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West Palm Beach Trespassing Attorney Josh LeRoy on:

Trespassing & Related Charges

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An experienced West Palm Beach trespassing attorney can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your final sentence – potentially changing your life. A few of the most common charges that fall in the trespassing category are detailed below.

Before hiring a Trespassing Defense Attorney, what should I know about: F.S. 810.09?

A trespassing charge is being on another individual’s property, when

Before hiring a Trespassing Attorney, what should I know about: F.S. 810.09?
Trespassing – F.S. 810.09

you are aware that you should not be. Unless someone, or something, clearly informs you that you shouldn’t be on the property, the State cannot convict you of trespassing.

However, it is trespassing if you do not leave the property after being warned by the property owner or an officer. Trespassing is a second-degree misdemeanor.

Additionally, if there is another individual on the property, even if you aren’t aware of them, the charge upgrades to a 1st-degree misdemeanor. If the trespasser has a weapon, it is considered an “armed trespass” and upgrades to a 3rd-degree felony charge.

If it was an accidental trespass, it doesn’t genuinely occur until you are warned verbally by the property owner or officer. You cannot be convicted of trespassing if it is not clear that you should not be on the property and weren’t aware that you shouldn’t be there.

What is a Trespass in Structure or Conveyance charge (F.S. 810.08)?

According to Florida law, the crime of trespass in a structure or conveyance occurs when a person, “without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance, or, having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance.”

Trespass In Structure Or Conveyance, F.S. 810.08
Trespass In Structure Or Conveyance, F.S. 810.08

Florida Statutes defines “structure” as “a building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the curtilage thereof.” (Section 810.011(1)).

Florida Statutes defines “conveyance” as “any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car,” and “to enter a conveyance” includes taking apart any portion of the conveyance.” (Section 810.011(3)).

What is the penalty for Trespass in Structure or Conveyance in Palm Beach County?

As a second-degree misdemeanor, trespassing in an unoccupied structure or conveyance is punishable by a term of probation up to a maximum of 60 days in the county jail.

Trespassing in an occupied structure or conveyance is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a term of probation up to a maximum of one year in the county jail.

Does possession of a weapon affect the charge of trespass?

Trespassing armed with a gun or other dangerous weapon is a third-degree felony, punishable by a term of probation up to a maximum of five years in state prison.

What is a charge of Trespassing on Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance (F.S. 810.09(1)(a))?

According to Florida Statutes, the crime of “Trespass on Property Other Than a Structure or Conveyance” occurs when a person, “without being authorized, licensed or invited, willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance.”

In more simple terms, trespassing occurs when (1) a person is on someone else’s land without permission, and (2) the owner of the land has provided notice, whether verbal, written, or with a sign, prohibiting entry onto his land.

The most common form of notice is a “No Trespassing” sign. But the law does not recognize the force or effect of such

Trespass On Property Other Than Structure Or Conveyance, F.S. 810.09(1)(A)
Trespass On Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance, F.S. 810.09(1)(A)

signs unless they conform to exacting standards concerning the size of the letters, the placement of the sign, and the nature of the information printed on it.

(Section 810.09 of the Florida Statutes Defines these standards.)

Commonly, signs fail to meet the corresponding legal requirements, and when this happens, the accused, through his lawyer, should ask the judge to throw the case out of court.

What are the penalties for Trespassing on Property Other Than a Structure or Conveyance?

  • Trespassing, unarmed by a gun or dangerous weapons, is a first-degree misdemeanor, punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to one year in the county jail.
  • Trespass, armed with a gun or a dangerous weapon, is a third-degree felony, punishable by a term of probation of up to five years in state prison.

What if I was walking home and did not realize I had trespassed?

For the State to convict a person of trespassing, the owner of the land must provide lawful notice. If someone, or something, does not provide the defendant with the kind of notice required by Florida law, the case, absent more, should be dismissed.

Can a West Palm Beach Trespassing Attorney help me with a Trespass Upon Grounds of a School charge (F.S. 810.097)?

Florida law states that the crime of trespass upon the grounds of a school facility occurs when a person “(a) does not have legitimate business on the campus, or any other authorization, license, or invitation to enter or remain upon school property; or (b) is a student currently under suspension or expulsion; and who enters or remains upon the campus, or any other facility owned by any such school commits a trespass upon the grounds of a school facility.”

Trespass Upon Grounds Of A School, F.S. 810.097
Trespass Upon Grounds of a School, F.S. 810.097

The law defines “school” as the grounds or any building of any kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, or secondary school.

What are the penalties for trespass upon a school’s grounds in Palm Beach County?

  • As a second-degree misdemeanor, this crime is punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to 60 days in the county jail.
  • However, suppose the school principal or another school agent previously instructed the person not to enter or remain on the grounds. In that case, the crime is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by a term of probation of up to 1 year in the county jail.

Will my child be sent to jail because he entered high school while suspended?

Highly unlikely. If the case is ultimately not dropped by the State or dismissed by the judge, many first-time offenders can resolve their cases without penalty through a program that diverts the case from the justice system.

Can a West Palm Beach Trespassing Attorney help me with a Loitering or Prowling charge (F.S. 856.021)?

Florida law describes the crime of loitering or prowling as occurring when any person attempts to “loiter or prowl in a place, at a time, or in a manner not usual for law-abiding individuals, under circumstances that warrant a justifiable and reasonable alarm or immediate concern for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity.”

Loitering Or Prowling, F.S. 856.021
Loitering Or Prowling, F.S. 856.021

What are the penalties for Loitering or Prowling?

Loitering or prowling, a second-degree misdemeanor, is punishable by penalties ranging from a term of probation up to six months in the county jail.

What types of defenses would a West Palm Beach Trespassing Attorney use for a Loitering or Prowling charge?

Loitering or prowling is one of the most abused offenses in Florida law, commonly misapplied to arrest people whose conduct is entirely legal. Errant police officers sometimes use this offense to victimize people who live in poor neighborhoods.

A defendant, through his lawyer, can succeed in getting his case dismissed if he can show that the officer’s report shows no circumstances warranting, in the words of the statute, “justifiable and reasonable alarm” or “immediate concern for the safety of persons or property in the vicinity.” Such necessary facts rarely support arrests for loitering or prowling.

Charged? Call Trespassing Attorney Josh LeRoy Because Experience Wins. Can You Afford to Lose?

If you, or someone you know, find yourself in need of a Trespassing Attorney in West Palm Beach (Palm Beach County from Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Worth, and up to Jupiter) or any of the surrounding areas use the form below to drop me a note.

Tell me about yourself, what’s happened, and an excellent time to contact you.

-Joshua LeRoy, Esq.

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