Orlando Trespass Lawyer
Under Florida Statute §810.08(1), trespass is defined as someone who willfully enters or remains on any property or in any structure or conveyance without being authorized or invited, or licensed; or, someone who has been invited, authorized, or licensed however is warned by the owner or lessee to leave and refuses to do so. Willfully in this case means purposely, knowingly, or intentionally.Defenses to Charges of Trespass on Property, in Structure or Conveyance in Florida
In every criminal case, the state must prove specific "elements" of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. In the case of trespass in a structure or conveyance, the prosecutor must prove that:
- The defendant intentionally entered a structure/conveyance or remained in the structure/conveyance having been given permission to enter, and knowingly refused to leave after given warning by the owner, lessee, or agent of the owner/lessee;
- the person alleging trespass had lawful possession of the structure/conveyance;
- the person alleging the trespass did not give permission, either express or implied, for the defendant to enter or remain in the structure/conveyance.
The elements necessary to prove trespass of property include:
- The defendant intentionally entered the property or remained on the property alleged by the accuser;
- the person/entity claiming trespass was the owner or in lawful possession of the property
- posting, fencing, cultivation, or actual communication had been given in notice to the defendant not to enter upon or remain on the property, and
- the person or entity claiming the trespass did not give permission, express or implied, for the defendant to enter or remain on the property.
In many cases, Orlando trespass defense lawyers will defend the client by attempting to prevent the prosecutor from proving each and every element. Depending on the circumstances and actual trespass offense, common defense strategies include:
- Express or implied invitation to enter or remain
- Notice not properly posted
- Defendant's presence disputed by facts or evidence
- Once invited, the alleged trespasser was not told to depart
- Property owner's agent had no authority to prevent entry or order removal
- Alleged trespasser received conflicting communications
The penalties an individual will face if convicted of trespass will depend on the type of trespass, criminal history, and other factors.
Trespass in a structure or conveyance is usually charged as a second-degree misdemeanor, however it can be charged as a first-degree misdemeanor if another person was present at the time the trespass took place. A second-degree misdemeanor will result in a maximum of 60 days in jail, while a first-degree misdemeanor will result in a maximum of one year in jail. However, the presence of a dangerous weapon or firearm may result in up to five years in prison, as this is a third-degree felony.
Trespass on property is typically a first-degree misdemeanor leaving the defendant facing a maximum of one year in jail, however this offense may also be charged as a third-degree felony when a dangerous weapon/firearm was in the possession of the alleged offender. Again, a third-degree felony charge may result in a maximum of five years in prison.Contact Adams & Luka Immediately
As you can see, an offense as seemingly harmless as trespass can leave you facing loss of your freedom, along with a permanent criminal record. At Adams & Luka, our Orlando trespass defense attorneys are skilled, experienced, and aggressive. We are committed to excellent results, and invite you to call us now at (407)872-0307 or (352)787-2101 for a free consultation.