Criminal Trespass and Unlicensed Entry

We all have seen signs that say “No Trespassing,” but not everyone knows what it actually means to “trespass.”

Some think trespassing merely involves being on the property of another without their permission. However, inNew Jersey, it could actually involve much more than that.

If you are charged with criminal trespass in NJ, make sure to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.


What is Criminal Trespass?

There are several different ways a person can commit criminal trespass in New Jersey.

Under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3, if you enter or surreptitiously remain in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion of such a structure while knowing that you are not licensed or privileged to be there, you can be convicted of criminal trespass.


Additionally, you can be considered a “defiant trespasser” if you enter or remain in any place where notice against trespassing is given through: 1) actual communication, 2) posting of a sign, or 3) fencing or closing off an enclosure.


Lastly, you could be guilty of criminal trespass if you peer into a window or other opening of a dwelling or structure adapted for overnight accommodation (e.g. hotel/motel, RV, tent, etc.) for the purpose of invading the privacy of another (under circumstances in which a reasonable person inside would not expect to be observed) while knowing that you are not licensed or privileged to do so.


Penalties for Trespassing in New Jersey

Trespassing in a school or on school property, in a dwelling, in a research facility, in a power generation facility, or in any like facility will be considered a fourth degree crime.

Likewise, trespassing by peering is a fourth degree crime.

Trespassing in any other structure is considered a disorderly persons offense.

However, if the law considers you to be a “defiant trespasser,” you can only be guilty of a petty disorderly persons offense.


Trespassing Defenses

There are three main defenses that an experienced NJ criminal attorney can raise to help you get out of trouble.

First, if the structure that you entered was abandoned, you usually will be able to avoid a conviction.

Second, if the location was open to members of the public at the time you allegedly trespassed and you complied with all the lawful conditions imposed on gaining access and remaining in the structure, then you will be able to avoid a conviction.

Lastly, you can also avoid a conviction if you reasonably believed that the owner (or someone else with authority to give permission) would have: 1) given you access to the structure, 2) allowed you to remain there, or 3) let you peer into it.


Who Should You Contact?

If you or a loved one was recently charged with criminal trespass in NJ, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm today. Mr. Rosenblum is a skilled criminal defense attorney who has helped people in similar situations. He will defend your constitutional rights and do what he can to have your trespass charges dismissed. E-mail or call him today at 888-815-3649.