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Property Offenses



A person commits criminal trespass if they knowingly enter any home or structure that is locked or barred without being given express or implied permission - known legally as either ‘licensed’ or ‘privileged.’ Often a charge will follow after someone is warned not to come back to a particular place - like a shop, a bar, someone’s home, or a motel - if they have caused an issue there in the past. This offense has previously been used extensively to charge homeless people but there is now a police protocol in place that normally diverts this as a criminal charge. It is often used against people accused of shoplifting, barring people from supermarkets


Criminal trespass also includes entering any place from which a person may lawfully be excluded and that exclusion is clearly marked or posted. This means that landowners have the right to make it illegal for others to visit or stay on their property by clearly indicating this prohibition. The statute has detailed requirements of what signs or postings must look like to give notice that someone cannot enter.


A person in possession or control of the premises is also justified in using non-deadly force to prevent or terminate the commission of a criminal trespass by another person.  This offense is normally a misdemeanor, however with other factors can be elevated to a felony.


Criminal Trespass

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The following is not legal advice but is for information only. Legal advice is when an attorney applies the law to a person's individual circumstances and advises them on their legal options or potential exposure to legal harm, which a web page clearly does not.

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