Trespassing is a misdemeanor crime that is punishable by jail and up to two years of probation. Like any criminal charge, it should be taken seriously. You may not be aware that there are other consequences of trespassing, in addition to jail and probation.
If you have been charged or ticketed with trespassing, you are likely looking for more information about the possible penalties and other potential consequences. For some, it may seem like there is no need to take a misdemeanor trespassing charge seriously. It may seem like no big deal. Being indifferent to a trespassing charge or conviction can result in unanticipated repercussions.
Criminal Consequences for Trespassing Charges
The most common trespassing charge is officially called “Trespass Upon Lands or Premises of Another.” The maximum sentence is up to 30 days in jail and up to 2 years of court-ordered and supervised probation. Probation conditions can include house arrest, limitations on travel, restricted firearm possession, drug and alcohol prohibition, mandatory education or employment, therapy, and community service.
Different trespassing charges include:
Misdemeanors – up to 90 days in jail and up to 2 years of probation
- Willful trespass; by cutting or destroying property.
- Willful trespassing or entering onto the improved land of another.
- Trespass upon cranberry marshes.
- Trespass upon huckleberry and blackberry marshes.
- Trespass on vineyards, orchards, or gardens.
- Trespass and injuring or destroying medicinal plants.
- Trespass upon lands or premises of another.
- Unlawful dumping, depositing, or placing garbage on the property of another.
Felony Trespassing Chargse – Up to 4 years in prison and up to 5 years of probation.
- Trespass upon the property of state correctional facility.
- Entering or remaining in key facility.
Collateral Consequences of a Trespassing Conviction
Jail and probation are direct punishments that may be imposed on a defendant convicted of trespassing in Michigan. A trespassing conviction may be entered on a person’s criminal history and could be widely and easily discoverable. Because a conviction results in a criminal record, there are also indirect or collateral consequences that must be considered by anyone charged with this offense. The indirect consequences can be serious and may be important, depending on a person’s circumstances. Collateral consequences include:
- Suspension or revocation of a professional license.
- Inability or difficulty in obtaining a nursing, medical, legal, security, or other professional license.
- A conviction can be used by a spouse or former spouse in a custody dispute.
- Inability to obtain a job or advance in a career.
- Inability to have prior convictions expunged or removed from a criminal history.
- Restrictions on traveling to or entering some foreign countries.
- Difficulty in getting into a university or professional educational program.
The Connection Between Trespassing and Civil Disobedience, Protests, and Firearms
Protests and other forms of civil disobedience, especially when firearms are involved, can result in aggressive law enforcement involvement. Under the First Amendment, American citizens have the right to free speech, and this includes lawfully demonstrating in a public place. The Second Amendment guarantees the right to carry and possess firearms. A protester or demonstrator who is exercising his or her right to free speech and who possesses a firearm at the same time is at greater risk for arrest and prosecution. In addition to a charge of Brandishing a Firearm, trespassing charges are frequently used to intimidate and bully otherwise law-abiding citizens.
Defenses to Trespassing Charges
Various defenses can be used to get a trespassing charge thrown out of court or dismissed. Lack of notice that an area is private, inadequate warning not to return, accident, mistaken identity, constitutional violation, insufficient proof, entrapment, and more. It would be an error in judgment to conclude that you have nothing to worry about if you believe you have a defense or justification. Although the American system of justice may be the best in the world, it is far from perfect. People lie, manufacture evidence, misinterpret or twist conversations and statements made to police, and judges sometimes make errors in their rulings. A trespassing charge, like any criminal charge, could have a negative effect on your future. The best defense to a trespassing charge is a criminal defense attorney with experience successfully defending clients with these and similar charges.
Lawyers With Vast Experience Defending Trespassing Charges
The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully defending clients charged with trespassing cases and a multitude of other felony and misdemeanor charges. We understand that the impact on a client’s life if convicted of a crime and we will do everything possible to get all charges dismissed or get you the best resolution possible. If you want someone to fight for you and do whatever it takes to protect your constitutional rights, the attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are ready, willing, and able to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation, or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will contact you promptly.