Criminal  &  Civil  Litigation

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a)  Buildings and occupied structures: A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he: 


(i)  enters, gains entry by subterfuge or surreptitiously remains in any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof; or 
(ii)  breaks into any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof.

  • An offense under paragraph (1)(i) is a felony of the third degree, and an offense under paragraph (1)(ii) is a felony of the second degree.
  • As used in this subsection: "Breaks into."  To gain entry by force, breaking, intimidation, unauthorized opening of locks, or through an opening not designed for human access.


(b)  Defiant trespasser:

(1)  A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by: 

(i)  actual communication to the actor; 
(ii)  posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; 
(iii)  fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders; 
(iv)  notices posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the person's attention at each entrance of school grounds that visitors are prohibited without authorization from a designated school, center or program official; or 
(v)  an actual communication to the actor to leave school grounds as communicated by a school, center or program official, employee or agent or a law enforcement officer.

  • Except as provided in paragraph (1)(v), an offense under this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree if the offender defies an order to leave personally communicated to him by the owner of the premises or other authorized person. An offense under paragraph (1)(v) constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise it is a summary offense.


(b.1)  Simple trespasser: A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place for the purpose of: (i)  threatening or terrorizing the owner or occupant of the premises; (ii)  starting or causing to be started any fire upon the premises; (iii)  defacing or damaging the premises; or (iv)  unlawfully taking secondary metal from the premises.

  • An offense under paragraph (1)(iv) constitutes a first degree misdemeanor. An offense under paragraph (1)(i), (ii) or (iii) constitutes a summary offense.


(c)  Defenses: It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

  • a building or occupied structure involved in an offense under subsection (a) of this section was abandoned;
  • the premises were at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
  • the actor reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain.


If you have been charged with Criminal Trespass, you should be familiar with the statute. There are many ways the prosecution can show you violated this statute. Depending on the subsection you were charged with, the crime could be a misdemeanor or summary (non-traffic citation) offense. For Criminal Trespass, there are also several defenses we can raise, one of the most popular being that you thought the person would have allowed you to be there.

Criminal Trespass 

Criminal Trespass

CRIMINAL DEFENSE:

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If you have been charged with Criminal Trespass, contact  Sheridan Lawyers today by calling 484-653-0774.

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