Criminal Trespassing Charges

Texas law enforcement recently arrested a 60-year-old individual for criminal trespassing. For individuals in Texas who are cited with criminal trespassing, it is often a wise idea to retain the services of a skilled Houston attorney who can fight for your charges to make sure that your case resolves in a positive manner.

Applicable Law

Criminal trespassing is defined in Section 30.05 of the Texas Penal Code. The act of criminal trespassing is frequently more complicated than just entering onto another person’s property without possession. A criminal trespassing charge can be made if an individual who has received notice that entry is prohibited ignores the clear intent of the property owner and enters property anyway. Refusing to leave someone’s property after being instructed to do so is considered a type of criminal trespassing. Many trespassers are not aware that there are five basic ways that property owners in the state of Texas can provide legal notice concerning trespassing. These methods include the following ways:

  • An enclosure that is obviously intended to restrict access to property.
  • The presence of visible crop that will be harvested for human consumption.
  • Visible purple paint marks of the required size and placement.
  • A visible sign prohibiting entrance to a building.
  • Written or oral communication by the property owner.

Potential Consequences of Criminal Trespass Penalties

There are various penalties that can be faced by individuals who are charged with criminal trespassing, which include the following:

  • Class C misdemeanors can result in individuals facing up to $500 fines. These charges are generally reserved for cases individuals who have trespassed on land.
  • Class B misdemeanor can result in individuals facing up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. These charges are the most common penalty associated with criminal trespassing in the state of Texas. These charges arise when a person goes onto another person’s land or stays on the land, that person had notice that they should not be on the land, or that person had notice to leave and failed to leave the land.
  • Class A misdemeanors can result in individuals facing up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000. These charges typically only are awarded to individual who have criminally trespassed into homes and in other similar circumstances.

Potential Defenses

There are several types of defenses to trespassing charges. In some cases, individuals are able to negotiate a favorable outcome with prosecution. One potential defense is if an individual receive consent or permission to be on the property from the owner. Even if a case cannot possibly be dismissed altogether, prosecution might still be able to reduce a trespassing charge to an infraction. An infraction wills not appear on an individual’s criminal record.

Contact a Talented Denton Criminal Defense Attorney

If you have been charged with criminal trespass in Denton or the surrounding area, it is a wise idea to obtain the services of a skilled attorney who can help create a strong legal defense. Wheeler Law Office is available to help with your case.

(image courtesy of Ildar Sagdejev)