Trespassing or criminal trespass, under California law, refers to the act of entering someone else's property without permission or a right to do so. This can occur under many circumstances. Accusations of trespassing can also be made over misunderstanding. If you have been charged with trespassing, it is important to understand these laws and seek the counsel of an experienced Santa Clarita criminal defense lawyer who will help fight those charges.
The Law Relating to Criminal Trespass
California Penal Code Section 602 (h) 1 states that it is illegal to "enter upon lands or buildings owned by any other person without the license of the owner or legal occupant, where signs forbidding trespass are displayed…or damaging, destroying, or removing, or causing to be removed, damaged, or destroyed, any stakes, marks, fences, or signs intended to designate the boundaries and limits of any of those lands."
The acts which are forbidden by California trespassing laws include entering someone else's property with the intention of causing damage; entering the property with an intent to intrude or interfere with business activities being conducted there; entering or occupying the property without the owner's permission; and refusing to leave the property even after being asked to do so.
It is very common for individuals to get wrongfully charged with trespassing even when they had no intention of doing so or violating the law. A skilled trespassing defense lawyer can present a number of legal defenses that could help get your charges dismissed or reduced.
You cannot be charged with trespassing if you had a right to be on the property or had someone's prior permission to be there. If you had no intent to cause damage, you cannot face charges relating to such an act. If "no trespassing" signs were absent from the property and you did not know you were not supposed to enter the property, you cannot be charged with criminal trespass. There are also other defenses to trespassing including your constitutional rights as they relate to free speech and right to assemble in a peaceful manner to protest. What the law seeks to protect through these laws is the right of a property owner to live or conduct business on his or her property.
If you or a loved one has been charged with criminal trespass, experienced Santa Clarita criminal defense lawyer Daniel E. Kann can help. Our attorneys will fight hard to protect your legal and constitutional rights and work diligently to have the charges dismissed or reduced. Please contact us today for a free, comprehensive and confidential consultation.