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Westchester Trespass Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | July 27, 2023
(Last Updated On: October 15, 2023)

Last Updated on: 15th October 2023, 07:34 am

Westchester Trespass Lawyers – Your Guide to Understanding Trespass Charges in Westchester County

Living in Westchester County, New York comes with a lot of perks – beautiful parks and nature preserves, historic sites, great schools, low crime rates, and more. But it’s still important to understand the laws, especially when it comes to property rights. Trespass charges can cause a lot of headaches if you don’t know how to handle them properly. This article will give you a helpful overview of trespass laws and defenses so you can protect yourself and your rights if you ever face trespass charges in Westchester County.

What is Trespass in Westchester County?

Trespass is when someone knowingly and unlawfully enters onto someone else’s property without permission[1]. It’s basically invading someone else’s property rights.

There are a few degrees of trespass charges in New York:

  • Trespass (Violation) – Entering or remaining on someone’s property unlawfully[2]. This is a minor violation, not a crime, punishable by a fine up to $250 or 15 days in jail[2].
  • Criminal Trespass 3rd Degree (Class B Misdemeanor) – Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on a building or real property[3]. Punishable by up to 3 months in jail or probation.
  • Criminal Trespass 2nd Degree (Class A Misdemeanor) – Same as 3rd degree but the property is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner to exclude intruders OR the person was previously told not to enter by the owner[4]. Punishable by up to 1 year in jail or probation.
  • Criminal Trespass 1st Degree (Class D Felony) – Same as 3rd degree but the person possesses a deadly weapon or firearm on the premises[4]. Punishable by up to 7 years in prison.

So in Westchester County, you can face anything from a small fine to several years in prison depending on the circumstances of the trespass. Even a simple trespass violation can result in 15 days in jail if the judge decides to impose the maximum penalty.

Common Defenses Against Trespass Charges

If you’ve been accused of trespass in Westchester County, don’t panic. There are several defenses a knowledgeable trespass lawyer can use to fight the charges:

  • Lack of Notice – If the property wasn’t clearly marked with “No Trespassing” signs or fenced off, you can argue you didn’t know you were trespassing[5].
  • No Criminal Intent – If you didn’t intend any harm and left immediately when asked, you can fight criminal charges[5].
  • Necessity – You can claim necessity if you trespassed out of an immediate need for safety or health[6].
  • Consent – If the owner gave you permission to enter, explicitly or implicitly, then you weren’t trespassing[6].
  • Public Property – Trespass doesn’t apply on public property like parks, beaches, sidewalks, etc[4].
  • Incorrect Property Line – A property line dispute can invalidate a trespass claim if you reasonably believed you were on your own property[4].

A skilled lawyer will look at every angle of your case to figure out the best defense strategy. Don’t try to fight trespass charges without an attorney in your corner.

What Happens After a Trespass Arrest in Westchester County?

If you’re arrested for trespass in Westchester County, here’s a quick overview of what will happen:

  • You’ll be taken to the local police station and booked. They’ll take your fingerprints and mugshot.
  • If it’s a minor trespass violation, you may be able to pay the fine and leave. But for misdemeanors or felonies, you’ll await arraignment.
  • Within 24 hours of your arrest, you’ll go before a judge who will formally charge you and potentially set bail. Have your lawyer argue for release without bail.
  • Within a few days or weeks, you’ll have your first court appearance where you can enter a plea. Your lawyer will handle the plea negotiations.
  • Your lawyer will request evidence from the prosecution through the discovery process. This can take weeks or months.
  • During pretrial hearings, your lawyer can argue to get evidence or charges dropped if there are legal issues with the prosecution’s case.
  • If necessary, your case will go to trial where your lawyer will defend you before a judge or jury.
  • If found guilty, you’ll face sentencing ranging from fines to years in prison depending on the degree of trespass.

The legal process takes time. Having an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your corner can help get charges reduced or dismissed, and prevent jail time. Don’t go it alone.

Finding the Right Westchester Criminal Defense Lawyer

If you’re facing trespass charges in Westchester County, it’s critical to have an assertive lawyer who knows the local courts and prosecutors. Look for a criminal defense attorney who:

  • Focuses specifically on defending trespass and related charges like burglary, larceny, etc.
  • Has extensive trial experience in Westchester County courts
  • Has a proven track record of positive case results including dismissals, acquittals, and charge reductions
  • Will aggressively defend you and advocate for your best interests
  • Makes you feel comfortable and provides clear guidance throughout the process
  • Offers fair legal fees without overcharging

Don’t leave your fate in the hands of just any public defender or attorney. The consequences of a trespass conviction in Westchester County are too severe. Do your research to hire the best legal defense.

For immediate legal help, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey Lichtman at (212) 581-1001. Their Westchester criminal defense team has the experience, skills, and determination to protect your rights and future[1]. Consultations are free and confidential.

The Bottom Line

Trespass laws exist to protect private property rights. But sometimes innocent mistakes happen. If you’re accused of trespass in Westchester County, stay calm and be strategic. An experienced local criminal lawyer can often get charges reduced or dismissed. Know your rights and defenses. With the right legal guidance, you can resolve trespass charges in the most favorable way.


[1] https://jeffreylichtman.com/westchester-county-criminal/trespassing-lawyer/ [2] https://criminaldefense.1800nynylaw.com/new-york-penal-law-140-05-trespass.html [3] https://stengellaw.com/burglary-trespass-lawyer-nyc/ [4] https://www.tilemlawfirm.com/the-tort-of-trespass-to-land.html [5] https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/trespassing-lawyers.html [6] https://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/trespass-to-land-civil-liability.html

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