When we talk about trespassing, this term is an umbrella for multiple wrongful doings. However, in one short sentence, it could be defined as going on to someone else’s property intentionally without having permission to be there. For example, a homeless man finds a shelter somewhere, but that property is owned by someone else, and knowing this, the homeless man still goes into that property means that he is trespassing.
Well, this is a very mild example, there could be violent cases of trespassing as well, for example, a weaponed man barges into a property and kills or injures the people living there, etc.
Nonetheless, if you have a trespasser on your private property, it means you can get them charged for coming on your property without your permission and stealing your right to enjoy your property alone. And we will guide you on how to charge someone with trespassing.
As per the law, if the trespassing has not caused any violent crime, it can only be charged as a misdemeanor. However, it can become a felony, if any serious criminal activity is found.
So, if anyone trespasses your property, find below how to charge someone with trespassing.
How to charge someone with trespassing?
To begin with, You have two options to get someone with trespassing charges. The first is reporting to the local Sheriff or Police department and the second is bringing a civil lawsuit against the trespasser.
If you plan to go with option one, then report to the local sheriff’s department or police department of the area where a trespassing incident on a property happened. When you are reporting the crime, you’ll have to be very specific with the details along with what had happened and what the trespasser did to your property.
To report the trespasser, you as the owner would have to describe the trespasser in detail. The details include his/her height, color, race, gender, weight, how did he/she look and etc. Moreover, the best thing is that you must meet the officers at the trespassed property and tell them every detail of how that trespasser entered the property, where he/she went, what they did, etc.
The above scenario is only possible if the trespasser had come and left the property as well. However, if you suspect that the trespasser would still be on the property and they have any criminal agenda over their mind, then keep yourself away from the property and give all the details to the officer.
While giving the details of the case, do let the law enforcement officials know that trespasser was asked to leave the property but they didn’t comply with it or if there is a board there, which prohibits anyone from entering the property without the owner’s permission, then bring that to the officer’s attention as well. And also explicitly say to the officer that you intend to press charges against the trespasser clearly.
Once after listening to your report, the law enforcement official will provide you with a copy of the no-trespass citation and along with it, you will also be liable to receive information on how the law enforcement officials have closed the case for example, if trespasser files a plea, requests a trial or pays he fine and ends the case.
Once after the review of your case, your trespasser will be charged as per the intensity of the situation.
What are the charges for trespassing?
Usually, the trespasser is sentenced to a short time in the local jail. It could be for a few days or for a few months, depending on the situation as trespassing is just a misdemeanor. Moreover, if the trespasser was caught on time and he was serving jail time until the hearing, the judge may also release the individual with orders “time served,” considering the time the trespasser has spent in jail until the hearing.
In some cases, the judge may also put on a fine along with jail time or with no jail time as well, however, this all depends on the situation and the intensity of the crime. Moreover, the defendants might also have to pay court fees of $100 or more.
If you opt for the first option to charge someone with trespassing, then this is how your case is going to look like. However, if you choose the second option, then read below to find out details on how to bring charges against the trespasser.
Filing a Civil Lawsuit against the trespasser
We have already explained how to charge someone with trespassing via reporting to the law enforcement officials. However, if a trespasser has caused any damage to your property or the trespasser proves to be a potential risk to the safety of the property, you could file a Civil action lawsuit against the trespasser. This lawsuit might get you compensation for the damages or the potential damages to your property.
However, to file the lawsuit, you as a property owner must prove three things. Number one, that the trespasser was legally stopped from entering the owner’s property. Secondly, the trespasser didn’t comply with your consent as the owner to not to enter the property and still he/she entered the property. Lastly, as a result of the trespasser barging into your property, he/she caused the damages.
Protecting property from trespassing
You can use any of the above methods to charge someone with trespassing. Moreover, if you fear that the trespass may reoccur or cause the property any damage, then you can protect your property legally. However, if you plan to do so, then you must check the laws in your jurisdiction, because in some jurisdictions if you go ahead with protecting your property, the property owner, although is not liable to protect the trespasser as he/she is an uninvited guest on the property, you can be liable if they get injured on your property, even while trespassing.
However, you are only liable to cover the medical cost of the injured trespasser, if he/she is able to prove that the owner had kept the property in a dangerous condition, the situation at the property could result in serious injury or death, the owner had knowledge that the trespasser would not be able to save oneself from the danger of the property that could lead to injury and lastly, there was no warning sign ahead of dangers, that could inform anyone about the potential harm they can do to themself.
If the trespasser proves all four-pointers then the property owner may be liable to cover the medical costs of the trespasser in some jurisdictions.
We hope that your query related to how to charge someone with trespassing is now resolved. Lastly, whichever way you take to protect yourself and your property, always consult a professional before taking any harsh action that may play against you.
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