliberately trespasses must intend to do so maliciously. It is possible for a trespasser to interfere with the activity on your property by coming onto it, and this is something to watch out for.
Trespassing On A Business
Interfering with how a business operates, or annoying customers, can result from trespassing on business property. In order to be considered trespassing, someone must be intending to damage your property, interfere with your property, or harm you physically.
You can extend this to your landscape, to your house, your garage, and to your shed there may even be harm incurred to the animals living on your property. There is no requirement for anyone who is charged with trespassing to have necessarily done the harm intended by them. They only need to meet the criteria above.
Those who come onto your property intending to cause damage or harm to your employees, however, are apprehended by the police before they commit those acts, the police can charge them with trespassing.
Trespassing: What Is the Penalty?
Crimes of trespass are punished differently depending on whether they are misdemeanors or felonies. There is no way to know what the outcome of the criminal trespassing will be, but we will learn what transpires as the investigation continues. In the case where someone is instructed not to come onto your property, but they nevertheless do, and they only harass you for a short amount of time before the police arrive, it is likely a minor incident.
Even though this is harder to prosecute, it is still possible and most people are just fined a few hundred dollars for committing an infraction. Various types of more serious trespassing, such as misdemeanor trespassing, involve interference in your business or daily life without a threat to your safety or wellbeing. They usually carry a fine and a jail sentence of up to six months. Among the most serious cases are those of aggravated trespassing, which are classified as felonies.
Aggravated trespassing includes both trespassing and direct harm. Multiple years of prison may be incurred. This is why it is important to know which level of trespassing you are dealing with when you try to charge someone.
Should I Involve The Police In My Case?
Yes, that’s the short answer. Criminal charges can be brought against someone who has violated the conditions listed above in order to charge them with trespassing. Law enforcement handles such cases. Putting criminal charges against someone for trespassing will be determined by the police, and if there is enough evidence to do so, you can file charges.
Calling the police should only be done when there is a danger present. As a business or property owner, there may be times where a group of people cross your property without realizing they are trespassing. When this happens, it’s best to confront the trespassers yourself, warn them that they have entered private property, and let them know they should leave.
You can obviously follow through with calling the police if they continue to disregard the trespass warnings. If someone repeatedly trespasses on your property or you feel threatened, you have a legal right to call the police and protect your property.
Reporting Someone Who Is Trespassing
The first step is to contact the police. A trespasser is in violation of the law and should be reported to the police immediately. You, the owner of the property, will be asked questions by a police officer when they arrive at your property. For instance, the time and date of the crime will be asked. In addition, identify the person you are accusing of criminal trespass. You should also submit any camera footage or other evidence you have that shows them trespassing.
If there is enough evidence for an official charge of trespass to be supported, they will review your statement and advise you on the best action to take. The law does not require you to file charges against someone who trespasses on your property right away. The moment the incident takes place, you may not press charges, but later change your mind. If someone is crossing your private property or business without permission, you might even give them a trespass warning, but you don’t call the police.
How To File A Civil Lawsuit For Trespassing
If someone is trespassing on your property, you can file a civil lawsuit against them. You may be entitled to compensation for the damages caused by trespassers through civil suits. You should do this in addition to filing a criminal trespassing charge against the person.
An attorney can help you determine whether you can file a lawsuit successfully for trespassing after seeking legal advice. Nevertheless, you must clarify that you made it clear to the trespasser that they were not supposed to enter your property. The other key thing would be that you know your property was entered deliberately and knowingly despite warnings and knowledge.
It is also key to note that they would have needed to cause damage to your property, your family, or you as a result of entering your property.
The severity of trespassing charges can differ and, depending on the situation, can include both criminal and civil charges. Criminal trespassing also carries a penalty that is determined by the circumstances of the incident.
A criminal defense attorney can offer information on minor cases as well, such as first-degree trespassing and assault. You might consider reviewing attorney listings if you need help with a trespass case.
You can then enter into a confidential relationship with an attorney and go over your case. There may not be value in taking on every trespassing case because it will just be your word against theirs without any supporting evidence. If you read all the information provided in this article, you should be able to gain a better understanding of the different types of cases you are likely to face.
There is nothing more important than the safety of your business or home, and you should not have to deal with irresponsible acts such as trespassing.