RETAIN OUR DUPAGE, KANE, AND COUNTY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYERS
Trespassing charges are a serious matter that can lead to significant legal penalties, including fines and jail time. In addition, a trespassing conviction on your record has the potential to hurt your chances of getting a job, renting an apartment, getting into college, or even voting or owning a firearm. For these reasons, if you’ve been accused of trespassing in the Chicago area, you should speak to a lawyer as soon as you can. To schedule a free consultation with one of our criminal defense lawyers, call Martin & Kent today at (630) 474-8000.
The Basics of Trespassing in Illinois
Though a seemingly small offense, penalties for trespassing can actually be quite weighty and often damage your record more than you might think.
According to state law, trespassing takes place when:
- A person knowingly enters or remains within any residence without authority; or
- Enters the residence of another and knows that occupants are present.
It is necessary to present a defense that is based on strong evidence and many firms lack the ability to do this. At Martin & Kent, L.L.C., we pride ourselves on giving clients our very best, time after time. If you’ve been arrested for trespassing, the prosecution is already preparing a case against you. You should have a skilled attorney preparing your defense as soon as possible, as well. Retain our DuPage County criminal defense lawyers for swift and concise legal action.
WHAT CONSTITUTES CRIMINAL TRESPASS?
Entering someone else’s property without permission on remaining in a place without permission can lead to an arrest and charge of criminal trespass. When you think of trespassing, you may think of kids or teenagers sneaking across someone’s yard. While trespass is a common juvenile offense, it is also regularly charged against adult defendants in a variety of scenarios. The following are examples of common trespass crimes in Illinois:
- Criminal trespass to real property – This charge may apply when someone enters into or remains in a building or on someone else’s property when they know they do not have the permission to do so. It can include using false documents to gain entry from owners.
- Criminal trespass to a vehicle – This offense occurs when a person enters or operates a motor vehicle, watercraft, aircraft, or snowmobile without the proper authority from the owner.
- Criminal trespass to a residence – You can be charged with this offense if you are accused of trespassing of building that specifically serves as a residence for others.
Unlike the offense of burglary, an individual does not have to intend to commit a crime within a building or residence to be charged with criminal trespass.
While trespass is often considered to be a relatively minor offense, aggravating factors can make a case more serious. For instance, if a prosecutor alleges that you entered a residence when you knew or should have known that people were present inside, the charge escalates from a misdemeanor to a felony. In addition, some trespass charges are accompanied by criminal damage to property charges if a prosecutor alleges you damaged something while trespassing.
There are also additional trespass charges that become significantly more specific, including:
- Criminal trespass to state-owned or supported land
- Criminal trespass to a facility used for nuclear power
- Criminal trespass to areas in airports that are restricted to the public
- Criminal trespass to a school safe zone
We know how to defend against all types of trespass charges and will build the strongest defense possible in each case.
HOW IS TRESPASSING PUNISHED?
Your penalties rest on the circumstances of your alleged crime. The court will take into account whether the offense took place on residential or ‘real’ property, if you have any prior convictions, and if any damage was done to the property. A conviction can range from a Class A misdemeanor all the way to a Class 3 felony.
Penalties for trespassing commonly include the following:
- Up to $25,000 in fines
- Up to six years in prison
- Restitution to the victim
Always remember that trespassing isn’t only considered a crime when it takes place on actual property-it can also take place on a vehicle or watercraft. The same regulations generally apply and such a crime is usually considered a Class A misdemeanor.
DEFENDING YOU AGAINST YOUR CHARGES
We are aware that many times, individuals are wrongly accused of trespassing and prosecuted as such. Our firm operates under the belief that each client is innocent until proven guilty. This allows us to thoroughly investigate every aspect of your case and compile our findings into an airtight defense.
When we sit down together for your free consultation, our DuPage County criminal defense lawyers will work with you to develop a strategy that you feel comfortable with. As the client, you are our number one priority.
CONTACT A DUPAGE COUNTY CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAW FIRM TODAY
If you’ve been accused of trespassing, you should speak to an experienced lawyer as soon as you can. We will review your case at no cost to you and let you know what your legal options are. As former prosecutors, we have an insight into how the other side is thinking and can use that knowledge to obtain a favorable plea bargain or directly defend against the allegations that have been brought against you. To schedule your free consultation with a criminal defense lawyer serving DuPage, Cook, and Kane Counties, call our office today at (630) 474-8000. We’re here to help.