California Trespass Laws – What happens if I’m caught on someone else’s property?

California Penal Code 602 PC (and its related sections) penalizes over 30 acts that are considered criminal trespassing. The most common acts that California trespassing laws prohibit are:

  • entering someone else’s property with the intent to damage that property,
  • entering someone else’s property with the intent to interfere with or obstruct the business activities conducted thereon,
  • entering and occupying another’s property without permission, and
  • refusing to leave private property after you’ve been asked to do so.

Despite the various acts that can be charged as trespassing, they all include:

  1.  the fact that you willfully enter someone else’s property,
  2. with the specific intent to interfere with that person’s property rights.

California trespassing laws can be filed as infractions, misdemeanors, or felonies.

Misdemeanor Penal Code 602 violations subject you to up to six months in a county jail and a maximum $1,000 fine. However, certain violations will raise your jail sentence to one year.

You may be charged with a felony if you commit a California “aggravated” criminal trespass (if you threaten to injure another person seriously and, within 30 days of making that threat, unlawfully enter that person’s home or workplace intending to carry out your threat).

Aggravated trespass can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on:

  1. the circumstances of the offense, and
  2. your criminal history.

A misdemeanor conviction for aggravated trespass subjects you to a maximum one-year in the county jail and a maximum $2,000 fine. A felony conviction for this offense subjects you to the same fine and 16 months, or two or three years in the California State Prison.

If you are accused of this offense, you may also be charged with making criminal threats and/or burglary.

If you have been charged with trespassing, it is important you hire an experienced attorney who will work to have this charge reduced or dismissed. William Daley is an experienced criminal defense and San Diego DUI lawyer with over thirty years of experience defending his clients and getting their charges reduced or dismissed. Call THE LAW OFFICE OF WILLIAM DALEY at (619) 238-1905 to set up a free 30 minute consultation today!

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