Picture a blue sky lightly dabbled with clouds, the sun is warm and shining, and it’s a perfect 75-degree day.
As you roll out of bed, the possibilities of how to spend the day are endless—go hiking, spend the day at the beach, take a mini road trip, get arrested for criminal trespassing…
As the weather warms and exploring the blooming landscape becomes a priority, it can be tempting to stray onto private property—or not realize you are on private property!
So, what’s the worst that can happen if you are caught trespassing? Join Bryan Coulter, a criminal defense attorney in Lafayette, Indiana as he defines trespassing and the penalties if caught!
What Constitutes Criminal Trespassing in Indiana?
Though each state has differing trespass laws, criminal trespassing is usually defined in similar terms.
In Indiana, criminal trespassing is the act of knowingly or intentionally going onto someone else’s property. This is often done by ignoring a “private property, no trespassing” sign. Criminal trespassing can also apply to the below scenarios.
- Entering another’s property if you were already denied access.
- Refusing to leave a property if you were asked to leave by the owner.
- Interfering with the possession of someone else’s property without the owner’s consent.
These are only a few of the cases that define criminal trespassing. To see if an action constitutes as trespassing, contact a local criminal defense attorney near you.
What are the Punishments for Criminal Trespassing in Indiana?
So let’s just say you missed that “private property” sign, or maybe you thought that you were invited by the owner but were not…what happens next?
Let’s jump back to the beginning—remember that sunny, 75-degree day? You and your friends found a remote creek and started to swim, relax, and lay out in the sun. Everything was perfect until you heard “excuse me, sheriff’s department…”
What Are the Charges and Penalties?
If found guilty of criminal trespassing, you can receive the following:
- Class A Misdemeanor: this kind of misdemeanor can stay on your record for five years before applying for an expungement process.
- A jail sentence of up to one year.
- A fine of up to $5,000.
This crime could be punishable as a felony if it is committed on school grounds or a scientific research facility, or if property damage occurs (please contact a criminal defense attorney for more information on felony charges).
What If I Am Arrested for Criminal Trespassing in Lafayette Indiana?
If you find yourself accused of criminal trespassing in Lafayette, Indiana, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney right away.
Possible defenses exist for criminal trespassing, including:
- Public Necessity: If there’s a threat to public safety and you are trying to protect people from emergency, trespassing can be permitted.
- Consent to Enter: If you were given oral, written, or consent through actions to enter a property, the trespass can be considered legal.
- Reclaiming Property: If you are reclaiming property that legally belongs to you, trespassing can be permitted in certain circumstances.
Every case is different, which is why strategic counsel and representation is needed.
To help with your criminal trespassing case in Lafayette, Indiana, contact Coulter Law office. Bryan Coulter has over a decade of experience in criminal defense and can represent you. Call (765) 423-2888 for more information!