Individuals are not allowed to enter another person’s private property without permission in Los Angeles. People who disobey this ruling may be charged under California Penal Code Section 602: Trespassing.
Many different acts can be considered trespassing. All of them can be charged as misdemeanors in courtrooms around Los Angeles. The Simmrin Law Group offers individuals charged with trespassing advice and information about PC 602.
Types of Trespassing in Los Angeles
PC 602 covers many different criminal acts. Individuals may be charged with trespassing if they go onto another person’s property and cut down, destroy, or carry away:
Individuals may not tear down signs or notices. Trespassing charges can also apply if someone builds a fire, destroys fences, tampers with locks, or fires a gun on another person’s property. Additionally, you can be charged with trespassing for refusing to leave:
- Someone’s Property
- Public Buildings During Hours They are Regularly Closed
- Closed Ski Trails
- Hotels or Motels
- A Battered Women’s Shelter
Finally, the court can use PC 602 to prosecute unauthorized individuals who enter:
- Restricted Areas of an Airport
- Neonatal Units, Birthing Centers, or Maternity Wards
Penalties for a Trespassing Conviction in Los Angeles
Individuals who are convicted under PC 602 may be punished with:
- Fines: Up to $1,000
- Jail Time: Up to 6 Months
Additional instances of trespassing may increase the penalties to:
- Fines: Up to $2,000
- Jail Time: Up to 1 Year
Note that some instances of trespassing are treated as infractions by the state. If you enter someone’s property without causing any damage to the property, you could face this charge under California Penal Code Section 602.8. The penalties for this kind of trespassing can include a small fine.
The court system also uses a similar charge to handle more severe cases of trespassing. You could be charged with aggravated trespassing – under California Penal Code 601 – if you enter someone’s home or workplace after making a threat.
A conviction under PC 601 for aggravated trespassing can lead to 3 years of jail time. Individuals could also face additional charges if they are trespassing while violating a restraining, protective, or stay away order.
All instances of trespassing are considered property crimes and are handled very harshly by the court system in California.
Examples of Trespassing in Los Angeles
Examples of trespassing can include:
Man A entered his neighbor’s property, ignoring posted Keep Out signs. While on the neighbor’s property, Man A cut down a tree and carried away the timber to use in a bonfire. Man A committed misdemeanor trespassing and could face criminal charges.
Man B went to a public library and got on the computers. He stayed for a few hours until it was time for the library to close. The librarian asked him to leave, and he refused. The librarian called the police. Man B could be arrested for trespassing.
Penal Code 602 Violations and Legal Defenses
A trespassing charge does not automatically have to result in a conviction. Criminal defense lawyers in Los Angeles may be able to build successful defenses for individuals accused of trespassing. Examples of effective legal defenses can include:
You Were Not Trespassing
Legally, you may have the right to be on different pieces of property in Los Angeles. You might have the right to be on a business property if you are part of a legal protest, for example.
You Did Not Interfere with Anything
Entering someone’s property without permission is technically against the law. However, you will typically only be charged with a minor infraction if you do not harm or damage anything while on the property.
You Were Trying to Leave the Property
In some cases, trespassing charges only apply if you refuse to leave someone’s property. Depending on your situation, you could be arrested while trying to follow instructions to leave the area.
Legal Help for a PC 602 Charge is a Phone Call Away
California Penal Code Section 602: Trespassing covers a wide range of criminal actions. Find out how a criminal defense lawyer can help you deal with any trespassing charges by calling the Simmrin Law Group at (310) 997- 4688 or filling out our online contact form.
Learn more about trespassing charges and your legal options with a FREE consultation.