New York Penal Law § 140.10: Criminal trespass in the third degree

Whether it is a home, business or some other type of property, it is against the law to enter or remain on the property that belongs to someone else without that person's permission. If you do so, you will be trespassing. There are several trespass laws in the New York Penal Law. The particular charge that you will face for trespassing depends on the type of building you enter, whether or not you have a weapon, and your criminal background. Under New York Penal code section 140.10, you will have committed the crime of criminal trespass in the third degree if you knowingly enter or remain unlawfully on the property of another, and:

  1. The property is enclosed to prevent intruders
  2. The property is used as a camp or school
  3. The property is a housing project
  4. The property is a railroad yard

Under New York Penal Law section 140.00(5), entering or remaining unlawfully on property is defined as doing so without being licensed or privileged to do so. In other words, it means being on the property without having permission.

Example

Jonathan graduated from High School A in 2014. In 2015 he wandered in the school to look around. Jonathan could be prosecuted for criminal trespass. Since he is not longer a student, and does not appear to have permission to otherwise be on the school property, he is there without license or privilege.

Related Offenses
  1. Trespass: New York Penal Law section 140.05
  2. Criminal trespass in the second degree: New York Penal Law section 140.15
  3. Criminal trespass in the first degree: New York Penal Law section 140.17
  4. Burglary in the third degree: New York Penal Law section 140.20
Defenses

One of the most effective defenses to a charge of criminal trespass is that you have permission to be on the property. For example, someone with authority may have given you permission to be on property, but a security guard did not realize this. Over your protests the security guard may demand that you leave and end up having you arrested. In such a case the trespass charge would have to be dropped if you have evidence that someone with authority to do so gave you permission to be on the premises.

Sentence

Because trespass in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor and not a felony if you are convicted you could be sent to jail for up to 3 months and you may be ordered to pay a fine of up to $500. It is also possible that in lieu of jail the court may order you to serve a probation term of 1 year.

New York Penal Law § 140.10: Criminal trespass in the third degree

A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the third degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building or upon real property

  1. which is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders; or

  2. where the building is utilized as an elementary or secondary school or a children`s overnight camp as defined in section one thousand three hundred ninety-two of the public health law or a summer day camp as defined in section one thousand three hundred ninety-two of the public health law in violation of conspicuously posted rules or regulations governing entry and use thereof; or

  3. located within a city with a population in excess of one million and where the building or real property is utilized as an elementary or secondary school in violation of a personally communicated request to leave the premises from a principal, custodian or other person in charge thereof; or

  4. located outside of a city with a population in excess of one million and where the building or real property is utilized as an elementary or secondary school in violation of a personally communicated request to leave the premises from a principal, custodian, school board member or trustee, or other person in charge thereof; or

  5. where the building is used as a public housing project in violation of conspicuously posted rules or regulations governing entry and use thereof; or

  6. where a building is used as a public housing project in violation of a personally communicated request to leave the premises from a housing police officer or other person in charge thereof; or

  7. where the property consists of a right-of-way or yard of a railroad or rapid transit railroad which has been designated and conspicuously posted as a no-trespass railroad zone.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

While criminal trespass in the third degree is a class B misdemeanor, it is a charge you should still take seriously. If you are convicted you may be sent to jail and you will end up with a criminal record. There may be defenses to a criminal trespass charge that may result in the charge against you being dropped or reduced. The staff at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors in violation of New York state law and federal law. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

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