Criminal trespass in an occupied home is defined by state laws, which vary by state. Such laws require knowledge of wrongful entry or remaining by the trespasser. Possession of weapons while committing trespass in an occupied home generally increases the severity of the crime, typically constituting a felony.
The following, among others, may be a defense to a charge of criminal trespass:
- that the property was open to the public when the defendant entered and remained
- that the defendant's conduct did not substantially interfere with the owner's use of the property
- that the defendant immediately left the premises upon request.
The following is an example of a state law dealing with criminal trespass:
"Whoever, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance, or, having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so, commits the of-fense of trespass in a structure or conveyance."