Criminal Trespassing Defense in Houston: Brazoria, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Harris & Montgomery Counties
Criminal trespassing comes in many forms and includes instances beyond someone telling another person to leave their property. There are times when a person may be trespassing and not even know they are committing the offense. According to the Texas Penal Code, the ways that notice can be given that a person should not be on the land include:
- Verbal request: This is when the owner of the property tells another person to leave. A representative for the owner can also give this instruction, and it must be obeyed to avoid charges.
- Signs: Signs can also be posted informing others to not enter the property. These signs must be placed at reasonable intervals so that they will be noticed.
- Purple marks: Purple marks that are placed on trees can also be signs to stay out. Two purple marks must be placed on trees at regular intervals to communicate the message properly.
- Fences: A fence is a universal sign that a property is private and should not be entered. This can be any type of physical barrier that surrounds a property line and is intended to keep others out.
- Agricultural land: If a piece of land is clearly being used to grow crops, it is not open to visitors. No other identifying marks or signs are needed if it is clear that the land is used for agriculture.
Criminal Trespassing Penalties
A trespassing accusation is often charged as a misdemeanor and can range from Class C to Class A. Factors surrounding the case are what allow the prosecution to determine what to charge the defendant with. A Class B misdemeanor is the most common charge and carries a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of no more than $2,000.
Building a Strong Defense
The prosecution will have to prove the defendant had reasonable notice to vacate the property and did not do so. A criminal trespassing defense attorney will often try to prove that their client did not have notice or could not adequately see signs or marks telling them to stay out. If this can be proven, the charges may be reduced, or the case dismissed altogether.
Meet With a Houston Criminal Trespassing Lawyer
Houston criminal attorney Greg Tsioros makes it his goal to get to know the clients he works with. This helps him to put a client at ease when they are facing charges that could change their life. He also uses this relationship to help build a stronger case and ensure that clients receive justice.
To talk to Greg Tsioros about scheduling a free legal consultation, call (832) 752-5972.