Getting convicted for a criminal offense in Illinois means that you will have it on your criminal record. While criminal trespassing does not seem like a big issue to you, it can have lasting consequences. If you get convicted, your record will have it no matter where you go.
From job interviews to admission for further studies, you will always harm your image. Thus, it is better to have complete knowledge of how trespassing crime can affect your life and why you will need a criminal defense attorney to represent you for your case. We have gathered all the information that you will require, go through it, and decide for yourself what should be your next step.
What is Criminal Trespassing?
The definition of trespassing is to be in a place you should not be; criminal trespassing is thus defined by entering or remaining in someone else’s property without their permission or when it is prohibited. There can be various instances in which someone can claim a lawsuit against you for such charges under Illinois Law. Some examples of criminal trespassing may include but are not limited to:
- Entering someone’s personal property without their permission or staying there even when they asked you to leave.
- A commercial property without permission or when someone prohibited it.
- Entering a school zone where you were not supposed to be.
- A construction site or an empty building that clearly stated a signboard for trespassing and you are an adult who can understand it.
- Entering any real estate property without permission.
- A government property where you are not supposed to be.
- Remaining in a bar or club even after the owner asked you to leave.
Depending on the severity of trespassing and whether it was combined with another crime like damage to property, your penalty can vary. Having an experienced attorney by your side will help you analyze the situation better. They will also provide you with options so that they could work towards reducing your charges or completely removing them so that it doesn’t stay on your record.
What is Defining Notice?
If a person or company is pressing charges against you for trespassing their land, they will have to prove certain factors in court. Thus, a defining notice is when they claim that the property you entered was not allowed for you to enter. Additionally, they would also have to show that there was a warning, in written or oral form from the author. They also should have a notice clearly stating ‘No Trespassing’ at the entrance or the abandoned area at the time of your entrance. The owner should place the notice at a level from which it would be visible to any passerby or a person who would try to enter the land.
Since the conditions are quite critical, a criminal defense attorney can help you in winning the case by taking benefit of all these intricacies. However, if you are alone, it will be different since you may not be aware of how to question the prosecutor for the charges pressed against you.
What Are the Penalties for Criminal Trespassing?
If you are concerned about the criminal trespassing charges in Illinois, you would want to know that they can be quite severe. Depending on your situation, you can be charged for class A misdemeanor to a class 4 felony. Class A misdemeanor is classified as the highest form of a misdemeanor and comes just under a felony charge. The penalty for it includes up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. In comparison to that, while a class 4 felony is the lowest form of a felony. However, because the consequences can be quite serious with a felony, the penalty will include up to 3 years in jail and a fine of up to $25,000.
How Can a Chicago Criminal Lawyer Help?
After understanding the charges that you could face if charged with trespassing, we believe that you would now better understand why you need a lawyer. However, it is also imperative to know how an experienced lawyer can fight your case better. It is crucial so that when you book a consultation session with an attorney, you would know if they are right for you or not.
Depending on your case, a lawyer can use different ways to defend you so that they could try all the possibilities to save your reputation and reduce your charges. Some of these methods include:
While it may seem pretty obvious, a lawyer can use the information you provide them to prove that even if there wasn’t a written or verbal consent, the owner implied it. For example, they can use your previous interactions with the owner to prove that the act was innocent, and you didn’t mean to trespass on their personal property. While a written consent holds much more importance in court, for trespassing cases, verbal or implied consent also works.
For both, public and private property, a lawyer could defend your case if you trespassed because of an emergency. For example, if a child was injured and required help or if the same was the case with an animal and you tried to call for help, but there was no one on the property, so you had to go and rescue them; a lawyer can easily defend your case. While there are still quite a few other factors that only your lawyer can explain to you better, depending on the individual case, your lawyer will ensure that you are not convicted for trespassing because of an emergency.
Reclaiming Your Property
If someone steals your personal property, like your car, you have the legal right to reclaim it, even if it requires you to enter their property. Even apart from stealing, if, for any other reason like ‘act of God’ your vehicle is now in some other vicinity, you can reclaim it without being charged for trespassing.
How Much Does A Trespassing Lawyer Cost?
Lastly, for those who are concerned about the cost of the lawyer, it is best to first book a free consultation session with an experienced defense lawyer, like those at Ktenas Law. Once you have discussed your case with our attorney, you will get a better idea of how complex or simple the case is, and how much effort the lawyer will have to put into your case. Depending on these and several other factors, you will get an estimate as to how much will it cost you.
In the end, you will still be saving a hefty amount of fine that you may have to pay if you don’t have a criminal trespassing attorney by your side. Contact an experienced Chicago criminal lawyer today at Ktenas Law to schedule your FREE consultation.