Lawrence NJ Criminal Trespass Attorneys
With Offices in Trenton and Pennington, New Jersey
The most common crime against property in the State of New Jersey is trespassing. Although you might not think of yourself as the kind of person who would ever commit an indictable criminal offense, the reality is that anyone can be charged with criminal trespassing. Perhaps you had a few too many drinks at a local bar and ignored the bartender’s request for you to leave. Or maybe you didn’t notice a “no trespassing” sign as you were walking on someone else’s property. Unfortunately, NJ law enforcement might not care about any mitigating circumstances in your case because trespassing is considered a very serious violation of privacy. That’s why it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney so that you can avoid the most significant penalties for a criminal trespassing conviction.
Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a well-respected law firm with a tradition of excellence in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Our skilled attorneys have defended numerous clients against criminal trespass charges in Mercer County, NJ, including Hamilton, Robbinsville, and Hopewell. Additionally, our criminal defense team includes skilled litigators who have been recognized by their peers as being among the very best attorneys in the State of New Jersey. If you or a loved one has been accused of criminal trespassing, KCR can help you.
Criminal Trespass Charges in Mercer County NJ: N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3
Trespassing charges in New Jersey are governed by N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3. The statute sets forth three scenarios for a trespassing offense:
- Unlicensed Entry of a Structure: Anyone who enters or surreptitiously remains in a structure while knowing that they are not licensed or privileged to do so may be charged with unlicensed entry of a structure.
- Defiant Trespassing: Anyone who enters or remains in any place while knowing that they are not licensed or privileged to so may be charged with defiant trespassing. This most commonly occurs when a “no trespassing” sign is posted on private property or when a person is explicitly banned from a commercial establishment, such as a mall or store, but returns to the establishment anyway.
- Peering into Windows: Anyone who illicitly peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person may be charged with peering into windows. This is most commonly known as a “peeping tom” offense.
Penalties for Trespassing in Trenton NJ
The penalties for trespassing in New Jersey vary, depending upon the circumstances of the offense:
- Fourth Degree Felony – Up to 18 Months in NJ State Prison: Unlicensed entry into school property is considered the most serious form of criminal trespassing; as a result, it is an indictable offense which is heard at the county superior court level. Peering into windows is also classified as a fourth degree felony because it involves a direct invasion of privacy.
- Disorderly Persons Offense – Up to 6 Months in County Jail: Unlicensed entry into a structure, other than school property, is classified as a disorderly persons offense. These cases are heard in the local municipal court.
- Petty Disorderly Persons Offense – Up to 30 Days in County Jail: Defiant trespassing is the least serious, as well as the most common, form of trespassing. A conviction for defiant trespassing can result in a sentence of up to 30 days in the local county jail.
Keep in mind that trespassing charges are often accompanied by other serious criminal charges like burglary or criminal mischief. If you are also charged with these more serious offenses, you could be looking at significant penalties, including potential state prison time.
Contact Princeton NJ Trespassing Lawyers
The experienced criminal defense lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are prepared to assist you with your trespassing charges. Call us now to speak with a member of our litigation team, or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation at our offices in Trenton or Pennington.