New Haven Trespassing Lawyer

Criminal trespassing is a serious offense in New Haven. It can occur in nearly any scenario where a person enters or remains on the premises or property without permission. Charges of criminal trespass can arise when a person refuses to leave a nightclub after being told to by the owner when someone remains at a public park that closed, or even when hunting and fishing on someone else’s property.

It may be hard to argue against a prosecutor who claims you were someplace you were not supposed to be and knew you were not supposed to be there. Whether in court or outside of it, it could be helpful have a New Haven trespassing lawyer fighting on your behalf. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney could review the evidence to craft arguments in your favor.

Degrees of Trespassing

Criminal trespass is broken down into three degrees, each of which is considered misdemeanor offenses. These offenses can include punishments such as incarceration for up to a year. The most serious of the three is the charge of first-degree trespass. This involves the accused remaining on a public property despite knowing from explicit communication that they were not supposed to be there.

The charge of second-degree trespass is similar to first-degree criminal trespass. While it involves the knowledge that the accused was not supposed to be there, it does not require an express communication.

The charge of third-degree trespass involves entering or remaining on private or state property that has been fenced off and the knowledge of the accused that they were not supposed to be there. This charge also includes the act of entering or remaining on any property to hunt, trap, or fish.

The charge of simple trespass is less serious than criminal trespass and is not a misdemeanor. While it does require the accused to know they were not supposed to be in a particular place, no intent to harm persons or premises exists. This charge is an infraction, which does not carry as a punishment probation or jail time. For more information about the levels of trespassing charges, contact a well-established attorney.

Defending Against Charges in New Haven

Knowledge of trespassing is an element required in establishing the offense, so prosecutors will often try their best to prove that the defendant knew they were in a place they were not supposed to be. A knowledgeable New Haven trespassing lawyer defending the accused could try to refute the claim that knowledge of trespassing existed.

In addition, statutes in New Haven lay out a trio of affirmative defenses to criminal trespass. They state that:

  • The property was abandoned
  • The property was open to the public, and the accused adhered to the conditions imposed on invitees
  • The accused reasonably believed he had permission from the owner to be there

Depending upon the specific circumstances of the case, a defense can often be made by an attorney along these lines. In addition, if the circumstances are amenable to it, a New Haven trespassing attorney may be able to get the charges reduced to a simple trespass charge.

Talk to a New Haven Trespassing Attorney

A charge of criminal trespassing is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. To avoid consequences that include having a criminal record and possible jail time at stake, you should consider talking to a New Haven trespassing lawyer.

Working with skilled attorneys could be an important step in getting the matter resolved favorably. Your rights may be on the line, but you can use the law to stand up for yourself and your future. Contact an attorney today to learn how.