Trespassing is covered under Virginia Code Section § 18.2-119 and is entitled Trespass after having been forbidden to do so.
Trespassing is a class one misdemeanor which carries the potential for 12 months in jail, a $2500 fine, and an order prohibiting you from entering onto the property again.
To find you guilty the Court must find that each of the following elements have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That you went onto someone’s property
- That you went onto someone’s property after having been requested not to come onto the property
- And that the individual who requested that you not come onto the property has the authority to prohibit you from entering the property
- And that you otherwise have no legal right to be on the property
*It should be noted that the request to not to come onto the property can be verbal, in writing or can be conveyed by the posting of a sign.
If you receive notice from a posted sign the Court must find that the sign was placed in an area where it could be seen.
**It should also be noted that if you have a legal right to be on the property, for instance, you are renting the property, then the landlord does not have the ability to deny you access by verbal or written notice without going thru the proper channels to have you evicted.
As with any criminal case, the possible defenses are too numerous to list and often turn on the facts specific to your case. If we can help you with this or any other matter please give us a call at (757) 267-4949. And remember the right attorney makes all the difference.