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Trespass on Property

Trespass on Property in Florida

Florida Statute §810.08, states that a person may be charged with Trespass on Property, if they willfully remain or enter any private property apart from a conveyance or structure without proper invitation, license, or authorization to do so, when proper notice against such actions have been issued, either via measures like cultivation, fencing, or posting, or via actual communication; or remain or willfully enter a dwelling's unenclosed curtilage with the intention of committing a crime on the property, without being invited, licensed, or authorized.

Unenclosed curtilage may be defined to include any outbuildings, enclosed grounds or land, which are intimately or directly adjacent to or connected directly to the property dwelling. They are also necessary, convenient & habitually utilized for activities that are related to the dwelling.

Applicable Penalties

This offense is a Misdemeanor of the First Degree in Florida. The court may impose any of these following penalties in any combination:

Fine not exceeding $500

Probation Period not exceeding 6 months

Imprisonment sentence not exceeding 60 days 

Aggravation of Charges

The charge may be enhanced to A Felony of the Third Degree in case:

The area happens to be a posted agricultural chemicals facility; or

The area happens to be a posted domestic violence center; or

The area happens to be a posted agriculture facility for research or testing purposes; or

The area happens to be a posted construction site; or

The accused was found hunting endangered game or fur-bearing animals; or

The accused was found armed with firearms or other dangerous weapons.

Applicable Defenses

Improper Posting

In case the charge has been filed due to the violated of posted No Trespassing boards and signs, these signs must follow the posting rules listed in Florida Statute §810.011. If the signs are not in compliance with these requirements, the charges will have to be dropped. 

Lack of ample intent

The defendant must have ample intent and reason for trespassing illegally on the premises of the property or the charges may be thrown out. Evidence of a stealthy entry is sufficient for fulfilling this condition.

However, if the defendant can prove that they believed their entry to be permissible and legal, the case will not stand because there was no willful intent to trespass illegally.

Tenant-Landlord Conflict

Unless there are any specific terms and restrictions listed on the lease agreement, landlords cannot enforce trespass warnings against tenants who have been invited by them onto their property

For instance, if an individual was found trespassing an apartment by property management agents and goes on to be subsequently invited to the same complex by a tenant, such people cannot be considered to be trespassing since the invitation extended by the tenant is held to have superseded the trespass warning issued by the property management staff.

Stale Trespass Warning

In case a trespass warning has been issued to an individual by an owner of a property, which has several owners, such individuals cannot be convicted of this offense if they are allowed or invited back to the property by someone with even greater authority or by a different property owner.

Contact Criminal Defense Lawyer Larry Avallone

If you've been charged or arrested in the Daytona Beach area, contact Larry Avallone, who is an expert Criminal Defense Lawyer in Volusia County. My consultation is free. I am ready to provide legal advice regarding the next steps in your case.