Trespassing is normally considered a serious offense in New Jersey because it is an invasion of privacy. Depending on the facts and alleged victim in your case, a trespass charge can be a disorderly persons offense or indictable crime and can be coupled with other charges such as Burglary or Criminal Mischief. Our law firms defends clients for trespass charges throughout Union County and surrounding areas including Elizabeth, Linden, Clark, Scotch Plains, Cranford, Plainfield, Kenilworth, and Westfield. We are normally able to successfully conference these matters with the prosecutor and victim to work out a negotiated plea to a downgraded offense or have it dismissed altogether. As always, if the matter cannot be worked out we are ready and able to present an aggressive defense at trial. If you would like to learn more information regarding New Jersey Trespass law then contact our office in Cranford for a free initial consultation at (908) 838-0150.
Trespassing can be defined as a broad range of conduct including Defiant Trespass and Criminal Trespass defending on the circumstances. The New Jersey trespass statute 2C:18-3 is provided, in pertinent part, below:
New Jersey Trespassing Statute 2C:18-3
a. Unlicensed entry of structures. A person commits an offense 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. An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a school or school property…dwelling…[or] research facility. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.
b. Defiant trespasser. 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 to the actor; or
(2) Posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or
(3) Fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
c. Peering into windows or other openings of dwelling places. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person and under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the dwelling or other structure would not expect to be observed.
Crime Degree Punishment
|Defiant Trespass||Petty Disorderly Persons Offense||
|Criminal Trespass||Disorderly Persons Offense||
|Criminal Trespass||4th Degree Crime||
Defiant Trespass Lawyer in Rahway NJ
In general, most trespass cases are disorderly persons offense and petty disorderly persons offenses. Examples of this are neighbor disputes and going into a store after being previously banned. As mentioned in the above statute, trespassing will only be upgraded to a fourth degree felony if the trespassed property is someone’s home, school property, or a public utilities facility or if you are caught peering through windows of someone’s house, often referred to as peeping tom. Whatever the facts of your case are, one thing is for sure – if you are convicted of trespassing you will get a permanent criminal record, and face penalties such as probation, community service and incarceration. Founding attorney, Will Proetta, Esq., has handled literally over a thousand criminal and municipal court cases throughout his career and knows what it takes to beat defiant and criminal trespass charges. If you would like to discuss your matter in more detail during a free initial consultation with an experienced trespass lawyer contact our office at (908) 838-0150.