Most people arrested and charged with trespassing do not even realize that they are in violation of the law. Either they did not realize they were on private property or they did not realize that they were not permitted to return to a certain area. Whether you were “kicked-out” due to a domestic dispute, issued a “no return” notice for a store or you were caught trespassing on Fort Dix, the penalties are serious. Depending upon the nature of your offense, you could be facing up to eighteen (18) months in prison and a felony record. This is in addition to any penalties you face for ancillary criminal charges like robbery, stalking,criminal mischief, shoplifting, harassment or aggravated assault.
New Jersey trespassing laws are promulgated N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3. There are generally two forms of proscribed conduct under this law and they fall under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(a) and N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(b).
“A person commits an offense of trespassing if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or surreptitiously remains in any research facility, structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof.”
Generally, this is a disorderly persons offense. However, it will be elevated to a fourth degree felony if the offense was committed on one of the following places: School or School Property, Dwelling, Research Facility, Utility Company Property, or Operational Part of an Airport.
“A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by (1) Actual communication by the owner, (2) Posting of signs; or (3) Fencing or other enclosure designed to exclude intruders.”
Is It Trespassing if I Had Permission to Go Inside a Building?
No. If you had consent of the owner or if you reasonably believed to have consent of the owner, then you may have an affirmative defense to your trespassing charges. For a more thorough consultation and if you can get your trespassing charges dismissed, call our Burlington County firm today.
What are the Penalties for Trespassing in Mount Holly, NJ?
As previously mentioned, criminal charges for trespassing will be prosecuted as either a petty disorderly persons offense, disorderly persons offense or fourth degree indictable felony offense. The degree of these charges is a direct reflection of the conduct involved. Specifically, a Petty Disorderly Persons Offense carries up to thirty (30) Days in the Burlington County Jail, a $500 fine and a criminal record. A Disorderly Persons Offense carries six (6) months in the Burlington County Jail, a $1,000 fine and a criminal record. Lastly, but most severely, a Fourth Degree Indictable Offense for trespassing carries eighteen (18) months in a NJ State Prison, a $10,000 fine and a criminal record.
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