Member of:
Justia Lawyer Rating
American Association for Justice
Union Plus

New York Criminal Trespass Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Criminal Trespass?

Criminal trespass is a non-violent criminal offense that involves entering the property of another person without their permission. You can face a trespass charge for entering private or public property. If you initially had permission to enter the property but later the property owner asks you to leave, if you remain you could be arrested and charged with criminal trespass.

Back to Top

Is Criminal Trespass a Misdemeanor or a Felony?

While criminal trespass is typically a misdemeanor, if aggravating factors are present the charge can be a felony. Aggravating factors that may lead to a felony charge include having a weapon, entering another person’s home, or failing to leave after being asked to by the property owner.

Back to Top

To Be Charged With Criminal Trespass Must There Be Property Damage?

No. Criminal trespass does not require property damage. All that is necessary for a criminal trespass charge is for the offender to enter the property without permission or to remain on the property after being asked to leave. If the offender damages property while trespassing, the prosecutor may add an additional charge of criminal mischief.

Back to Top

What Is Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree?

It is illegal to enter property that belongs to someone else without permission if it is enclosed or fenced in, if it is an elementary or secondary school, if it is a public housing project, or if it is a yard of railroad. If you do so, you may be arrested and charged with criminal trespass in the third degree. It is a class B misdemeanor.

For example, Sally entered an elementary school to drop off a delivery. She had been there several times and often chatted with the office staff and teachers. During this stop she ended up getting into a heated argument with one of the staff members. The staff member attempted to end argument, by returning to her office. Sally remained in the building, trying to discuss the issue without staff members. Finally she was asked to leave. Instead of leaving Sally grew more and more angry and refused to leave. Finally, school security tried to escort her out. She caused a big scene. The police were called. Sally was arrested and charged with criminal trespass in the third degree. Even though Sally initially had permission to enter the school property, that permission was revoked when she was repeatedly asked to leave. Sally was charged with criminal trespass in the third degree. She immediately contacted an experienced New York criminal trespass lawyer to represent her during arraignment and throughout the criminal process until her case was resolved.

Back to Top

What Is Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree?

Just like criminal trespass in the third degree, criminal trespass in the second degree is also a misdemeanor. However, it is a class A misdemeanor. This means that if you are convicted of this charge there is a possibility that you will be sent to jail for up to a year. For the charged to be second degree criminal trespass, the property that you unlawfully enter must be a dwelling. A dwelling is a house, apartment, condo, hotel room, or any place where people stay overnight. If you are a registered sex offender under New York’s Sex Offender Registration Act, you will face the charge of trespass in the second degree if you enter a elementary, intermediate, junior high, high school, or vocational school property and you know that your victim attends or once attended that school.

There are statutory defenses to a second degree trespass charge that is based on you being a sex offender and your victim attending the school. If you are registered at the school, you are a student participating at an event at the school, your child is registered at the school, the school is your designated polling place, or the superintended or chief administrator allows you to enter, then you would have not committed second degree trespass.

Back to Top

What Is Criminal Trespass in the First Degree?

As a criminal trespass attorney in New York will explain, criminal trespass in the first degree is a felony. The prosecutor will charged you with this offense if you unlawfully enter or remain on property and while committing a crime possess an explosive, firearm and ammunition, or a deadly weapon. This crime is a class D felony punishable with up to 7 years in prison.

Back to Top

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

If you are facing a criminal trespass charge, it is important to have experienced legal representation. Even if the charge is a misdemeanor, the consequences of a conviction are significant as you will end up with a criminal record and you may be incarcerated. The criminal trespass attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully defending clients in New York criminal courts who have been charged with felonies and misdemeanors. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We serve those accused of crimes in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.

Back to Top

Client Reviews
My wife and I met under some unconventional circumstances. After I had some legal problems, Mr Bilkis and his firm continually got me out of trouble. I then had his firm represented my wife and he got her out of trouble! We are still married and got our ways straightened away. We both can't thank him enough for saving our lives and our families! J.P.
I contacted Stephen Bilkis' office for an issue regarding a family member and I could not be happier with the results. I have recommended the firm to friends and family, all of whom were also ecstatic with Mr. Bilkis and all members of his staff. P.R.
I was in need of legal assistance for a very sensitive matter for a family member. I contacted the law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates, PLLC and was met with staff whose demeanor was supportive, compassionate and professional. The lawyer handling our case had many years of experience and treated us as if we were his own family. Our experience was so good, and we became so close to all of the staff and all of the attorneys who assisted us, that we consider them our extended family and continue to send them our home baked gifts for the holidays. P.A.K.
I hired Stephen Bilkis and Associates to represent me on a legal matter a few months ago and am grateful for their swift action and resolution on my behalf. I was impressed with their professionalism and would recommend them to friends and family in a heartbeat. M.B.