Indiana Criminal Trespassing Attorneys
Charged with Criminal Trespassing?
Were you arrested or charged with criminal trespassing? Does the offense involve a spouse, romantic partner, or another member of the household? If so, contact the Indiana domestic battery defense attorneys of The Criminal Defense Team today to learn about the available options for defending yourself against the charge.
Domestic violence covers a broad range of crimes against a person with whom the offender has a special relationship, such as a spouse or child. Criminal trespassing falls under the category of domestic violence. It can lead to a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the circumstances of the offense.
The Criminal Defense Team understands how scary an arrest for criminal trespassing can be. You could face harsh penalties if you’re convicted of the crime. Our legal team is ready to represent you in your case and create a defense strategy to try to get the charges dropped or reduced. You can count on us to protect your rights and fight for you.
Contact us at (317) 565-2221 right now for a free consultation with one of our trusted and experienced Indiana criminal trespassing defense attorneys.
Legal Definition of Criminal Trespassing
According to Indiana Code § 35-43-2-2, a person commits criminal trespass when they:
- Don’t have a contractual interest in another person’s real property and intentionally or knowingly enter after they were denied entry by the person or someone acting for them;
- Knowingly or intentionally refuse to leave someone else’s real property that they don’t have a contractual interest in after they were asked to leave by the person or someone acting for them;
- Intentionally or knowingly interfere with another person’s use or possession of the property without that person’s consent;
- Accompany someone else in a vehicle knowing that person intentionally or knowingly took unauthorized control of the vehicle;
- Knowingly or intentionally enter someone else’s dwelling without their consent and without having a contractual interest in the property;
- Don’t have a contractual interest in the vacant real property or structure and intentionally or knowingly enter or refuse to leave the other person’s property after being prohibited from entering or law enforcement asking them to leave; or
- Intentionally or knowingly enter someone else’s property after they were denied entry by a court order issued to them or by a court order issued to the general public that was conspicuously posted around or on the premises in places they can see.
Criminal trespassing is considered a form of domestic violence when it involves someone the offender has a special relationship with, such as:
- Family member
- Spouse or former spouse
- Parent, guardian, or foster parent
- Roommate or another household member
- Intimate partner
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If convicted of criminal trespassing, you could face imprisonment. The sentencing guideline imposed by state law depends on factors involved in the crime.
A standard criminal trespassing charge is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by:
- A maximum of a $5,000 fine
- No more than a one-year term imprisonment
The offense becomes a Level 6 felony if the defendant has a previous conviction for an unrelated crime involving the same property. Sentencing can include:
- Between six months and two and a half years in prison
- Up to a $10,000 fine
Additionally, the court could use the one-year advisory sentence as a guideline to determine the prison term the defendant should serve. An advisory sentence is a sentence the judge could start with and increase or decrease the prison term from that baseline at their discretion.
Habitual offenders face more severe sentences upon conviction. If you face a criminal trespassing charge and the prosecutor asks to sentence you as a habitual offender, the sentencing guideline could increase to the next felony level.
For example, if you face a felony charge and the state can prove the elements below beyond a reasonable doubt, you could receive an additional sentence on top of the initial sentence:
- You were convicted of three prior unrelated felonies; and
- You allegedly committed an unrelated Class C, Class D, Level 5, or Level 5 felony previously; and
- No more than ten years have passed since committing the current offense and your release from prison, parole, or probation, whichever is latest, for at least one of the three previous unrelated felonies.
Besides paying an expensive fine and serving time behind bars, you could suffer long-term consequences in your personal and professional life. Common issues convicted felons face upon release from prison include:
- Loss of the right to possess or carry a firearm
- Trouble seeking employment
- Challenges applying for higher education
- Difficulty finding a place to live
- Complications while obtaining a professional license
Additionally, a criminal trespassing conviction can ruin your reputation within the community. Even if the court dismisses your case or the jury finds you not guilty of the crime, the stigma of the arrest and trial can follow you for the rest of your life.
Common Defenses to a Criminal Trespassing Charge
In any criminal case, it’s the prosecutor’s job to prove the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That means the defense attorney must argue the case and present evidence to cause the jury to doubt the defendant’s guilt.
The Criminal Defense Team will determine which defense could work best in your case. The most common defense strategies in criminal trespassing cases include:
- Innocence – The most straightforward defense is that the person accused of the offense did not commit it. Providing an airtight alibi could show you were nowhere near the victim’s home when the crime occurred.
- Violation of a Constitutional right – Everyone has Constitutional rights before, during, and after an arrest. If law enforcement violated your rights at any time, it could work in your favor. For example, if an officer unlawfully searched your home, we could file a motion to prevent the prosecutor from presenting the illegally obtained evidence in court.
- False accusation – The victim could have made up the criminal trespassing incident. Sometimes, accusing someone else of a crime they didn’t commit is a form of revenge. Divorcing spouses might make up stories about the other person to gain custody of the kids or receive a specific asset they want.
If you face criminal trespassing charges, contact The Criminal Defense Team right now. We will review the incident and determine whether we can represent you. Our team will get to work immediately and create a defense to try to reduce the charge or get the entire case dismissed.
Call us at (317) 565-2221 for a free consultation. Our Indiana criminal trespassing defense attorneys are available 24/7 to speak with you. Let us help you in the fight for your freedom and future.