Criminal trespass is one of the most common charges filed in the District Courts in Maryland and if facing a court date, you should seek the assistance of a Maryland trespassing lawyer. It is not just a criminal charge used to keep hunters off of farms.
Businesses utilize the trespassing laws to keep shoplifters out of their stores after a theft. In addition, trespassing charges have been a tool used by the police to prevent further criminal activity. If you’ve been charged with trespassing in Baltimore area, contact our Baltimore trespassing lawyer today to schedule a free consultation.
What is the definition of Criminal Trespassing in Maryland?
Criminal trespass is defined as entering on property that is posted conspicuously against trespass. Criminal trespass is also defined as entering or crossing over private property or board the boat of another after being notified not to enter or cross over that property.
You can also be charged and convicted of trespass if you remain on property after being notified to vacate by the owner or an owner’s agent.
The Maryland trespassing laws are found and defined by the Maryland Criminal Law Articles 6-402 and 6-403.
Trespass on Posted Property
It is illegal for an individual to trespass and enter upon the property that is posted against trespassers in a conspicuous manner. Maryland Criminal Law Article 6-402.
If a person is found in court to be trespassing on posted property, they could face up to a $500 fine, 90 days in jail and a misdemeanor conviction.
Trespass on Private Property
It is illegal in Maryland to did enter upon/remain upon/cross over the private property, and premises of another person after having been duly notified not to do so by that person or an agent of the property.
Penalty for a 1st conviction (Trespass on Private Property): If a found guilty or trespassing on private property in Maryland, a person is facing a misdemeanor conviction, 90 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine.
Penalty for a 2nd conviction within 2 years of the 1st violation (Trespass on Private Property): Maximum penalty of 6 months in jail and a $1000 fine.
Penalty for 3rd or subsequent conviction within 2 years of the most recent violation (Trespass on Private Property): Maximum penalty of 1 year in jail and a $2,500.00 fine.
What is the Penalty for Trespassing in Maryland?
Criminal trespassing is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland. Yes, you can get arrested for trespassing. If a person is arrested for trespassing, they will be taken before a court commissioner to determine if bail should be set in the matter. In most case, a person is release on their own recognizance pending the trial date.
The penalty for trespass is 90 days in jail and/or a $500.00 fine for a first offense. If you receive a second conviction, the penalty is 6 months in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine.
For the enhanced penalty to apply you must have been convicted within the past 2 years. For a 3rd of subsequent conviction the maximum penalty is 1 year in jail and/or a $2,500.00 fine.
For subsequent conviction penalties, you must have been convicted within the past 2 years.
The penalty for trespassing, if convicted, can be any of the following:
- Court costs
- Court fines
- Jail or incarceration
- Community service
- Stay away order from the location where the trespassing occurred
- Any other penalty the judge deems appropriate
Can you go to Jail for Trespassing?
Yes, you can go to jail for trespassing. For a first offense you can go to jail for up to 90 days. For a second conviction you can go to jail for up to 6 months. For a third or subsequent conviction, you can go to jail for 1 year.
The length of jail for trespassing depends on the prior record of the defendant and the severity and circumstances of the trespassing offense. Defendants have been sent to jail in the past for trespassing in Maryland. Jail is always a possibility and anyone charged with criminal trespassing should be represented to ensure the chances of jail decreased.
What is the Fine for Trespassing?
The fine for criminal trespass is $500.00 for a first offense. The fine for a second conviction of trespassing is $1000.00. The fine for a 3rd of subsequent conviction of trespassing is $2,500.00.
What are the Consequences of Trespassing in Maryland?
The consequences for trespassing can be jail, court costs, fines, probation, or community service. In addition to the traditional penalties, the Court may also order a defendant to stay away or not trespass in the future. This can be a condition of probation and if violated, can result in additional jail time and a violation or probation.
Operation Off-Road Vehicle On Private Property
In Maryland, it is illegal for a person to unlawfully operate or use an off-road vehicle on an area of private property that was not a clearly designated driveway without having in their possession, the written consent of owner or tenant of the property. Maryland Criminal Law Article 6-404(b).
If found guilty of operating an off-road vehicle on property, one could face up to 90 days in jail, a $500 fine an a misdemeanor on their record.
Operation Off-Road Vehicle On Public Property
Under Maryland law, it is unlawful for a person to operate or use an off-road vehicle on property knowingly owned and leased by the State of Maryland and any political subdivision. Maryland Criminal Article 6-405.
If convicted of operating an off-road vehicle on public property in Maryland, a person could face up to 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. Operating an off-road vehicle on public property in Maryland is classified as a misdemeanor.
What is an Off-Road Vehicle in Maryland?
According to Maryland Criminal Law 6-401, and “Off-road vehicle” means a motorized vehicle designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain.
An “Off-road vehicle” includes:
- a four-wheel drive or low-pressure-tire vehicle;
- a motorcycle or a related two-wheel vehicle;
- an amphibious machine;
- a ground-effect vehicle; and
- an air-cushion vehicle.
Trespassing on Cultivated Land
It is illegal in Maryland for an individual without permission from the owner or agent of the owner wantonly (“characterized by extreme recklessness and utter disregard for the rights of others.“) enter upon the cultivated land of another person. Maryland Criminal Law Article 6-406.
“Cultivated Land” means land which has been cleared of its natural vegetation and is planted with a crop or orchard.
The penalty for trespassing on cultivated land in Maryland is 90 days in jail and a $500 fine. Trespassing on cultivated land is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland.
Maryland Trespassing Lawyer on Your Side
Criminal trespass is a serious offense because it carries the possibility of jail time. Typically landowners and businesses use trespass laws to prevent someone from coming back to their property. There are defenses to criminal trespass and hiring a criminal defense lawyer that knows the law can be helpful in your defense. Contact the Law Offices of Randolph Rice today if you’ve been charged with trespassing at (410) 694-7291.