Temple Trespassing Attorney
Under Texas Penal Code § 30.05, anyone who enters private property without the owner’s consent has committed criminal trespass. This is a serious charge, and those convicted can face substantial penalties, including fines and jail time.
At the Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC, we represent men and women accused of this and other serious offenses. The facts of each case will determine which defenses we bring, but we approach every case with a focus on getting the best outcome possible for our clients. Please contact our Temple trespassing defense attorney today to learn more.
A Closer Look at Criminal Trespass
In most situations, criminal trespass takes place when a person enters or stays on property without the owner’s permission and receives notice that they shouldn’t be there. The notice a person receives can take many forms, such as:
- “No Trespassing” or “No Hunting” signs posted on the property
- Written or oral notification to leave
- Purple paint marks on trees
- Fences or other enclosures
- Food crops growing on the property
For example, someone might enter land that is not posted. However, if the owner tells them to leave, they must do so promptly, and remaining behind can result in criminal charges.
Criminal Penalties for Trespass
Criminal trespass is generally a Class B misdemeanor. Those convicted can face up to 180 days in jail and a $2,000 fine.
In some cases, criminal trespass will qualify as a Class A misdemeanor, which is the highest misdemeanor offense in Texas. Under the statute, a defendant might face Class A charges when they trespass while carrying a deadly weapon or when they enter a home, Superfund site, or infrastructure facility. They might also face Class A charges when they trespass at an institution of higher learning, such as a college or university. Class A misdemeanors carry as punishment up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
In a narrow set of cases, prosecutors might bring trespass charges as a Class C misdemeanor, such as when a person enters agricultural land near the boundary. A Class C misdemeanor carries a $500 fine with no time in jail.
How to Defend a Criminal Trespass Charge
The best defense is one based on the facts of the case. At our firm, we avoid “off the rack” defense strategies because what works in one case might be a disaster in another. Instead, we carefully analyze all facts surrounding the incident to identify the best path forward for our clients.
In some situations, the defendant might have a right to be on the property. This is true of governmental or utility workers who are doing a job on the land. In other cases, a defendant might have been given consent to enter or stay on the property, even if the owner later claims otherwise.
Call Our Temple Criminal Trespass Lawyer
One wrong step shouldn’t result in months in jail. Fortunately, being charged is not the same thing as being convicted, and those accused can fight back. Contact Katie L. Gomez today to schedule a free consultation. We have the skills necessary to get charges reduced or dismissed, but we need to hear from you first.