Westchester County Trespassing Lawyer

Trespassing laws in New York and around the country are centered on the concept of protecting people and property. At the core of these laws is the idea that private property ought to remain private. Any person who violates this idea may be charged with the crime of criminal trespassing.

New York’s criminal trespass laws vary in seriousness depending on the type of property entered and any weapons an alleged perpetrator possesses at the time. For particularly severe allegations, a conviction can result in significant jail time. 

If you are charged with illegally entering someone else’s property, a Westchester County trespass lawyer could fight tirelessly to protect your freedoms and rights. Discuss your case with an established criminal attorney as soon as possible.

What is Considered a Trespassing Offense?

It is illegal for any person to enter onto private property without the owner’s permission. This permission may be implied, such as to enter a shopping mall, or an express invitation, such as to a house party.

Any time that a person does not leave private property after being asked to leave, or enters onto land without the owner’s permission, New York Penal Law considers the action to be a violation-level trespass. 

However, for trespassing to become a criminal matter, special conditions must apply. There are three levels of criminal trespass under New York’s Penal Law.

Classifying Misdemeanor Trespassing Charges

The least severe version of this crime is criminal trespass in the third degree, defined by New York Penal Law §140.10 as any trespassing onto fenced off land. It can also include trespasses onto railroad property, public housing facilities, or schools. 

Criminal trespass in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor, for which a convicted individual can be sent to jail for up to three months or be assigned up to one year of probation.

Criminal trespassing becomes more serious if the land is a private dwelling. This is criminal trespass in the second degree, which according to New York Penal Law §140.15 is a class A misdemeanor. The potential penalties for class A misdemeanors include a maximum of one year in jail.

What are Felony Trespassing Charges?

The most severe version of criminal trespassing in New York is criminal trespass in the first degree, which is classified as a class D felony. Under New York Penal Law §140.17, this applies when the person trespassing possesses any explosive or dangerous weapon. However, this provision only applies to firearms if they also have ammunition for that gun in their possession.

It should be noted that these provisions apply to all people who participate in the act, even if a specific person is not carrying the weapon. For example, if two people enter onto private land without the owner’s permission and one of them has a knife, both trespassing individuals can be charged with criminal trespass in the first degree.

Work with a Westchester County Criminal Trespass Attorney

Whether your goal is to come to a fair plea deal or fight your charges at trial, a Westchester County trespass lawyer may be able to help. An attorney could work with you to understand the nature of your charges and formulate a defense designed to produce a positive outcome. Don’t take any unnecessary chances; take a step to protect your future and contact our law firm today to discuss your case.