Criminal Trespass Law and Legal Definition

Criminal trespass refers to an unlawfully entry by a person into a private property of another person without permission. Any person so entering the property without permission is held to have committed the offence of criminal trespass. Criminal trespass can occur when:

1. a person enters someone else’s property without permission; and

2. a person remains in the property.

Following is an example of a state statute (Utah) defining criminal trespass:

Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. § 76-6-206 criminal trespass means

“(1) As used in this section, "enter" means intrusion of the entire body.

(2) A person is guilty of criminal trespass if, under circumstances not amounting to burglary as defined in Section 76-6-202, 76-6-203, or 76-6-204 or a violation of Section 76-10-2402 regarding commercial obstruction:

(a) the person enters or remains unlawfully on property and:

(i) intends to cause annoyance or injury to any person or damage to any property, including the use of graffiti as defined in Section 76-6-107;

(ii) intends to commit any crime, other than theft or a felony; or

(iii) is reckless as to whether his presence will cause fear for the safety of another;

(b) knowing the person's entry or presence is unlawful, the person enters or remains on property as to which notice against entering is given by:

(i) personal communication to the actor by the owner or someone with apparent authority to act for the owner;

(ii) fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders; or

(iii) posting of signs reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or

(c) the person enters a condominium unit in violation of Subsection 57-8-7(7).

(3) (a) A violation of Subsection (2)(a) or (b) is a class B misdemeanor unless it was committed in a dwelling, in which event it is a class A misdemeanor.

(b) A violation of Subsection (2)(c) is an infraction.

(4) It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

(a) the property was open to the public when the actor entered or remained; and

(b) the actor's conduct did not substantially interfere with the owner's use of the property”.