New York Penal Law § 140.10 – Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree
Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree is a crime prohibiting individuals from entering or remaining in certain buildings, properties or areas without the owner’s permission. Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree is a Class B misdemeanor.The Elements of Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree
Before a judge or jury can convict anyone of Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree, the government must prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. There are several different ways one can commit Trespassing in the Third Degree, which involve a person unlawfully entering or remaining in or on,
- A fenced area designed to keep intruders out;
- Schools, overnight camps and day camps,
- Public housing projects,
- Railroad right-of-ways and rail yards.
Thus, the elements of Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree are:
- The defendant unlawfully entered or remained in any of the above-listed areas; and
- The defendant did so knowingly.
In this context, knowingly refers to the defendant’s knowledge that they did not have permission to be on the property. Thus, if you intentionally enter a property with the honest but mistaken belief you were permitted to do so, you were not trespassing.Examples of Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree
There are many different situations that can give rise to Trespassing in the Third Degree charges, including the following:
- Disregarding posted no-trespassing signs along railroad tracks;
- Remaining in a public housing project despite being asked to leave or after having violated the posted rules;
- Hoping over the fence to enter a junkyard after hours; and
- Cutting through residents’ yards by jumping fences.
The New York Penal Law contains other offenses that are similar to Trespassing in the Third Degree. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest, prosecutors bring any of the following offenses in addition to those of Trespassing in the 3rd Degree:
- Trespass – NY Penal Law § 140.05
- Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 140.15
- Criminal Trespass in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 140.17
- Burglary in the Third Degree – NY Penal Law § 140.20
- Burglary in the Second Degree – NY Penal Law § 140.25
- Burglary in the First Degree – NY Penal Law § 140.30
- Possession of Burglar’s Tools – NY Penal Law § 140.35
There are several defenses to Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree that can either reduce your sentencing exposure or result in the prosecution withdrawing the case against you or the jury returning a “not guilty” verdict.
The most common trespassing defenses include the following:
- You were on the property with the owner’s permission;
- You did not know you had entered another’s property;
- You thought you had the owner’s permission;
- Your entry was not “unlawful” because it was justified, for example, due to an ongoing emergency.
Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree is a Class B misdemeanor. In New York, a conviction for a Class B misdemeanor carries a maximum jail sentence of up to three months and a fine of up to $500.Speak with an Experienced New York Criminal Trespassing Lawyer About Your Case Today
If you were recently arrested and charged with Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree, the dedicated NY criminal defense lawyers at Tilem & Associates, P.C. can help. For nearly 30 years, we’ve aggressively defended the rights of good people charged with serious crimes, helping them overcome the allegations against them so they can move on with their lives. We are immediately available to meet with you to get started working on a compelling defense to the charges you face. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation today, call 877-377-8666. You can also reach us through our online contact form.