Entering someone’s property knowing you don’t have permission to be there or remaining on the property after seeing signage or receiving verbal warning is criminal trespass. Criminal trespass is related to burglary but is generally considered to be a less serious crime unless damaging the property is involved. In addition, any intentional desecration of a memorial or grave marker of any past or present military personnel is criminal trespassing. If the property has been damaged during the course of trespassing, then it may be considered misdemeanor. Criminal trespassing can result in fine and even jail. If there are additional charges involved like arson or burglary, the penalties are more enhanced.
Georgia Trespassing Laws
Georgia law states multiple ways that a person can commit the offense of criminal trespass. A person can be convicted in the following cases:
- When he or she intentionally damages any property of another without consent of that other person.
- When he or she knowingly and maliciously interferes with the possession or use of the property of another person without consent of that person.
The following if done knowingly is also considered trespassing:
- Entering on the land or premises or into any part of any vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person for an unlawful purpose.
- Entering onto the land or premises of another person or into any part of any vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person after receiving notice from the owner that such entry is forbidden.
- Remains on the land or premises of another person or within the vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person after the owner has asked the person to leave.
Penalty For Trespassing
A person who commits the offense of criminal trespass can be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the circumstances. In Georgia, misdemeanors carry the sentence of either a fine of up to $1,000.00, or up to one year in prison, or both. Penalties may require compensation for the victim or community service. Harsher penalties depend on the number of property crimes one has been convicted of and the amount of damage that occurred.
Defense To Criminal Trespass
Providing proof that one had the permission to be on a property will exempt one from criminal trespass, for instance if:
- The damage to the property was unintentional
- An unauthorized person asked not to enter the property
- Not clear about which property the accused was not allowed to enter.
Contact Our Experienced Trespassing Defense Attorneys Today
Accidents can happen anytime. You may be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Have you or your loved one been charged with a trespassing crime? At Teston & Burruss our lawyers are well prepared for such cases and will review, investigate and research your case before providing a strong defense. Our lawyers will are prepared to stand before the jury and question the validity of the charges against you to prove or prove them wrong. Call for a free consultation right now.