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What Is Criminal Trespass?

Private property rights are strictly enforced especially in the United States. There are instances when such rights are not respected, whether intentionally or accidentally. When an individual crosses into or enters a piece of private property, it can be considered as criminal trespass.

Criminal trespass refers to entry by an individual or party into a private property without obtaining permission from the owner. This is different from unlawful entry that entails the use of fraud or some form of misrepresentation in order to gain entry into private property.

There is a conscious knowledge of trespassing in criminal trespass, whether the individual guilty of the crime entered private property knowingly without permission or entered private property unknowingly without permission but continued to remain within the property despite being informed that he or she lacks permission to enter. However, the particulars of criminal trespass may vary among states and countries. In some states, whether or not a home is occupied has also been a point of consideration. If force is used in a case of criminal trespass, the charge is elevated to a felony.

In order to establish criminal trespass in a court of law, it must be proven that the individual charged with criminal trespass overcame a kind of enclosure that constitutes the borders of a private property and the individual ignored a verbal communication from the owner to remove himself or herself from the premises. If it cannot be proven that a verbal warning was issued to and heard by the accused individual, then it is difficult to win a criminal trespass case.

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