Similar to many other areas of the country, New York makes it illegal for people to enter properties illegally. In the New York Penal Code, one of the laws that makes this illegal is criminal trespass in the third degree. This is one of several trespassing laws in the New York Penal Code. The crime of criminal trespass in the third degree specifically refers to trespassing in a controlled area, which includes any property that is gated, a school, a housing project, or even a rail yard.
Examples of the Crime
There are many different examples of criminal trespass in the third degree. One example of the crime would be if a former employee at a school tries to enter the school for any reason. If the former employee is no longer allowed at the school, or has no valid reason for being there, it will be considered criminal trespass in the third degree.
In many cases, criminal trespass in the third degree is coupled with other charges as well. When someone is charged with criminal trespass in the third degree they may receive the charge on top of other charges, which commonly include vandalism, theft, or violating a restraining order.
Defense to the Crime
If you were arrested for criminal trespass in the third degree, it would be a good idea to hire an attorney to help fight the case. Those that are experienced in the area of law will be able to develop a defense plan, which could be used to either negotiate a lower charge or have the case dismissed.
One of the most common ways that criminal trespass in the third degree is defended is by proving that you were able to be on the property. If you happen to enter a controlled property and were approved to do so, the security staff onsite may not be aware of this and could have you arrested. However, if you have evidence that you were permitted or approved by another party, you could have the charges dropped and dismissed entirely.
Another form of defense could be that you were not aware that you were violating the law. If the building is not specifically detailed in the penal code, such as a school, but is secure, the building owner should make it clear that trespassing is a crime. If this is not made clear to the public, you could have the charges dismissed.
Penalties for the Crime
In general, penalties for criminal trespass in the third degree are not too severe. The charge is a class B misdemeanor, which means that you could receive up to 3 months in prison and a small fine. However, unless you have a long history of similar arrests, you will likely not face and jail time. If the crime of criminal trespass in the third degree is added onto another crime, such as vandalism or theft, it could lead to a more severe punishment when all of the crimes are combined.
If you have been convicted of criminal trespass in the third degree, it would be wise to hire a NYC criminal attorney immediately. This crime can have some sever punishments, including jail time for repeat offenders. Further, if it is coupled with any other charge, there could be even more jail time or financial penalties. Once you have hired an attorney, you will begin to receive consultation on the case and assistance in either negotiating a lower charge of defense in a courtroom.
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