Trespassing might initially seem like a harmless crime. However, in the state of New Jersey, it can lead to significant legal charges. If you are dealing with criminal trespassing charges, it is important that you understand the possible consequences, which could mean expensive fines and jail time.
What is Criminal Trespass?
Criminal trespass is a word used to describe the action of being on someone’s property without their permission. While this is the general meaning of trespassing, different states consider the specific actions of the individual when determining the type of trespassing.
In New Jersey, criminal trespassing is divided into three categories:
- Defiant trespassing: Defiant trespassing occurs when the individual has previously been warned to stay away from the property, but still enters it. Whether the warning is verbal, visual, fencing, or any other method, it is considered to be defiant trespassing.
- Unlicensed entry of structures trespassing: Unlicensed entry of structures trespassing occurs when an individual enters a property in which they do not have permission to do so. This type of trespassing often includes the entrance into a building or room that is marked as authorized entrance only.
- Peering trespassing: Peering is a type of trespassing that occurs when an individual peers, or looks, into the building, without permission. This is much more than peering into a window and often requires that the owner or resident would not expect to be reasonably watched/viewed.
The specific actions of the individual will determine what type of trespassing charges they can expect. The type of charges will dictate minimum criminal consequences.
Legal Consequences of Trespassing in New Jersey
Criminal trespassing in New Jersey is considered to be a serious crime. It could lead to expensive fines and a permanent criminal record. Depending on the details of the trespassing, the individual could also face jail time.
The state will issue the following:
- Defiant trespassing: Defiant trespassing carries the possibility of 30-days of jail time and legal fines of up to $500
- Unlicensed entry of structures trespassing: Unlicensed entry of structures trespassing carries the possibility of up to six months in jail and legal fines of up to $1,000
- Peering trespassing: Peering trespassing carries the possibility of up to 18 months of prison time. Legal fines of up to $10,000 are also possible.
If you are facing criminal trespassing charges in New Jersey, it is important that you understand the potential consequences. A criminal defense lawyer can help you evaluate your case, while working toward a possible defense. In some cases, a defense can reduce your sentence, leading to reduced legal fines and a shorter amount of time spent in jail. Potential defenses to criminal trespassing charges might include an abandoned property or a lack of knowledge that that property was not open to the public.
Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer can mean the difference between jail time and a permanent record. A criminal record can make it difficult to find employment and it can even limit your housing options.
Contact an Experienced Camden Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Trespassing Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with criminal trespassing in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal law attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Michele Finizio have successfully represented clients charged with criminal trespassing in Camden, Cherry Hill, Willingboro, Gloucester Township, and throughout New Jersey. Call (609) 230-0374 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 9 E. Main St, Moorestown, NJ 08057, as well as an office located in Cherry Hill, NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.