A person could be arrested for trespassing when they enter, or remain on, the property of another without the right or permission to do so. According to California law, there are dozens of unique situations in which the trespassing laws apply, some common, and some very unusual.
Your Los Angeles trespassing lawyer will be able to utilize and number of different criminal defenses to show your innocence and possibly get the case dismissed;
Right to Be on the Property
No person in California can be convicted of trespassing when they had legal right to be on the property. One of the common cases with trespassing involves the right to legally participate in labor or union organized activities. A person is not technically trespassing when they are protesting on a property but have legal rights due to the union activities. Despite the land owner asking the parties to leave because they are obstructing business, protestors or those picketing do have rights.
Your Los Angeles trespassing lawyer can quickly determine if you had the right to be on the property or were constitutionally protected to free expression.
Consent to Being on Property
If a person is arrested for occupying the property of another person without their permission, it is possible you can get the case dismissed if your attorney is able to show you initially had the consent of the owner to be on that property. These cases can be a little confusing because the owner at one point gave consent, but the person remained on the property too long, and now is considered to be trespassing.
The prosecution will have to prove the defendant did not realize the consent given had expired or they occupied said property for longer than what was agreed upon. If given initial consent but staying too long, it does not warrant a trespassing charge. The exception is if the prosecution can prove the property owner required you to leave to avoid any criminal liability and you refused.
Never Occupied the Property
Your Los Angeles trespassing lawyer may be able to prove you never occupied the property in question. In order to get a conviction in a trespassing case in California, the prosecution must show you occupied the property and deprived the owner of use or did so for a continuous period of time. If charged for briefly being on the property, the charges can not stick and your attorney will quickly poke holes in the case. Perhaps the owner thought you crossed the boundary or it could be a case of mistaken identity.
If you did not enter or occupy the property, the prosecution has to prove otherwise. Even if found on the property, it could be you were there seconds by mistake and planned on moving on when the police showed up.
Property Not Signed or Fenced
One of the more common and winnable defenses in trespassing cases is your attorney showing that the property was not adequately fenced or signed. According to California law, a person can be charged with trespassing when they enter on to a property that is enclosed or fenced, with trespassing signage displayed at intervals around the perimeter. The signage must be at every road or trail entering the property, and at no less than three signs per mile along every boundary of the said property.
The water gets very muddied in these cases because the person arrested for trespassing may have wandered on to the property where a sign was not present or went missing. If the signs were not posted in accordance with the law, then the person can not be convicted of a crime. Your Los Angeles trespassing lawyer might be able to show that one perimeter of the property was not fenced or had signs, so the defendant did not realize they were doing anything wrong until the police arrived.
If you have been wrongfully convicted of trespassing, don’t take the punishment without putting up a fight for your rights. The Los Angeles trespassing lawyer will be able to paint a picture that casts doubt on the prosecution case and helps give you the opportunity to avoid this charge being part of your permanent record.