Hillside NJ Trespass Attorney
If you have been charged with trespass in Roselle, Clark, Linden or another municipality in Union County, there are a few things you want to know about the charge. Criminal trespass, just like the offense of burglary, involves the unlawful entry upon the property of another. Entering or remaining on property without a license or authority results in trespass under New Jersey law. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall have considerable experience defending trespass cases at both the Union County Superior and in municipal courts like Cranford and Elizabeth. In fact, the defense team at our firm have over a century in practice combined, including years serving as prosecutors. An attorney is available immediately to answer all of your questions and to provide your with their insight as to the best approach for defending you. To speak to a lawyer in a free consultation, contact our Union NJ Office at 908-272-1700.
Grading Of A Criminal Trespass Offense
Typically speaking, criminal trespass is a disorderly persons offense, however, a defendant’s presence in certain facilities enhances the charge to a fourth degree crime. This occurs when someone trespasses on property of a school, in a residential dwelling, research facility, power facility, waste, water, power, electric or sewer plant, or any facility which stores, generates or handles any hazardous chemicals or chemical compounds. Lastly, it is a fourth degree crime to knowingly “peer” into windows or other openings of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation (e.g. a hotel) for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person and under circumstances in which a reasonable person would not expect to be observed (i.e. they have a reasonable expectation of privacy).
Petty Disorderly Persons Offense Of Defiant Trespass
Defiant trespass occurs when someone, who lacks a license or privilege to do so, enters any place to which notice against trespass has been given either by (1) actual communication to the trespasser, (2) appropriate posting against trespass as prescribed by law or posting reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, and (3) fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
Defenses to the Offense of Trespass
If you are charged with one of these three offenses (the petty disorderly persons offense, disorderly persons offense, or the fourth degree offense for trespass), do not think that there is nothing that can be done for you. There are at least three affirmative defenses to this crime. It is an affirmative defense to the crime that the property was abandoned. It is an affirmative defense to the crime that the property was open to members of the public at the time in question and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining on the property. Lastly, there is an affirmative defense if the actor reasonably believed that the owner of the structure would have licensed him to enter or remain on the property or to peer.
Penalties If Convicted of Trespass
A conviction for a fourth degree trespass carries a fine of up to $10,000 and possible incarceration for up to 18 months. A disorderly persons offense for trespass carries up to a $1,000 fine and 6 months in the Union County Jail.
Kenilworth NJ Trespass Defense Lawyer
Here at The Law Offices of Jonathan F. Marshall, we have over 100 years of collective experience defending against criminal charges, including criminal trespass charges of all degrees, in Kenilworth, Hillside, Roselle Park, Westfield, Mountainside and other towns in Union County. Do not hesitate to contact us anytime 24/7 to speak to a defense lawyer at the firm. Initial consultations with our attorneys are always free of charge so there is no reason to hesitate in calling us. An attorney is available now to assist you at 908-272-1700.