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Criminal Trespass Arrests In Connecticut (Part 1 of 3)

Criminal Trespass Arrests In Connecticut
(Part 1 of 3)

At first glance, trespassing on someone’s property may not seem like such a big deal. Top Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers routinely fight Greenwich, Darien and Stamford criminal trespass arrests on behalf of a wide variety of people: teenagers throwing a keg party in a public park or school parking lot, avid hunters and fishermen who accidentally end up chasing game on private property, or disgruntled spouses or employees who come back to their spouse’s or former employer’s properties to make havoc. Whatever the scenario, Connecticut lawmakers have outlawed trespassing and made the crime a serious misdemeanor charge in certain cases. So if you are arrested in Stamford, Greenwich, Wilton, or New Canaan Connecticut for Criminal Trespass, you should contact a top Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyer to learn if and how you can get your Connecticut Criminal Trespass arrest dismissed as quickly as possible.

Statutory Definitions of Criminal Trespass & Respective Penalties

As any of the best New Canaan or Greenwich Connecticut criminal lawyers and attorneys would agree, under the Connecticut penal code, there are three degrees of Criminal Trespass. All of them are misdemeanors, meaning that each degree of Criminal Trespass is punishable by one year in prison or less, depending on the degree charged. The most serious Connecticut Criminal Trespass charge is Criminal Trespass in the First Degree codified in C.G.S. § 53a-107 (click here to see the full statute). You can be arrested in Stamford or Ridgefield Connecticut for Criminal Trespass in the First Degree if you know you do not have the right to be on certain premises or public property, but you enter or remain there, after you were ordered by an authorized person to leave or to not enter in the first place. You can also be arrested in Connecticut for First Degree Criminal Trespass if you enter or remain in a building or premises while a restraining order, a Connecticut domestic violence protective order, or a foreign order is in place prohibiting you from doing so. First Degree Criminal Trespass is a Class A Misdemeanor and a conviction for this offense carries a maximum sentence of 1 year in jail, probation and $2,000 in fines.

As the very best Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers would explain, you can be arrested in Stamford or Westport Connecticut for Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree 53a-108 if you enter or remain on private or public property with knowledge that you do not have the permission or privilege to be there. The law is set forth in C.G.S. § 53a-108 (click here for the statute). While an arrest in Connecticut for First Degree Criminal Trespass requires an explicit communication to you to not trespass or stay on the property, no such notice is necessary for a Second Degree Criminal Trespass arrest in Connecticut. As the best Stamford Connecticut trespassing lawyers posit, this begs the question…well then, how is the trespasser supposed to know they were not allowed on the property, park, or parking lot? This is when it is critical to get a top Greenwich Connecticut criminal attorney involved. Second Degree Criminal Trespass is a Class B misdemeanor, which means if you are found guilty for a Second Degree Criminal Trespass 53a-108 arrest, then you can face up to 6 months in jail, probation and a $1,000 fine.

The least serious misdemeanor criminal trespass law in Connecticut is Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree, C.G.S. 53a-109. Under this law, you can be arrested in Darien Connecticut for Third Degree Criminal Trespass if—with actual knowledge that you are not permitted to do so—you enter or remain on private or public property that was designed to keep intruders out, or enter or remain on property to hunt or fish. So if you are caught hunting or fishing in Connecticut in an area not designated for such activity, or if you jumped a fence to get onto public property, then you can be charged with Third Degree Criminal Trespass. While 53a-109 Third Degree Criminal Trespass is the least serious misdemeanor, you should know that it is a Class C Misdemeanor, punishable by up to 3 months in jail and $500.

Do I Need a Top Stamford Criminal Lawyer to Fight My Connecticut Criminal Trespass Arrest?

Top Stamford Connecticut trespassing criminal lawyers often get asked if a lawyer is really needed to fight an arrest for Stamford or Greenwich Connecticut criminal trespassing. The problem with going it alone with Criminal Trespass arrests in Wilton, Darien or Stamford Connecticut is that people can be misled into thinking that the arrest is not a big deal (sometimes by the arresting officer). But what these people don’t realize is that pleading guilty and paying a $50 fine to a misdemeanor brands you with a criminal record forever. Or a Connecticut state’s attorney or prosecutor might ask you to burn the Accelerated Rehabilitation Program when you actually have other alternatives to getting your case dismissed. Bottom line is that even petty misdemeanors such as criminal trespass carry jail time and fines, and should not be taken lightly. The experience and advantage of hiring any of the best Stamford Connecticut criminal attorneys for your Greenwich and Darien Criminal Trespass arrest will likely give you an edge over going it alone.

Continue Reading…Criminal Trespass Arrests, Part 2 of 3
(Fighting Criminal Trespass Charges, Getting Your Misdemeanor Reduced to a Simple Trespass Infraction, and much more)