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Trespass

Philosopher John Locke greatly influenced the United States Declaration of Independence. Locke emphasized “life, liberty, and property.” Property ownership is a cornerstone of American society. And if you violate the property rights of another, you are committing the crime of trespassing (called “trespass” by New York statute).

Trespass is charged in several degrees. With each increasing degree, the penalties grow more severe. Trespassing is often accidental. It may be possible to avoid criminal charges. If you’re facing trespass charges, you should speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney immediately. 

Defense Attorney for Trespass in Garden City, NY

The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni has represented clients all across Long Island for trespassing, burglary, and similar crimes. Stephanie Selloni is a dedicated criminal defense attorney. She believes in the presumption of innocence until guilt is proven.

Call 516-972-1212 or fill out an online form to speak to Stephanie. Your initial consultation is free. Stephanie will review your case and look for holes or errors in the prosecution’s case. Whenever possible, she will push to reduce or dismiss your charges. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents Nassau and Suffolk County clients in areas like Hempstead, Mineola, and Westbury on Long Island, New York.


Overview of Trespass in Garden City, NY


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Definition of Trespass in Garden City, NY

New York Penal Law 140.05 provides a basic definition of trespass. A person is trespassing when they enter or remain in or on premises where they are not authorized to be. State law defines premises as a building or real property. 

Simple trespass is charged as a non-criminal offense called a violation. Penalties potentially include up to 15 days in jail and a maximum fine of $250. However, law enforcement officials often just take the offender into custody. The offender is then issued an appearance ticket with the time and place that they must appear in court. 

A crime closely related to trespass is burglary. Burglary also involves knowingly entering and remaining in a building without authorization, but with the intent to commit a crime. A burglar often enters a building illegally intending to commit theft. 


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Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree in Garden City, NY

Criminal trespass in the third degree is defined by New York Penal Law 140.10.  This law is violated when a person trespasses in a building or on property: 

  • That is surrounded by a fence or some other barrier to prevent entry by the public;
  • Where the building is used as a public school or camp and has clearly posted rules forbidding trespassing;
  • That is a public school in a city of more than a million people and the person has been asked to leave by a school representative;
  • That is a public school outside a city of more than a million people and the person has been asked to leave by a school representative, board member, or trustee;
  • Where the building is a public housing project and rules prohibiting unauthorized entry are clearly posted;
  • Where the building is a public housing project and the person has been asked to leave by a housing police officer or other housing project representative; or
  • Where the property contains train tracks and there is clear signage indicating it is a no-trespassing area.

Third-degree criminal trespass is a class B misdemeanor. A conviction for this crime could result in imprisonment for up to three months. You could also be fined up to $500. Alternatively, you may be placed on probation. 


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Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree in Garden City, NY

New York Penal Law 140.15 defines criminal trespass in the second degree. A violation of this law occurs when a person knowingly enters or remains in a building which is usually occupied by a person at night. Entering a residence or home without permission is an example of second-degree criminal trespass. 

Sex offenders may also be charged with criminal trespass in the second degree. It is illegal for a level 2 or 3 sex offender to enter the premises of a school their victim attends or attended previously. However, a person may not be charged with this crime if they are:

  • A student enrolled at the school;
  • A student who is participating in a school-sponsored event;
  • A parent or guardian entering the school to attend their child’s event or activity;
  • Voting at the school if the school is a polling place; or
  • Authorized by the superintendent or principal to be on school premises.

Second-degree criminal trespass is charged as a class A misdemeanor. A conviction could result in a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison.


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Criminal Trespass in the First Degree in Garden City, NY

Criminal trespass in the first degree is defined by New York Penal Law 140.17. You could be charged with this crime if, while trespassing, you:

  • Possess an explosive or deadly weapon or know that a partner in crime has one;
  • Possess a rifle, shotgun, or firearm and ammo; or
  • Know that a partner in crime has a rifle, shotgun, or firearm and ammo.

First-degree criminal trespass is the most serious trespassing charge you can face. It is classified as a class D felony. Penalties include up to seven years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.


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Additional Resources

Trespass Jury Instruction | NY Courts – Visit this link to view a jury instruction document provided to jurors seated for a trespassing trial. This document contains a legal description of the elements of trespass. Here you can view what facts must be proven in order to convict a defendant of trespass.

Burglary and Related Offenses | New York Penal Laws Article 140 – Visit this page to access the statutes governing burglary and trespass. Here you can find links to learn about the definitions of terms used in these laws. You can read about the penalties for non-criminal trespass, criminal trespass, burglary, and possession of tools and radio devices used for burglary.


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Defense Lawyer for Trespass in Garden City, NY

A conviction for trespass charges can haunt you for years to come. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni can help you present a solid defense if you are facing a property crime. Stephanie Selloni is a dedicated criminal defense lawyer. She will fight to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Contact the Law Office of Stephanie Selloni for a free initial consultation.

Call 516-972-1212 or complete the online form. Stephanie will review your case and the evidence against you. If possible, she will get your charges reduced or dropped. The Law Office of Stephanie Selloni represents Long Island clients from Westbury, Hicksville, Mineola, and all across Nassau and Suffolk County. Call today to get started protecting your rights.


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