Aurora Criminal Trespass Defense Attorney
Have you been charged with Criminal Trespass to Property?
Illinois Criminal Trespass laws are designed to protect people's homes, vehicles, and other restricted areas from an unlawful intrusion. Criminal Trespass offenses can come in many different forms and will have varying consequences based on the severity of the offense. The penalties for different types of Trespass crimes are based on the location or type of Property that the alleged "Trespass" took place.
For example, Trespass to a place of "Public Amusement" such as a Sporting Event, Theater, other Entertainment Venue is a Class 4 Felony. Further, Criminal Trespass to "Restricted Areas" such as Airports or Airport facilities is also a Class 4 Felony. However, Criminal Trespass to Government or State Supported Property is usually a Class A misdemeanor.
Generally speaking, Criminal Trespass is the knowing entry upon property or a building structure without legal authority. The most common type of trespass is to "Real Property". Real property consists of buildings or land.
The applicable Illinois statute is in Illinois is 720 ILCS 5/21-3 which states in part:
"A person commits the offense of Trespass when he:
(1) knowingly and without lawful authority enters or remains within or on a building; or
(2) enters upon the land of another, after receiving, prior to such entry, notice from the owner or occupant that such entry is forbidden; or
(3) remains upon the land of another, after receiving notice from the owner or occupant to depart; or
(3.5) presents false documents or falsely represents his or her identity orally to the owner or occupant of a building or land in order to obtain permission from the owner or occupant to enter or remain in the building or on the land;"
Penalties for Trespass Crimes in Illinois:
A. Trespass to real property is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 180 days in the County Jail with fines and cost of $1,500.00 or both.
B. Trespass to vehicles is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in County Jail with fines and cost of $2,500.00 or both.
C. Criminal Trespass to State Supported Land, is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in County Jail with fines and cost of $2,500.00 or both.
D. Criminal Trespass to Restricted Areas and Landing Areas at Airports can be charged as a Class A misdemeanor or as high as a Class 3 Felony, depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
E. Criminal Trespass to a Place of Public Amusement, is a Class 4 Felony which is punishable by up to 1 - 3 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections and Fines of up to $25,000.00.
As you can see, our Illinois legislature has prescribed varying penalties based on the location of the alleged Trespass. Further, if you are found guilty of this offense, Prosecutors may ask for harsher sentencing based on the location of the alleged Trespass, and the facts and circumstances surrounding the offense, along with your prior criminal history.
Because on the wide variety of penalties and consequences for the varying types of Trespass cases, your sentences may also vary widely if you are found guilty. If you are charged with Felony Trespass, you may be sentenced by the Presiding Judge to a term in the Illinois Department of Corrections. If you are eligible for Probation, the Presiding Judge in your case can sentence you to a period of Probation, Counseling, and Public Service Work. Additionally, if you are not a citizen of the United States, a conviction for Felony Criminal Trespass can lead to your deportation
Defenses to Trespass Offenses in Illinois
In order to prepare a defense to the charge of Criminal Trespass, an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney will analyze the evidence that the Prosecutor will use to prove their case. There will be certain types of evidence that will determine the strength of the Prosecution's case such as:
- Photographs or Video of the alleged Trespass.
- Police Reports of the Investigating Officers who arrived on scene..
- 911 recordings made at the time of the incident.
- Any written or verbal statements made by the accused.
- Any witness statements from individuals that are not from the alleged victim.
- Availability of Complaining Witnesses.
Further, a legal or factual analysis will determine issues such as:
- Was the alleged Trespass, "Knowingly" committed?
- Were there "No Trespassing" or other posted signs?
- Did the owner of the property give you notice that entry was forbidden?
In some instances, some counties offer a Diversion program, in which you may be required to perform community service work and pay all associated costs and fees in exchange for a dismissal of your Criminal Trespass charge. If this type of Diversion program is not available, an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney may be able to have your charges dismissed or reduced based on a lack of evidence. If trial is the only option, the Prosecutor needs to be able prove that you "knowingly entered the property of another, without their consent." In addition, if the complaining witness is not available to testify, your case may be dismissed, because you have an absolute right to confront your accuser. Finally, the Prosecutor has the ultimate burden of proving your case "Beyond a Reasonable Doubt," and must convince a Judge or a Jury that they have met that burden before you can be found guilty of Criminal Trespass to Property.
Contact an Aurora Criminal Trespass to Property Defense Attorney
Criminal Trespass to Property is a very serious criminal offense, one that should not be taken lightly. The public policy behind the harsh sentences for Criminal Trespass, is to protect people's right to their "Real property" and or Land. A conviction for Criminal Trespass to Property can also carry with it very serious consequences, and can irreparably damage your reputation and employment opportunities. I can provide you with advice on how to address your pending Criminal Trespass to Property case and can provide you with a plan to protect your freedom and your future. I understand the value of your freedom and the importance of your reputation and I will use my knowledge and experience to secure the best possible results in your case.
To contact a Criminal Trespass to Property Defense Attorney at the Law Offices of David Lee, Please call:
The Law Offices of David Lee is available in Kane, Kendall, Dupage and Dekalb Counties