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Trespass Crimes Law & Defense 

PC 601(a) & 602

The crime of Trespass is found at California penal code sections 601(a) and 602 Essentially, trespass means to enter someone else's property or land without permission.

 

There are a variety of trespass charges that may be filed against a defendant depending on the unique circumstances of the case. For example, trespass with intent to interfere with a business is charged as PC 602(k), whereas trespass to enter and occupy property is charged as PC 602(m). There are dozens of specific charges of trespass,  but the penalties and defenses are very similar no matter what specific trespass crime is charged against a defendant.

In general, to prove the defendant trespassed, the district attorney must prove that the defendant entered upon property without the owner's consent, either to commit an illegal act of some kind, or the defendant remained on property after being instructed to vacate the property.

Property, as used in trespass law, can be just about any type of property such as a building, a home, a vacant field, a boat, etc. Property does not include personal or intellectual property.

Sentence for Trespass

Most trespass charges are filed as misdemeanors, with the exception that trespass with threats of serious bodily injury (PC 601(a)) may be charged as a misdemeanor or as a felony, and trespass to enter or occupy property (PC 602(m)) may be filed as a misdemeanor or as an infraction.

Felony Sentence: If found guilty of felony trespass (PC 601(a)), the defendant could face up to three years in jail. However, probation sentences (without jail) is more common for defendants who have little or no criminal history. Also, for felony trespass convictions the defendant may be entitled to suspended sentences to avoid actual jail.

Misdemeanor Sentence: If found guilty of misdemeanor trespass, the defendant may face up to one hundred eighty days in the county jail; however, informal probation sentences with an order to serve work release or house arrest as an alternative to jail may be available.

Infraction Sentence: If found guilty of infraction trespass, the defendant may be ordered to pay a fine, but jail in not required.

In addition to any possible jail time, if found guilty of criminal trespass, the defendant may be made to stay away from certain people or certain places under a criminal protective order (CPO). Also, convictions for criminal trespass can carry harsh probation terms, fines and penalties, possible loss to immigration status (for non-U.S. citizens), possible lawsuits from victims, and possible professional licensing discipline (applies to any professional or occupation license such as any license issued by a Medical Board, State Bar, or Commission).

PC 601(a) & 602 Defenses

Common defenses to trespass charges include: statute of limitations (one year for misdemeanor trespass crimes and three years for felony trespass crimes), mistake of fact, insufficient evidence, consent to enter the property, claim of right, abatement of nuisance, emergency, necessity, self-defense, defense of others, and more.

If you are charged with trespass, or a violation of California penal code section  601(a) or 602, contact our criminal defense attorneys without delay for a free consultation. Our criminal attorneys will explain your rights and defense options and we are everyday to assist you.

 

909-913-3138​

More Trespassing Crimes

  • PC 601(a) Trespass with threat of serious bodily injury

 

  • PC 602(a) Trespass to remove timber of another

 

  • PC 602(c) Trespass to injure or sever produce

  • PC 602(f) Trespass to damage or destroy highway sign

 

  • PC 602(h)(1) Trespass to injure farm animal 

  • PC 602(i) Trespass to damage fence or gate

 

  • PC 602(k) Trespass with intent to interfere with business

 

  • PC 602(m) Trespass to enter & occupy property

 

  • PC 602(n) Trespass to drive vehicle on private property

  • PC 602(p) Trespass to enter closed lands 

  • PC 602((q) Trespass with refusal to leave building

  • PC 602(s) Trespass with refusal to leave hotel or motel 

  • PC 602(t) Trespass to enter or refuse to leave property

  • PC 602.5(a) Trespass with unauthorized entry of dwelling

  • PC 602.8(a) Trespass in fenced area or posted land

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