Miami Criminal Trespass Lawyer
Also Serving Clients in Fort Lauderdale
Criminal trespassing occurs by entering or remaining on another party’s property without authorization to do so. Florida has numerous laws against trespassing, and an alleged offender can face misdemeanor or felony charges. Numerous factors can influence the severity of the charges, such as the specific type of property involved and whether an alleged offender was armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon. Many people are accused of trespassing crimes as the result of honest misunderstandings.
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Florida Criminal Trespass Charges
Trespass crimes are listed under Chapter 810 of the Florida Statutes.
Trespassing can occur in the following premises:
- Structure — A building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the curtilage thereof (during the time of a state of emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor and within the area covered by such executive order or proclamation, the term means a building of any kind or such portions or remnants thereof as exist at the original site, regardless of absence of a wall or roof)
- Dwelling — A building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether such building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it and is designed to be occupied by people lodging therein at night, together with the curtilage thereof (during the time of a state of emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor and within the area covered by such executive order or proclamation, the term includes such portions or remnants thereof as exist at the original site, regardless of absence of a wall or roof)
- Conveyance — 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 (during the time of a state of emergency declared by executive order or proclamation of the Governor and within the area covered by such executive order or proclamation, the term “conveyance” means a motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car or such portions thereof as exist)
The four different trespassing offenses established under state law include the following:
- Trespass in Structure or Conveyance, Florida Statute § 810.08 — An alleged offender commits a second degree misdemeanor if he or she, 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. If there was a human being in the structure or conveyance at the time the alleged offender trespassed, attempted to trespass, or was in the structure or conveyance, trespass in a structure or conveyance is a first degree misdemeanor. If the alleged offender was armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, or armed himself or herself with such while in the structure or conveyance, trespass in a structure or conveyance is a third degree felony.
- Trespass on Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance, Florida Statute § 810.09 — An alleged offender commits a first degree misdemeanor if he or she, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance as to which notice against entering or remaining is given, either by actual communication to the offender or by posting, fencing, or cultivation; or if the property is the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling and the alleged offender enters or remains with the intent to commit an offense thereon, other than the offense of trespass. If the alleged offender was armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the commission of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance or the area is a construction site, horticultural site, agricultural site designated for testing or research purposes, agricultural chemicals manufacturing facility or domestic violence center and a sign is posted identifying it as such and warning that trespassing is a felony, trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance is a third degree felony.
- Trespass on School Property with Firearm or Other Weapon, Florida Statute § 810.095 — An alleged offender commits a third degree felony if he or she is trespassing upon school property and brings onto, or to possesses on, such school property any weapon or any firearm. School property is defined as “the grounds or facility of any kindergarten, elementary school, middle school, junior high school, secondary school, career center, or postsecondary school, whether public or nonpublic,” and weapon is defined under Florida Statute § 790.001(13) as “any dirk, knife, metallic knuckles, slingshot, billie, tear gas gun, chemical weapon or device, or other deadly weapon except a firearm or a common pocketknife, plastic knife, or blunt-bladed table knife.”
- Trespass Upon Grounds or Facilities of a School, Florida Statute § 810.097 — An alleged offender commits a second degree misdemeanor if he or she does not have legitimate business on the campus or any other authorization, license, or invitation to enter or remain upon school property, or is a student currently under suspension or expulsion and enters or remains upon the campus or any other facility owned by any such school. If the alleged offender enters or remains upon the campus or other facility of a school after the principal of such school, or his or her designee, has directed the alleged offender to leave such campus or facility or not to enter upon the campus or facility, trespass upon the grounds of a school facility is a first degree misdemeanor.
Criminal Trespass Penalties in Miami
The possible punishments people can be sentenced to if they plead guilty to or are convicted of trespassing offenses depends on how the underlying crimes were classified.
Statutory maximums in these cases are generally as follows:
- Second degree misdemeanor — Up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $500
- First degree misdemeanor — Up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000
- Third degree felony — Up to 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000
It is important to note that the jury instructions for certain trespassing offenses state that the authority to enter upon or remain in property does need not be given in express words, as such permission can be implied from the circumstances. Additionally, a prosecutor must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that an alleged offender “willfully” committed an alleged trespassing offense, meaning that he or she intentionally, knowingly, and purposely broke the law.
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