Criminal Trespass Attorney NYC
When asked to consider property crimes, the vast majority of individuals may think about cutting across private property to get somewhere or doing something else that results in little or no actual harm. Most people do not consider the legal ramifications of going onto someone else’s property. However, under New York State law, criminal trespass involves a far more serious charge than a petty violation.
The act of trespassing without any other criminal behavior actually is a relatively minor offense. Most people caught and charged with this face a violation and a small fine. However, when there are other factors, the charge may be far more serious. A person may be charged with criminal trespassing in the third degree if he enters, or unlawfully remains on, someone else’s property or in a building where:
- There is a fence or other enclosure designed to keep people out;
- The building is used for a school or camp for children;
- The building is part of a public housing project; or
- The property is a transportation yard or right of way.
If these conditions exist then the person can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor. A person convicted of this charge faces up to 90 days in jail. In order to be convicted of this crime, a person must have acted knowingly.
A person may be charged with criminal trespassing in the second degree if he is shown to have knowingly entered or unlawfully remained in a dwelling (a residence). Many times, this is referred to as squatting in a home. It is charged as a Class A misdemeanor and may result in a sentence of up to 12 months in jail.
The final criminal trespassing charge, criminal trespass in the first degree, is charged as a Class D felony and is considered to be non-violent. A person may be charged with this crime if he knowingly entered into or unlawfully remained in a building and committed one of the following acts while on the property:
- The person was in possession of a deadly weapon or knew that another person participating in the criminal activity had possession of a deadly weapon; or
- The person was in possession of a firearm, including a rifle or a shotgun, or a source of ammunition, or had knowledge that someone else participating in the criminal activity had possession of a firearm, rifle, or shotgun, or an accessible supply of ammunition.
The penalty that a person faces after being found guilty of criminal trespass greatly depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the criminal record of the person being charged. A person who has prior felony convictions faces far more severe penalties than one who does not.
It is very important to retain the services of skilled and zealous criminal defense attorneys like Greco Neyland, PC if facing charges of criminal trespass because the difference between a felony conviction and a misdemeanor may be the difference between getting to pursue the career that you want versus being forced to accept the job that you are lucky enough to get. Felony convictions carry social stigmas as well as legal consequences. Getting the right attorney for something as simple as a criminal trespass case may have life-altering consequences.
Greco Neyland, PC Fights Hard to Defeat Criminal Trespass Charges
Although often dismissed as inconsequential, on the same level as getting a speeding ticket, criminal trespass charges can result in a felony conviction and the derailment of a carefully planned life. If you face criminal trespass charges, the tenacious and knowledgeable New York Criminal Defense Attorneys at Greco Neyland, PC are ready to challenge the case, from the evidence to the procedures.
To discuss your case and schedule a free consultation, please call at (212) 951-1300. We have offices in Manhattan to serve all five New York City boroughs.