Criminal Trespass in Alabama
Entering or remaining on another party's property can lead to criminal charges in Alabama for trespassing. Depending on the type of property in which this crime was committed, this may be a violation or misdemeanor.
Regardless of whether a criminal trespass offense is classified as a misdemeanor or a fine, a conviction can result in fines and a jail sentence. People may face these charges due to honest misunderstandings, fundamental confusion, or false accusations.
Huntsville Criminal Trespass Lawyer
There are three degrees of Criminal Trespass under the Code of Alabama:
Criminal Trespass in the First Degree, Code of Alabama § 13A-7-2 — Alleged offender knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling, a term that Code of Alabama § 13A-7-1(3) defines as a building which is used or generally used by a person for sleeping, living or lodging therein. This is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000.
Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree, Code of Alabama § 13A-7-3 — Alleged offender knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building or upon real property fenced or enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders. This is a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree, Code of Alabama § 13A-7-4 — Alleged offender knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises, a term that Code of Alabama § 13A-7-1(1) states can include any real property or any building—which is defined as any structure which may be entered and utilized by persons for business, public use, lodging, or the storage of goods. This violation is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $200.
Related Criminal Trespass Crimes in Alabama
There are two other trespassing crimes established under Article 1 of Title 13A in the Code of Alabama:
Criminal trespass by motor vehicle (Code of Alabama § 13A-7-4.1) is committed if an alleged offender, after having been requested not to do so by a uniformed law enforcement officer, an adequately identified owner, or an authorized agent of the owner: Parks or stands an occupied or unoccupied motor vehicle in; or repeatedly drives a motor vehicle through or within a parking area. This crime is classified as a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second offense, and $150 for the third or subsequent offense.
Trespass on a school bus in the first degree (Code of Alabama § 13A-7-4.2) A person can be charged with this crime if they intentionally demolish, destroys, defaces, injures, burns, or damages any public school bus;
Enters a public school bus while the door is open to load or unload students without a lawful purpose, while at a railroad grade crossing, or after being forbidden from doing so by the authorized school bus driver in charge of the bus, or upon demand of a principal of a school to which the bus is assigned or other duly authorized school system official; As an occupant of a public school bus, refuses to leave the bus on demand of the authorized school bus driver in charge of the bus, or upon request of a principal of a school to which the bus is assigned or other duly authorized school system official; or
Intentionally stops, impedes, delays, or detains any public school bus being operated for public school purposes with the intent to commit a crime therein.
This crime is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $6,000.
Potential defenses to trespass
There are several potential defenses to a charge of criminal trespass. These vary depending on the nature of the case in order, but some of the more common ones include the following:
The property owner gave the alleged offender conflicting instructions;
The alleged offender had the property owner's permission;
The alleged offender misidentified;
Likely premises, building, or dwelling was open to the public;
Likely premises, building, or home was unoccupied or abandoned property;
Lack of adequate warning or improperly posted notification;
Lack of evidence; or
I don't think there's any intent to trespass.
If you're charged with criminal trespass and would like our help feel free to contact us here: