Trespassing

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Trespass is a common misdemeanor offense, although under limited circumstances it may be charged as a felony. One of the most common scenarios for a trespass arrest is when a patron is attempting to enter (or re-enter) an establishment, usually a nightclub, and a bouncer or off duty police officer takes exception. Most people who are arrested in this situation feel that they have done nothing wrong and that the bouncer or police officer treated them unfairly. It is not uncommon for a trespass charge to be accompanied by a disorderly or resisting without violence charge. Trespass can be basically defined as unlawfully coming on, or staying on the property of another when you are on notice that your presence is not wanted. As such, trespass is a fairly clear cut crime in Florida, but has really been abused in commercial applications. As a general rule, you cannot be guilty of “trespass” unless you have been properly warned that your presence is not permitted, or no longer permitted on the subject property. The warning may be verbal, and sometimes may be written. In a nutshell, if you enter the subject property having been “legally” pre-warned not to – you have committed the crime of trespass. Likewise, if you fail to leave property after being warned to do so by someone with greater authority than yourself you also commit the crime. Please call us if you are ever charged with Trespass.