Have You Been Charged With A Trespassing Offense In New York?
Nassau County Takes Trespassing Charges Seriously!
FIGHT YOUR TRESPASSING CHARGE WITH AN EXPERIENCED NASSAU COUNTY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER!
Let Us Help You Keep Your Criminal Record Clean!
DO NOT PLEAD GUILTY TO TRESPASSING CHARGES IN NEW YORK!
If you or a loved one have been charged with a trespassing offense in New York State, a conviction will likely result in a permanent criminal record. Because of this, whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor or a felony, it is important that you seek help from a reputable criminal defense lawyer immediately.
Below, The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. help explain the nuances between New York State trespassing charges, as well as the potential consequences of a conviction. It is important to remember that every case is different and the circumstances of each will play a role in the possible defense and outcome of your charges.
Gambling your future on a public defender or pleading guilty in hopes of a lesser sentence is not the way to beat a trespassing charge. Contact The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. if you or a loved one have been charged with a trespassing offense in New York State.
NEW YORK STATE LAWS REGARDING TRESPASSING OFFENSES
Penal laws are those statutes that are enacted by the state’s legislature and enforced by law enforcement and the judiciary system. The New York State Penal Law defines and categorizes crimes recognized by the State. It also delineates the penalties for these crimes.
In New York State, trespassing is criminalized through four different sections of the State’s Penal Law. However, all are based on the criminal act of entering private property without permission or consent from the owner to do so. This may or may not include the intent to commit another type of crime, such as burglary or assault. It also extends to individuals who remain on a property despite being asked to leave.
That being said, there are several different elements that affect the severity of the trespassing offense. The type of property being entered, whether a weapon was used, and the actions or intentions of the individual being charged are some of these determining factors.
To help you understand the differences between these charges, explanations of how New York State defines these offenses is discussed below.
New York State Penal Law 140.05: Trespass
Trespass, per New York State Penal Law 140.05, occurs when an individual knowingly enters a building or property without the privilege to do so. It also includes unlawfully remaining on the premises. Under this law, trespass is a violation.
New York State Penal Law 140.10: Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree
Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree is more serious than a 140.05 trespass charge. What distinguishes this offense from a trespass violation, however, lies in the condition of the property being unlawfully entered or remained in. The conditions that make this a third degree offense include at least one of the following:
- The property is fenced or enclosed as a means of excluding intruders from entrance;
- The property is used as a school or camp (as defined by New York Public Health Law 392);
- The principal, custodian, or other individual in charge of an elementary or secondary school located within a city that has a population greater than one million has asked you to vacate the premises;
- The principal, custodian, board member, trustee, or other person in charge has asked you to leave the premises of an elementary or secondary school that is located outside of a city with a population of one million;
- The building is used as a public housing project;
- A housing police officer or other individual in charge has asked you to vacate the public housing project; or
- The property is a railroad yard.
According to New York State Penal Law 140.10, Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree is a Class B Misdemeanor.
New York State Penal Law 140.15: Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree
Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree is more serious than both trespass and Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree. To be charged with Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree, you must be accused of meeting one of two criteria.
First, if the property is considered to be a dwelling, that is automatically considered Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree. A dwelling is defined by Section 140.00 as a building that is typically occupied by an individual for lodging at night.
Secondly, if you have been convicted and designated as a Level 2 or Level 3 sex offender, you are required to maintain current registration as such. As a registered sex offender, you may be charged with Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree if you knowingly enter or remain within a public or private school attended by, or formerly attended by, your victim. There are some exceptions, however. If you attend the same school, are the parent or legal guardian of a child who attends the school or an activity there, or have a limited authorization from the superintendent permitting you to be there – you have not committed this offense. Additionally, if the school is your designated polling place and you have entered the facility with the express purpose of voting, the act will not be considered trespassing.
Under Section 140.15, Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree is a Class A Misdemeanor.
New York State Penal Law 140.17: Criminal Trespass in the First Degree
Criminal Trespass in the First Degree is the most serious trespass offense you can be charged with in New York. As such, there is an element that is unique to this degree of trespassing: the possession of a weapon.
If you, or another individual involved in the trespass event, knowingly enters a private property while in possession of an explosive device or deadly weapon, including a firearm as defined by New York State Penal Law Section 265.00, you can expect to be charged with this offense.
Because of the dangers associated with being armed with an explosive device or deadly weapon and the potential consequences of using such an item, this crime is considered a Class D Non-Violent Felony.
A NOTE REGARDING BURGLARY
Burglary offenses are similar to trespassing ones. However, they include the intent to commit another crime while unlawfully entering or remaining on private property. Because of the requirement for intent, many burglary charges will be accompanied by a trespassing charge. This is a tactic commonly used by prosecutors to ensure at least one charge will lead to an indictment. Multiple charges and convictions may result in much more severe penalties. As such, it is essential that you contact a reputable and experienced criminal defense law firm, like The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. today.
THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES OF A TRESPASSING OFFENSE CONVICTION IN NEW YORK STATE
While only one of the above trespassing charges is considered a felony, all have the potential to result in legal and personal consequences. As an experienced criminal defense law firm, we know all too well how devastating even the smallest charge can be.
Trespassing includes offenses that fall into violation, misdemeanor, and felony classifications. What do these classifications mean to you?
- Violation: A violation is an offense that has the possibility of resulting in up to 15 days in jail. It is the least serious type of offense you can be charged with in New York, aside from traffic infractions. A violation, by definition, is not actually considered a crime in New York.
- Misdemeanor: A misdemeanor is more serious than a violation, but not quite as severe as a felony. Unlike a violation, however, a misdemeanor is a crime. Misdemeanors are those crimes that can result in jail sentences that range between 16 days and 1 year. Misdemeanors are divided into three sub-classifications: A, B and Unclassified.
- Felony: A felony is a crime that may result in being incarcerated for 1 year or longer. These are considered serious offenses. Felonies are sub-classified into 5 distinct groups: A, B, C, D, and E. Class A felonies are considered the most serious; for example, a Class A-I felony may result in incarceration for the remainder of your life, without the possibility of parole. These classifications are further segregated into violent or non-violent crimes.
Now that you understand the differences between these crime classifications, the below table outlines the potential jail time and fines you may face if you are convicted of a trespassing offense.
|Violation||Min: No Jail
Max: 15 Days
|Class B Misdemeanor||Min: No Jail
Max: 90 Days
|N/A||Up to $500|
|Class A Misdemeanor||Min: No Jail
Max: 1 Year
|N/A||Up to $1,000|
|Class D Felony||Min: 2 Years
Max: 7 Years
|Min: 2 Years
Max: 7 Years
|Up to $5,000|
The fines listed above are not the only financial obligations you may be subjected to. Additional surcharges, fees, and victim restitution may be required as part of your probation, jail, or parole. Criminal Trespass in the First Degree, for example, is a Class D Non-Violent Felony. As such, you may be fined $5,000. However, mandatory surcharges ($300), additional surcharges ($170), monthly parole costs ($30 per month), and a victim restitution fee (up to $15,000) may also be required. These costs are in addition to the $5,000 fine.
As you can see, a conviction or guilty plea in New York State can be costly, in addition to resulting in your incarceration.
Other Potential Consequences
Incarceration and fines are often the most commonly talked about consequences of a criminal conviction. However, they are not the only ones you should worry about.
- Employment: Many jobs require a background check prior to hiring new employees. While this may come as no surprise for federal or state government jobs, it is also true for some union, service, retail, cashier, and other positions as well. If you have been convicted of a crime, many of these jobs will dismiss your application off hand. This can make it harder to find gainful employment. Current employers may also terminate your association with them if you are convicted of a crime.
- Loans: Financial institutions also look unfavorably upon those convicted of crimes. Because of this, it can become increasingly harder for you to obtain loans. Given the potential fines and fees, as well as the impacts to your employment opportunities, being unable to get a loan may lead to even more financial damages and repercussions.
- Housing: Housing opportunities may also be obstructed. For example, privately owned apartments and condominiums may reject applications from individuals with criminal records. Public housing, as well as several other public benefits, may no longer be available to you.
- Colleges: Colleges often review a person’s “character” before accepting their application. Unfortunately, a criminal conviction can mean they reject your application. Student loans may also be affected.
- Loss of Rights: For felons, the right to vote and serve on a jury are taken away. Additionally, adoption agencies and the judge in a contentious custody battle may also take issue with your criminal record.
- Impacts to Personal Relationships: Personal relationships are often the hardest hit. While each relationship is different, being convicted of a crime hurts everyone involved, including your loved ones.
- Future Criminal Charges: All 3 criminal trespass charges will result in a criminal record. If you are arrested and charged with a crime after you have been convicted of any of these criminal trespass offenses, your charges for the subsequent crimes may be elevated due to your prior conduct. This means, if you are charged with a Class E Felony, the prosecution may pursue Class D Felony charges because a prior Criminal Trespass in the First Degree conviction demonstrates a continued pattern of disregarding the law.
THE BEST DEFENSE IS WORKING WITH NASSAU COUNTY’S TOP CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER!
At The Law Offices of Michael H. Ricca P.C. we understand how overwhelming a trespass charge can be. However, our experience and skill has given us a reputation as a law firm that means business and who strives to achieve the best possible outcome for each of our clients. Because we only accept the cases we have the bandwidth to support, you can rest assured that your case gets the attention it deserves.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a trespass offense, contact our law offices today for your free consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.