Trespass of a Property Other Than a Structure or Conveyance

Trespass of a Property Other than a Structure or Conveyance in Florida

Trespass of a Property Other than a Structure or Conveyance is the willful entering or remaining on a property without the express or implied permission, authorization or invitation of the owner, lessee, or other authorized person, or entering or remaining on a property in violation of posted signage.

Definition of Trespass of a Property in Florida

The crime of Trespass of a Property Other than a Structure or Conveyance, as defined by § 810.09, Florida Statutes, involves willfully entering or remaining without authorization on any property on which notice against entering or remaining is given, either by actual communication or by posting, fencing, or cultivation; or if the property is the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling and the offender enters or remains with the intent to commit an offense on the property.

The State’s attorney must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant is guilty of the crime of Trespass of a Property Other than a Structure or Conveyance by establishing that all four of the following elements of the crime occurred:

(1) The defendant willfully entered, or remained, in a property other than a structure or conveyance.

This means the State of Florida must prove that the defendant deliberately and unlawfully entered, or deliberately and unlawfully remained, in the property where the trespass is claimed.

(2) Either (a) Notice not to enter or remain on that property was given by posted signage, cultivation, shrubbery or agricultural berm, or fencing that defined the property borders, or by direct verbal communication; or (b) The defendant entered or remained on the unenclosed land, grounds, or outbuildings directly adjacent to a dwelling with the intention of committing a crime other than trespass.

This means the State of Florida must prove either (a) that there was written or verbal notification that warned against entry onto or remaining on the property, or (b) the defendant entered or remain on the property adjacent to the dwelling to commit a crime.

(3) Entering onto or remaining in the property was without invitation, license, permission, consent, or authorization by a person authorized to give permission.

This means the State of Florida must prove that the defendant was on the property without an invitation, license, permission, or consent, or that under no circumstance would a reasonable person believe they had permission.

(4) The property was owner by or in the lawful possession of the owner, agent, or the community association authorized to act as an agent for the owner

This means the State of Florida must prove there is a lawful owner, agent, or the community association authorized to act as an agent for the owner, for the property.

Penalties of Trespass of a Property in Florida

If the property that is trespassed is other than a structure or conveyance, the Trespass is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one (1) year in jail, and up to $1000 in fines, as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

If the offender willfully opens any door, fence, or gate or does any act that exposes animals, crops, or other property to waste, destruction, or freedom; or unlawfully dumps litter on property; the Trepass is a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one (1) year in jail, and up to $1000 in fines, as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

If the offender Trespassed to hunt an animal, or the Trespassed area is a posted construction site or a posted agricultural site or a posted domestic violence center, the Trespass is enhanced to a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison, up to five (5) years probation, and up to $5000 in fines, as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

If the offender is armed, or becomes armed, with a firearm or other dangerous weapon while committing the offense of Trespass, the Trespass is a third degree felony punishable by up to five (5) years in prison, up to five (5) years probation, and up to $5000 in fines, as provided in § 775.082 or § 775.083, Florida Statutes.

Defenses of Trespass of a Property in Florida
  • Defendant had an invitation, permission, or consent to be in the property
  • Defendant had a lack of intent such as a reasonable belief that entering was considered permissible at the time of the Defendant’s action
  • The required signs, such as “No Trespassing,” were not posted or were improperly posted and not in compliance with state statute
  • Defendant was on the curtilage with no intention of committing a crime
Examples of Trespass of a Property in Florida
  • Sneaking into a public pool for a midnight swim when the pool is closed to the public
  • Climbing over a hedge to pick flowers from a backyard
  • Deliberately opening a gate intending to leave it open so livestock can escape
Contact Us

If you have been charged with the crime of Trespass in Broward, Palm Beach, or Miami-Dade County, you need to speak with a criminal defense attorney right away to ensure your rights are protected. The Law Office of Sean Clayton, P.A., can help you better understand your situation and your options. Contact us today for your free consultation.