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NY Penal Law § 140.15: Criminal trespass in the second degree

It is against the law to unlawfully go on to the property of another person. If you do so, you will have committed the crime of criminal trespass. There are three criminal trespass statutes. Criminal trespass in the second degree is design to punish trespass involving homes and trespass by registered sex offenders. Under New York Penal Law section 140.15, you would have committed criminal trespass in the second degree if you

  1. Are unlawfully on property that is a dwelling, or
  2. You are a level 2 or 3 sex offender under the New York Sex Offender Registration Act and you enter the school attended by your victim

New York Penal Law section 140.00(3), defines dwelling as a building that is used for lodging. Examples of dwellings include a house or apartment.


Scott is a registered sex offender. He served time in prison and has been released. His victim is now a student at the local high school. Scott also has a daughter who is a student at the same high school. Knowing that his victim attended that high school, Scott entered the school to turn in paperwork related to his daughter. Scott could not be prosecuted for criminal trespass in the second degree since he was on the school's premises for business that was related to his daughter's attendance at the school.

Related Offenses
  1. Trespass: New York Penal Law section 140.05
  2. Criminal trespass in the third degree: New York Penal Law section 140.10
  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

Under the statute, if the building you entered was not a dwelling as defined by the statute, then you have a defense to a trespass in the second degree charge. In addition, if you have been charged with trespass in the second degree based on being a registered sex offender and entering a school attended by your victim, a defense to the charge would be that you are a registered student at the school, or that you have a child who is registered student at the school.


Because criminal trespass in the second degree is a class A misdemeanor and not a felony the maximum possible sentence is up to 1 year in jail. In lieu of being sentenced to jail, the judge may sentence to you to a 3 year probation term.

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

A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree when:

  1. he or she knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling; or
  2. being a person required to maintain registration under article six-C of the correction law and designated a level two or level three offender pursuant to subdivision six of section one hundred sixty-eight-l of the correction law, he or she enters or remains in a public or private elementary, parochial, intermediate, junior high, vocational or high school knowing that the victim of the offense for which such registration is required attends or formerly attended such school. It shall not be an offense subject to prosecution under this subdivision if: the person is a lawfully registered student at such school; the person is a lawful student participant in a school sponsored event; the person is a parent or a legal guardian of a lawfully registered student at such school and enters the school for the purpose of attending their child's or dependent's event or activity; such school is the person's designated polling place and he or she enters such school building for the limited purpose of voting; or if the person enters such school building for the limited purposes authorized by the superintendent or chief administrator of such school.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

Being arrested for assault with a deadly weapon is serious. If you are convicted, in addition to being sent to prison, many other aspects of your life may change forever. However, there may be defenses to a charge of assault in the second degree that only an experienced practitioner will understand and be able to apply to your case. Thus, if you have been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, it is important to immediately contact someone understands the New York criminal system. 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 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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