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Criminal Trespass

Criminal trespass occurs when a person knowingly enters or remains unlawfully on another person's property. Even if you are invited onto the property, the owner of the property or another authorized person can ask you to leave. If you refuse to leave or if you return to the property, an accusation of criminal trespass may result.

Criminal Trespass Charges in New York City

If you were charged with criminal trespass, understand that this criminal offense has criminal penalties. Contact an experienced defense attorney about fighting the charges for the best possible results. Rochelle Berliner represents individuals charged with trespass violations or criminal trespass charges throughout New York City including Queens, Brooklyn, The Bronx and Manhattan.


NY Criminal Trespass Information Center


Types of Criminal Trespass Charges under the Laws of the State of New York

Trespass charges under New York law can be charged as a civil violation, in the third degree as a Class "B" misdemeanor, in the second degree as a Class "A" misdemeanor or as a in the first degree as a class "D" Felony.


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Misdemeanor Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree under NY Penal Law 140.10

Trespass in the third degree under New York Penal Law 140.10 is a Class "B" misdemeanor which involves trespass into another person's property. Third degree trespass can be alleged under the following circumstances including:

1. property which is enclosed or fenced in a way designed to exclude intruders;
2. a building used as a secondary or elementary school;
3. a public housing project;
4. a property with a right-of-way or yard of a railroad or rapid transit railroad or railroad.


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Misdemeanor Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree under NY Penal Law 140.15

Trespass in the second degree under New York Penal Law 140.15 is a Class "A" misdemeanor which involves trespassing into a dwelling (often called a home or residence) without permission.


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Felony Criminal Trespass in the First Degree under NY Penal Law 140.17

The most serious type of trespass charge is trespass in the first degree, which is a Class "D" felony under New York Penal law 140.17. The felony version of trespass involves an allegation of trespassing with a firearm or other deadly weapon.


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Trespass on Land or a Business Open to the Public

New York's trespass laws can also apply to certain buildings or businesses that are open to the public. The standard jury instructions for criminal trespass provide that "[a] person who, regardless of his or her intent, enters or remains in or upon premises which are at the time open to the public does so with license and privilege unless he or she defies a lawful order not to enter or remain, personally communicated to him or her by the owner of such premises or other authorized person."

Furthermore, a license or privilege to enter or remain in a building which is only partly open to the public is not a license or privilege to enter or remain in that part of the building which is not open to the public.


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Definitions in the Trespass Statute

New York law provides the following definition for the term "building" to include any dwelling, school, office, structure, vehicle or watercraft used for overnight lodging. When a building consists of two or more units separately secured or occupied, each unit of the building shall be deemed both a separate building in itself and a part of the main building.

Unlawful entry means that the person has no license or privilege to enter or remain in such building or upon such real property. To have no license or privilege to enter remain means to have no right, permission or authority to do so.

For purposes of New York's trespass statute, the term "knowingly" refers to being aware that he or she is entering or remaining in such building or upon such real property without license or privilege to do so.


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Additional Resources

Manhattan DA's Office Trespass Affidavit Program (TAP) - The Community Affairs Unit of the Manhattan District Attorney's Office initiated the Trespass Affidavit Program (TAP) to make it easier to combat the problem of trespassing in the public areas of buildings in Manhattan, NYC. More than 3,2000 buildings in Manhattan have enrolled in the program.

Manhattan Trespass Affidavit Program encourages landlords that enroll in the program post a sign that reads "Tenants and Their Guests ONLY." Officers are then given a list of residents and the authority to issue trespass warnings or make an arrest for criminal trespassing.


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Finding Representation for a Criminal Charge of Trespass

If you were arrested or issued a pink summons after an allegation of trespass, then contact a criminal defense attorney at the Law Offices of Rochelle Berliner. Criminal trespass charges carry serious criminal penalties. Call Rochelle Berliner to discuss your case and defense to fight the charges.

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