What is trespassing?

Trespassing is entering a location unlawfully or without permission. Trespassing can also happen when you stay in a public place after hours or when you refuse to leave a building after you have been told to leave.

For example, you can trespass by:

  • Going to a school when you are not an enrolled student or don’t have a valid reason (attending a school event or meeting).
  • Sleeping in a park after it is closed.
  • Going to visit a friend at a public housing building when you were previously told you can’t be on the property.
  • Refusing to leave a library after staff ask you to leave.
  • Going onto a construction site without permission.
  • Going through police tape onto a crime scene.


What can happen if I get caught trespassing?

Youth can be given a citation or petition requiring them to go to juvenile court. The prosecutor may decide a diversion program is best to address the situation. Otherwise, trespassing is a misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor for adults. A misdemeanor can be punished by up to 90 days in jail and/or up to a $1,000 fine. A gross misdemeanor can be punished by up to one year in jail and/or up to a $3,000 fine.


Disclaimer: This document is intended to be informational. It is not legal advice concerning your specific situation. Please see a lawyer if you need advice about a specific situation.