Trespass occurs whenever an individual willfully enters or remains in a structure or conveyance without being authorized, licensed, or invited. If an individual is legally on the property, a trespass occurs when the owner or someone authorized by the owner is warned to depart and the individual refuses to leave the premises. Florida Statute 810.08.
A “conveyance” is a motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad car, or aircraft. To “enter a conveyance” includes taking apart any portion of the conveyance.
There are many defenses to Trespass on a Structure or Conveyance including:
- Willfulness – The trespass must be willful! Reasonable mistake is a defense! Courts measure willfulness by what the arrested person was thinking/intent proved by objective facts
- Consent – If you were given permission to enter onto the property then you have a defense. Consent can come in many forms! (express, implied, constructive)
- Necessity – the arrested person needed to use the property for a justifiable purpose
- Notice – was the posting on the property legally sufficient under Florida law to put the individual on notice that they were trespassing?
- Authorization – Was the person who gave the notice to leave authorized to do so and did that person or police officer have the authority to give the order to vacate under Florida criminal law?
- Other defenses may be available depending on the specific facts of your case.
Trespass of a Structure or Conveyance is a misdemeanor of the second degree under Florida law. This means that an individual arrested for this criminal offense faces up to 60 days in the county jail and a fine of up to $500.00.
Trespass can be also be a felony or a more serious first degree misdemeanor. Click below for more information on these types of crimes:
- Armed Trespass
- Trespass on a Construction Site
- Trespass of a Dwelling (house or home)
- Trespass on School Grounds
Each case is different and unique based upon the individual facts of your case. Do not let a criminal charge or criminal conviction affect your employment, education, or future. Call now to set up your free consultation so I can answer any questions you may have regarding your criminal case.
Lakeland, FL (863) 838-5549
Tampa, FL (813) 789-6404
It’s allowed to put a sign in your yard about your neighbor without getting reprimanded in most cases. However, it’s considered to be harassment if you live in a community with a Homeowners Association.
You can tell a cop to leave your property when you don’t consent to a search. The police must have reasonable suspicion – meaning a clear, specific, and unbiased reason for suspecting that you have been involved in a crime and/or are armed and dangerous.
You can beat a trespassing charge in various ways. You can opt to pay for the damages incurred. Another way would be to tell the landowner that you did not see any No Trespassing signs. Lastly, you can also point out to the prosecutor that you didn’t mean any harm.
No Trespassing signs should be 500 feet apart from each other in a clear noticeable place. Aside from this, letters should be no less than two inches in height, with the words “No Trespassing” and the name of the owner of the land.
A trespass warning is good for one year in Florida. It will be effective for a year from the date of execution and will remain in the computer for that period of time.