Although the general public would think that criminal trespassing should be a relatively minor offense, the New Jersey legislature does not. Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3, criminal trespassing can be either a fourth degree felony, a disorderly persons offenses or a petty disorderly persons offense. Disorderly persons offense are more commonly known as misdemeanors. If you have been charged with criminal trespassing or a related crime such as Burglary, Disorderly Conduct, Terroristic Threats, Aggravated Assault or Harassment it is imperative that you speak to an experienced Morris County criminal defense attorney immediately. The team of eight Morristown criminal defense attorneys on staff at the law office of Marshall, Bonus, Proetta & Oliver have the manpower, experience and knowledge to fight to protect your freedom. We have been representing clients charged with trespassing in towns like Riverdale, Pequannock, Dover, Rockaway, Mount Olive, Randolph, Boonton or Madison for over a decade. If you would like to set up a consultation with any one of our criminal defense lawyers, please contact our Morristown office at 973.309.7050. Now here is some key information on the offense of criminal trespassing.
N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3: Morris Township Trespassing Defense Attorneys
In New Jersey, trespassing falls is broken into two different categories, Defiant Trespassing and Criminal Trespassing.
2C:18-3. a. Unlicensed entry of structures. A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or surreptitiously remains in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, or in or upon utility company property. An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a school or on school property. The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a dwelling. An offense under this section is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a research facility, power generation facility, waste treatment facility, public sewage facility, water treatment facility, public water facility, nuclear electric generating plant or any facility which stores, generates or handles any hazardous chemical or chemical compounds. An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in or upon utility company property. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.
b.Defiant trespasser. A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:
(1)Actual communication to the actor; or
(2)Posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or
(3)Fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
c.Peering into windows or other openings of dwelling places. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person and under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the dwelling or other structure would not expect to be observed.
With that being said, the Courts will recognize the following affirmative defenses:
(1)A structure involved in an offense under subsection a. was abandoned;
(2)The structure was at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the structure; or
(3)The actor reasonably believed that the owner of the structure, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain, or, in the case of subsection c. of this section, to peer.
What are the Penalties for Criminal Trespassing in NJ?
If convicted of Criminal Trespassing in the fourth degree, the Defendant is facing up to eighteen (18) months in State Prison, fined up to $10,000 and issued a no trespassing order. If convicted of a disorderly persons offense Criminal Trespassing, the Defendant is facing up to six (6) months in the Morris County Jail, a fine up to $1,000 and issued a no trespassing order. If convicted of a petty disorderly persons offense Defiant Trespassing charge, the Defendant is facing up to thirty (30) days in the Morris County Jail, a fine up to $500 and issued a no trespassing order.
Depending on the facts surrounding the incident and the Defendant’s prior criminal history, defense counsel may be able to convince the prosecution to allow their client to participate in a one of New Jersey’s diversionary programs, either Pretrial Intervention or Conditional Dismissal. For more information please checkout these programs please click there links.
Randolph New Jersey Defiant Trespassing Lawyers
The law firm of Marshall, Bonus, Pretta & Oliver is comprised of eight Morris County criminal defense attorneys, making our office one of the largest criminal defense firms in the State, let alone Morris County. We have been representing clients charged with criminal trespassing, marijuana possession, harassment, stalking, eluding, burglary and criminal restraint in Morris County for over a decade. To set up a free consultation please contact our office at 973.309.7050. Our attorneys are available 24/7 to help assist in any way possible.