If you are on someone’s property without the owner’s permission, you may be charged with trespassing. Trespassing charges in Florida can lead to jail time, fines, and probation. Your best chance at avoiding a criminal record is to contact an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney. Prosecutors can apply trespassing charges in many situations, and the consequences can be very serious. Depending on the circumstances, prosecutors may charge you with a misdemeanor or a felony. If you are facing trespassing charges in Florida, call 407-644-2466 and talk to an Orlando trespassing defense lawyer at the Rivas Law Firm.
What are the trespassing laws in Florida?
There are two basic types of trespassing charges in Florida; trespass on property and trespass in a building. Unlike many other crimes, police do not have to prove intent to charge someone with trespassing. Your presence on someone’s property or in a building or vehicle without authorization is enough.
Generally, the laws are to protect property and maintain a peaceful environment for government and business. Retail stores commonly use trespassing statutes to keep perceived troublemakers from disrupting commerce. Convenience stores, for example, post “No Trespassing” signs which give police authority to order undesirable people off the premises. Bars and nightclubs use the law to enforce bans on disorderly customers. The statutes outlaw trespassing at particular places like airports and construction sites, and there is a specific law for trespassing at schools.
Recently, the government has started using charges of trespassing to discourage certain actions or behavior. For instance, you can face federal trespassing charges for political activities.
Can you go to jail for trespassing in Florida?
Depending on whether the offense was a misdemeanor or a felony, penalties for trespassing can range from up to 60 days in jail to up to five years in prison plus fines and probation.
Florida Statute 810.09, “Trespass on property other than structure or conveyance,” is a first degree misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The charge can be elevated to a felony if the crime involved weapons or if it took place in areas with special designations, such as a construction site, agricultural zone, or airport.
Florida Statute 810.08, “Trespass in structure or conveyance,” is a second-degree misdemeanor. It is punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500. A “structure” generally means any kind of building, and a “conveyance” means a boat or a vehicle of any kind. The penalties can increase if the structure or conveyance is occupied or if there are weapons involved.
Defense against Trespassing Charges in Florida.
There are many ways that an experienced and aggressive criminal defense lawyer can help you fight these charges. A prosecutor must be able to prove several elements of the alleged incident. For example, that you entered or remained on the property or in the building “without
authorization, license, or invitation.”
The law states that permission “may be implied from the circumstances. It is lawful to enter or remain if, under all the circumstances, a reasonable person would believe that [he] [she] had the permission of the owner or occupant.”
Other challenges may include whether proper notice was posted on the property, or whether the police had the express permission of the property owner to issue a trespass warning. Trespassing is one of the charges in which prosecutors have a lot of discretion. If the prosecutor knows he is up against a skilled defense attorney who knows the law and is determined to fight, it’s possible that the charges can be reduced or even dismissed. If you’ve been charged with a crime, call 407-644-2466 to talk with the Orlando criminal defense lawyers at the Rivas Law Firm.