Criminal Trespassing Defense
Houston Criminal Trespassing Attorneys :: The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp
There are multiple scenarios that could potentially lead to a charge of criminal trespassing in Texas. The most common is the verbal form in which an owner or representative for the land informs the individual that they are trespassing and asks them to leave. Failure to do so would turn a harmless mistake into criminal trespassing. Other ways in which notice can be given include:
- Signs: If there are signs telling people to not enter, these signs must be reasonably placed so that they are visible to anyone passing by.
- Fencing: Any form of fencing can be used as an indication that the property is not open to the public.
- Purple marks: Painting trees with two purple marks is an indication that a piece of property is private. These marks must be placed on trees at regular intervals to effectively communicate that entry is not allowed.
- Agricultural land: Any land where crops are visibly being grown is not open to the public, and entry will result in trespassing charges.
Criminal Trespassing Penalties
There are three categories that criminal trespassing charges can fall into. The type of charge depends on the circumstances surrounding the crime. The three types of charges include:
- Class C misdemeanor: This charge is often reserved for trespassers caught within 100 feet of agricultural land. This type of charge can bring a fine of up to $500.
- Class B misdemeanor: This is the most common charge associated with trespassing and carries a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000.
- Class A misdemeanor: This is the most serious charge and often involves a circumstance such as trespassing in the home of another person. The sentencing for this charge is up to one year in jail and a fine of no more than $4,000.
Defending Against Criminal Trespassing Charges
The most important aspect of this type of charge is that the defendant had to fully know they were not allowed on the property. If signs are not posted at regular intervals or verbal commands were not clear, a criminal trespassing charge may be without merit. A skilled criminal trespassing attorney will examine all of the aspects of the case to prove that their client was not given clear enough notice that they were trespassing.
Seek Help From a Houston Criminal Trespassing Lawyer
The Law Office of Matthew D. Sharp aggressively defends their clients against the charges they are faced with. They will make sure that your constitutional rights are protected in a court of law.