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Criminal Trespass

Trespassing is one of the most common criminal charges filed against people who allegedly violate the rights of Ohio property owners.

While criminal trespass is a misdemeanor offense, a conviction can still have several long-term consequences for an alleged offender. Many alleged trespassing violations did not involve criminal intent and are frequently the result of honest misunderstandings or confusion.

State law prohibits certain defenses in these cases, so it is critical for an alleged offender to have experienced legal counsel knowledgeable with the best ways to fight these charges.

Criminal Trespass Lawyer in Dayton, OH

Have you been charged with trespassing in Ohio? You can give yourself the chance of securing the most favorable outcome to your case by contacting the Joslyn Law Firm as soon as possible.

Dayton criminal trespass attorney Brian Joslyn represents clients in such areas of Montgomery County as Kettering, Huber Heights, and Dayton as well as surrounding communities in Clark County, Greene County, and Miami County.

Call (937) 356-3969 right now to have him review your case during a free, confidential consultation.

Overview of Criminal Trespass in Montgomery County

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Criminal Trespass Charges in Ohio

Ohio Revised Code § 2911.21 establishes that a person can be charged with criminal trespass if the alleged offender, without privilege to do so, does any of the following:

  • Knowingly enters or remains on the land or premises of another; 
  • Knowingly enters or remains on the land or premises of another, the use of which is lawfully restricted to certain persons, purposes, modes, or hours, when the offender knows the alleged offender is in violation of any such restriction or is reckless in that regard; 
  • Recklessly enters or remains on the land or premises of another, as to which notice against unauthorized access or presence is given by actual communication to the offender, or in a manner prescribed by law, or by posting in a manner reasonably calculated to come to the attention of potential intruders, or by fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to restrict access; 
  • Being on the land or premises of another, negligently fails or refuses to leave upon being notified by signage posted in a conspicuous place or otherwise being notified to do so by the owner or occupant, or the agent or servant of either.

It is important to note that state law also prohibits an alleged offender from claiming that the land or premises involved was owned, controlled, or in custody of a public agency as a defense to criminal trespassing. Similarly, an alleged offender cannot use authorization to enter or remain on the land or premises involved as a defense if such authorization was secured by deception.

Alleged offenders can also be charged with criminal trespass on place of public amusement under Ohio Revised Code § 2911.21 if they, without privilege to do so, knowingly enter or remain on any restricted portion of a place of public amusement and, as a result of that conduct, interrupt or cause the delay of the live performance, sporting event, or other activity taking place at the place of public amusement after a printed written notice has been given that the general public is restricted from access to that restricted portion of the place of public amusement.

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Criminal Trespass Penalties in Dayton

In most circumstances, criminal trespassing is classified as a fourth-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and fines up to $250. Criminal trespass on place of public amusement is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $1,000.

If an alleged offender commits criminal trespassing while using a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle, the court can double the amount of the fine. An all-purpose vehicle is defined under Ohio Revised Code § 4519.01 as “any self-propelled vehicle designed primarily for cross-country travel on land and water, or on more than one type of terrain, and steered by wheels or caterpillar treads, or any combination thereof, including vehicles that operate on a cushion of air, vehicles commonly known as all-terrain vehicles, all-season vehicles, mini-bikes, and trail bikes.”

If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of or pleaded guilty two or more criminal trespass violations and the current alleged offense involves a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle, the court can impound the certificate of registration of that snowmobile or off-highway motorcycle or the certificate of registration and license plate of that all-purpose vehicle for at least 60 days.

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Ohio Resources for Criminal Trespass

What you need to know about landowner liability, trespassing laws — One of the primary reasons for the additional penalties in cases involving snowmobiles, off-highway motorcycles, and all-purpose vehicles is that this types of trespassing is especially common on the land of Ohio farmers. The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation (OFBF) is a 501(c)(3) grassroots charitable nonprofit organization. This section of the OFBF website provides five things for landowners to know about the state’s trespassing laws and also contains a link to informational brochures.

Landowner Liability for Trespassing Children — The Agricultural & Rural Law Program, a project of the C. William Swank Program in Rural-Urban Policy and Ohio State University Extension, produced this fact sheet following the Ohio Supreme Court’s adoption of the so-called “attractive nuisance doctrine” in Bennett v. Stanley. In that case, one of the Bennett children fell into an abandoned swimming pool on the Stanley residence that had filled with rainwater. The child drowned as did the mother in an apparent rescue attempt. While the Common Pleas Court and Court of Appeals both held that the landowners were not liable because Ohio law did not recognize a duty to protect trespassing children, the Supreme Court adopted the attractive nuisance doctrine that has cine become referred to as an “artificial condition” under Duties owed to trespassers in Ohio Revised Code § 2305.402.

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Find a Criminal Trespass Lawyer in Dayton, Ohio

If you were arrested for trespassing in Montgomery County or a surrounding area, you should immediately seek legal representation. The Joslyn Law Firm defends clients accused of property crimes all over Dayton as well as such nearby communities as Beavercreek, Fairborn, Huber Heights, Kettering, Piqua, Springfield, Troy, and many more.

Brian Joslyn is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Dayton, OH. You can have him evaluate your case and discuss all of your legal options as soon as you call (937) 356-3969 or submit an online form to schedule a free consultation.

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