Trespass (Structure, Conveyance, Armed, School, Construction, Etc.)


SHORSTEIN, LASNETSKI, & GIHON
helps people defend against Trespass allegations.

Trespassing involves going onto or remaining on someone's property without their consent.  The only difference between trespass and burglary is that burglary requires that you have the intent to commit a crime.  For example, trespassing on someone's house with the intent to steal their television.  There are several different forms of trespassing and some are more serious than others.  They are all criminal charges and can have a serious negative effect.  Give the experienced Jacksonville criminal defense lawyers of SLG Law a call to discuss your particular case.

What is Trespass?

The trespassing laws are defined in Florida Statute Sections 810.08, 810.09, 810.095, and 810.097.  To prove the crime of Trespass, the State must prove:

  • Trespass to a Structure or Conveyance:
  • You willfully entered or remained in a structure or conveyance, and
  • The structure or conveyance was in the lawful possession of the victim, and
  • Your entering or remaining the structure or conveyance was without authorization, license or invitation by the victim or any other person authorized to give that permission

  • Trespass to a Structure or Conveyance by Remaining
  • You had been authorized, licensed or invited to enter or remain in the structure or conveyance, and
  • the owner, lessee, or person authorized by the owner or lessee of the premises warned you to depart, and
  • you refused to depart. 

  • Trespass (Property other than a structure or conveyance)
  • You willfully entered upon or remained in property other than a structure or conveyance, and
  • the property was owned by or in the lawful possession of the victim, and
  • notice not to enter upon or remain in that property had been given by actual communication to you, or notice was posted, or the property was fenced, or cultivated, or
  • the property was the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling and you entered or remained with the intent to commit a crime thereon other than trespass, and
  • Your entering upon or remaining in the property was without authorization, license, or invitation form the victim or any other person authorized to give that permission. 

  • Trespass on School Property with a Firearm or Weapon
  • You entered or remained on school property, and
  • you did not have nay legitimate business on the school property or any other authorization license, or invitation to enter upon the school property, or
  • you had been authorized, license, or invited to enter the school property but then refused to depart when told to do so by the principal or principal's designee, or
  • you were a student under suspension or expulsion at the time you entered or remained on the school property, and
  • at the time you were on the school property, you brought onto or were in possession of a firearm or weapon.

  • Trespass on School Grounds or Facilities
  • You entered or remained on the campus of the school, or
  • you entered or remained on a facility owned by the school, and
  • you did not have any legitimate business on the campus or nay other authorization, license, or invitation to enter or remain upon school property, or
  • you were a student under suspension or expulsion at the time you entered or remained on the campus or any other facility owned by the school. 

  • Trespass on School Grounds or Facilities After Warning by Principal or Designee
  • You entered or remained on the campus or any facility of the school, and
  • the principal or his or her designee told or directed you to leave the campus or facility, or told you not to enter the campus or facility of the school. 

What if I wasn't told I could go on the property, but it was just understood?

Authority to enter or remain in a structure or conveyance need not be given in express words.  The authority can be implied.  For example, nobody tells you that you can go into a convenience store when it is open to the public.  You can enter without express authorization because it is implied that you have the consent of the owner who has opened his doors to the general public. 


Who is authorized to give me consent to enter someone else's property?

An owner, lessee, agent of an owner or lessee, any law enforcement officer with written authorization from the owner or lessee, or the owner or lessee's agent. 

What is a "structure?"

A "structure" is any building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, that has a roof over it, and the enclosed space of ground and outbuildings immediately surrounding that structure. 

What is a "conveyance?"

A "conveyance"is any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad car trailer, aircraft or sleeping car.
What is a "school" under the statute?

A "school" is defined as the grounds or any facility of any kindergarten, elementary school, middle school junior high school, or secondary school, whether public or not. 

What is curtilage?

"Curtilage" is the unenclosed land or grounds, and any outbuildings, that are directly and intimately adjacent to and connected with the dwelling and necessary, convenient, and habitually used in connection with that dwelling.  So, in layman's terms, it includes a person's front yard, even when it is not enclosed by a gate or fence. 

What kind of notice needs to be posted for property that is not a structure or conveyance?

If the State is going to prosecute you based on trespassing on property that is not a structure or conveyance based on posted "No Trespassing" signs, the signs must be in compliance with the following requirements: 

Signs must be posted not more than 500 feet apart
Must be posted along and at each corner of the property's boundaries
Must prominently state, "No Trespassing."
Letters cannot be less than two inches high
Sign must include name of owner, lessee, or occupier (can be smaller letters)
Signs must be clearly noticeable from outside boundary


What is notice by cultivation?

Notice of no trespassing can be given simply by cultivation of the property.  "Cultivated land" is land that has been cleared of its natural vegetation and at the time of the trespass was planted with trees, a crop, an orchard, or a grove, or was a pasture.  Fallow land, left that way as part of a crop rotation is also "cultivated land."

So a farmer doesn't need to post a "No Trespassing" sign outside his cornfield in order for you to be prosecuted for trespassing on that cornfield. 

What if there was a fence, but no "No Trespassing" sign was posted?

The fence is the "No trespassing" sign.  The legislature has determined that fenced property should give citizens enough notice that they do not have implicit permission to enter that property.  "Fenced land" is land that has been enclosed by a fence of substantial construction.  The fence may be made from rails, logs, posts and railings, iron, steel, barbed wire or other wire or material.

The fence must be 3 feet high. 

What are the potential sentences for Trespass?

The maximum sentence for a trespass charge depends on where the trespass occurred, whether you were or became armed with a firearm or deadly weapon, and whether you were given prior warning (for trespass on school property). Below is a list of the different maximum possible sentences for the different forms of trespass:

Trespass (Unoccupied Structure or Conveyance)
Up to 60 days in jail

Trespass (Occupied Structure or Conveyance)
Up to 1 year in jail

Armed Trespass (Structure or Conveyance)
Up to 5 years in prison

Trespass (Property other than Structure or Conveyance)
Up to 1 year in jail

Armed Trespass (Property other than Structure or Conveyance)
Up to 5 years in prison

Trespass on a Construction Site
Up to 5 years in prison

Armed Trespass on School Property
Up to 5 years in prison

Trespass on School Property
Up to 60 days in jail

Trespass on School Property After Warning
Up to 1 year in jail

Trespass on a Commercial Horticulture Property
Up to 5 years in prison

Trespass on an Agriculture Site
Up to 5 years in prison

Trespass on a Domestic Violence Center Property
Up to 5 years in prison

Trespass by Shooting or Attempting to Take an Animal
Up to 5 years in prison

Trespass on a Agricultural Chemicals Manufacturing Facility
Up to 5 years in prison

What are the possible defenses to Trespass?

Because there are so many different trespassing laws and specific requirements to prove each of them, there are many possible defenses.  Some common defenses include lack of proper notice that you weren't allowed on the property and that you had authorization to be on the property.  Give us a call today to discuss your trespassing case and possible defenses unique to you.

If you or a loved one has been arrested for or accused of
Trespass (Structure or Conveyance),
Trespass (Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance)
Trespass on School Property,
Armed Trespass,
Trespass on a Construction Site,
or any other Trespass charge,

Call Shorstein, Lasnetski & Gihon Now!
Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorneys

904-642-3332 (Jacksonville)

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