Trespass Crimes in California

Criminal trespass is defined in most states as unwanted intrusion onto someone else’s property.  In California, the criminal trespass law can be found in California Penal Code section §602. Many individuals accused of trespass are upstanding citizens with either minor or no criminal record and may have innocently and unknowingly entered onto a property that was prohibited.  If you have been arrested or charged with trespass, you should contact Damian Siwek, an experienced Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, at DCS Defense to schedule a no-cost confidential consultation to discuss your legal options. We are an aggressive and experienced law firm and will stand by your side, fully examine the evidence against you and will safeguard your rights during this stressful time.

Trespass Attorney in Los Angeles

The crime of trespass takes many forms and together with the facts of your case, the actual type of trespass charge will determine the penalties you are facing. Trespass crimes are generally charged as misdemeanors and in certain rare circumstances can rise to the level of felonies.  In some instances, a trespass charge may be reduced to an infraction.  In this case, it will not appear as a criminal conviction on your record.  Trespassing encompasses a broad range of conduct including:

  • Entering or occupying someone’s land, building or home without permission
  • Refusing to leave someone’s property when told to leave
  • Cutting down or taking timber or wood from someone else’s land
  • Digging up and/or taking away soil from city/county/state land without a license
  • Tearing down, damaging, mutilating, defacing or destroying signs or notices
  • Taking oysters or other shellfish from someone else’s land
  • Taking or injuring farm animals
  • Opening, tearing down or damaging someone else’s fence or purposely leaving the gate open
  • Entering a building or other structure without permission
  • Driving a car on private land
  • Refusing/failing to leave a public building after closing when asked by an employee, or guard
  • Skiing on a trail posted as closed
  • Not paying for and then refusing to leave a motel or hotel
  • Entering an airport area limited to “authorized personnel”
  • Refusing to submit to airport screening
  • Refusing to leave a women’s shelter after being asked to leave
  • Entering or remaining in a neonatal unit, maternity ward or birthing center located in a hospital or clinic without lawful business there
  • Purposely avoiding screening at courthouse or city/county/state building with controlled access.

Los Angeles Trespass Defense Attorney

Anyone cited or arrested for trespass in California faces a misdemeanor charge and if convicted can receive up to 180 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, probation, community service, Caltrans, stay-away orders and or restitution.  Although criminal trespassing may seem minor, it is not.  Even with no jail time, the conviction will permanently remain on your record and can negatively affect your future in many ways.  There is a lot at stake in the defense of a trespass charge.  We have defended people in Los Angeles on trespass charges and are well acquainted with the criminal justice system and the methods used by the prosecution to obtain a conviction in trespass cases.  We have effective negotiating skills and we will attempt to get your trespass charge dismissed or get it reduced to an infraction.  If that is not possible, we will work to keep you out of jail by requesting alternative sentencing.  If your case must go to trial, we will not hesitate to aggressively fight for a “Not Guilty” verdict.

For aggressive and effective representation against trespass charges, including a free confidential consultation, contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Damian Siwek at DCS Defense.