Trespass in Structure or Conveyance in Florida
Dealing with a Trespass in Structure or Conveyance legal issue? Bottari & Doyle Law Firm in Palm Beach County can help. Call 561-588-2781. Trespass in a Structure or Conveyance can be committed in two ways:
- A person who is not authorized, licensed, or invited, cannot willfully enter or remain in any structure or conveyance.
- Additionally, if the person has been authorized, licensed or invited, it is illegal to remain in the structure or conveyance after being told to leave by the owner, lessee or another authorized person.
Definition Trespass in Structure or Conveyance
To prove at trial that a defendant trespassed in a structure or conveyance, without being warned to leave, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The Defendant willfully entered or remained in a structure or conveyance.
- The structure or conveyance was in the lawful possession of the person alleged.
- The Defendant’s entering or remaining in the structure or conveyance was without authorization, license, or invitation by the person alleged, or any other person authorized to give that permission.
To prove that a defendant trespassed in a structure or conveyance, after being warned to leave, the State must prove the following three elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
- The Defendant had been authorized, licensed or invited to enter or remain in a structure or conveyance.
- The owner, the lessee or a person authorized by the owner or lessee of the premises warned the defendant to depart.
- The defendant refused to depart.
A person does not have to be given the express authority to enter or remain in a structure or conveyance. Permission can be implied from the circumstances. It is legal to enter or remain in the structure or conveyance if a reasonable person would believe that he or she had the owner or occupant’s permission.
A “Person Authorized” means an owner or lessee, or his or her agent, or any law enforcement officer whose department has received written authorization from the owner or lessee, or his or her agent, to communicate an order to depart the property in case of a threat to public safety or welfare.
A “Conveyance” means any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car; and to enter a conveyance includes taking apart any portion of the conveyance.
“Willfully” means intentionally, knowingly, and purposely.
“Structure” means any building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, that has a roof over it, and the enclosed space of ground and outbuildings immediately surrounding that structure.
Penalties for Trespass in a Structure or Conveyance
A person who trespasses in an unoccupied structure or conveyance commits a second degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months of probation, 60 days in jail as a condition of probation, and a $500 fine.
A person who trespasses in an occupied structure or conveyance (occupied by a human being at the time of the trespass), commits a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of probation, one year in jail as a condition of probation, and a $1,000 fine.
A person who trespasses in a structure or conveyance, while armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, commits a third degree felony, punishable by up to five years of probation, five years in prison as a condition of probation, and a $5,000 fine.
Defenses to Trespass in a Structure or Conveyance
Some of the more common trespassing defenses are:
- Entry to the structure or conveyance was not willful.
- The “person authorized” to tell the trespasser to leave lacked authority.
- A prior trespass warning was trumped by an invitation to enter.
- Insufficient evidence to show that the defendant was actually the trespasser.
- The defendant was allowed to be in the structure or conveyance.
- The curtilage to the structure was unenclosed.
If you have been arrested or charged with Trespass in a Structure or Conveyance in Palm Beach County, Broward County, Martin County or Dade County please do not hesitate to contact a Palm Beach criminal defense attorney from Bottari & Doyle at (561)-588-2781 for a free consultation.