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Criminal Trespass in California

Criminal Trespass in California

Simply entering someone else’s property without permission, also known as trespassing, may not be considered a crime under California law. The state penal code requires some level of intent must be shown for the action to be considered criminal trespassing. California Penal Code § 601 and California Penal Code § 602 outline dozens of specific scenarios and actions that can lead to a criminal trespass charge. However, some of the most common examples follow similar themes, including:

  • Refusing to leave private property after being explicitly told to by the property owner, representative, police officer, agent, etc.
  • Entering private property with the intent to injure, collect, or carry away items present on that property, including shellfish, stone, soil, earth, timber, wood, or lumber.

Someone convicted of criminal trespass can be charged with either an infraction or a misdemeanor depending on the severity of the actions taken. An infraction can result in a $100 fine, while a misdemeanor can result in up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

Aggravated criminal trespass, outlined in California Penal Code § 601 can involve similar aspects of criminal trespass, but often result in far more severe penalties. In order to be charged with aggravated criminal trespass, someone must make a credible threat of bodily harm, and enter the property of the person they threatened within 30 days of that threat with intent to carry out that threat. Someone convicted of aggravated criminal trespass can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the severity of the actions taken. A misdemeanor can result in up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,000, and a felony can result in up to three years in prison and/or a fine.

If you were charged with criminal trespass in California, it’s important to hire experienced legal representation as soon as possible. Our San Diego criminal defense attorneys at Premier Criminal Defense, LLC will help you fight for your rights in court. We have the experience and track record you can count on. Call our firm at (619) 304-9190 today to discuss your case with one of our attorneys over the phone, or send us your information through our online form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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