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New York Penal Law %c2%a7 140 05 Trespass

By Spodek Law Group | July 17, 2023
(Last Updated On: July 27, 2023)

Last Updated on: 27th July 2023, 04:35 pm


Charged with Trespass in New York? What to Know About PL § 140.05

So you find yourself accused of unlawful trespass in the state of New York. This charge falls under section 140.05 of the New York Penal Law, which prohibits entering or remaining unlawfully on property without license or privilege.

Trespass charges can arise from a wide variety of contexts – construction sites, private homes, stores, events, and more. The law seeks to protect private property rights while balancing public access needs. But sometimes honest mistakes lead to accusations of illegal trespassing.

If you now face prosecution under PL § 140.05, don’t panic. Read on to understand the law, potential defenses, and how an experienced New York criminal attorney can help fight the charges.

The Basics of NY Penal Law 140.05

Under § 140.05, a person commits trespass when they knowingly enter or remain in a building or property without license or privilege to be there. The law recognizes three degrees of criminal trespass:

Third Degree – Simple trespass. Entering or remaining on premises unlawfully.

Second Degree – Similar to third degree, but done within a “dwelling” – someone’s residence. More serious.

First Degree – Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a “building” while someone else is lawfully present on the premises. Highest level trespass charge.

So, the level of trespass depends on the nature of the property and the presence of lawful occupants. Harsher punishment follows more egregious conduct.

Potential Defenses Against NY PL 140.05 Charges

Many accused trespassers aren’t intentional lawbreakers. There are various factual and legal defenses against Penal Law 140.05 charges, including:

No “Knowing” Trespass – If you didn’t realize you were on private property or somewhere you weren’t allowed, you may not have violated the “knowing” trespass element.

Permission/License – If the owner provided permission, or you had some kind of license or privilege to enter, then no trespass took place.

Mistake – If you made an honest and reasonable mistake about your permission or legal right to enter or remain, you likely have a valid defense.

Necessity – Entering somewhere normally off limits to prevent greater harm – like providing emergency medical aid – is sometimes lawful under the justification of necessity.

Free Speech Disputes – The First Amendment may protect trespass as part of free speech/protest activities in some circumstances.

Insufficient Notice/Signage – Failure to provide adequate notice against entering, through fences, signs, verbal warnings, etc. can defeat trespass charges.

An experienced NY criminal lawyer can evaluate the specific facts of your case to identify potential defenses.

Penalties Under NY Penal Law 140.05

Maximum potential sentences under PL 140.05 include:

– Third Degree Trespass – Up to 3 months jail and $500 fine

– Second Degree Trespass – Up to 6 months jail and $1,000 fine

– First Degree Trespass – Up to 1 year jail and $5,000 fine

Probation or conditional discharge are common for first-time trespass offenses. But commercial trespass or defiance of clear notice against entering may draw harsher penalties. An adept attorney can argue for leniency and build a compelling sentencing presentation.

Finding the Right NY Criminal Defense Attorney

Don’t leave your trespass charges to chance. An experienced New York criminal lawyer can review the evidence, interview witnesses, negotiate with prosecutors, and build strong legal defenses.

Key credentials for competent PL 140.05 defense counsel include:

– In-depth knowledge of New York trespass law and cases

– Familiarity with local prosecutors and courts

– Resources to conduct thorough investigations

– Sophisticated negotiation skills to seek charge reductions or dismissals

– Trial experience and comfort arguing before judges and juries

– Creativity pursuing alternative resolutions through diversion, deferred prosecutions, etc.

Don’t go it alone against trespass charges under § 140.05. The right lawyer levels the playing field and fights for the best possible outcome.

Facing Penal Law 140.05 Charges? Experienced NY Criminal Attorneys Can Help

Trespass accusations don’t have to ruin your life or record. Skilled legal advocacy makes all the difference. So don’t wait to seek counsel if facing prosecution under PL § 140.05. A knowledgeable local lawyer will stand up for your rights, thoroughly examine the facts, and build strong defenses.

Freedom, employment, education, reputation – so much depends on resolving criminal allegations favorably. Don’t leave this to chance. Contact a trusted NY trespass attorney today and protect your future. This is a key first step on the path to victory.

And here’s a closing laugh: What do you call trespassing cows? Criminal trespassers! Ha, little lawyer humor for you. Best of luck out there folks. Stay safe and remember – the Constitution is on your side!

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