Trespass Attorney in Miami, FL

If you or a loved one has been arrested for a trespass charge in Florida, it is critical to consult with an experienced Miami trespass lawyer as soon as possible to ensure that your rights are protected. You need the counsel of a criminal lawyer who has experience defending Florida trespass statute cases to maximize your chances of avoiding a criminal record and resolving your case with a favorable outcome.

What is Trespass?

The crime of trespass is a common misdemeanor offense, although, under limited circumstances, it may be charged as a felony. You commit a trespass when you go onto someone’s property or enter their home/building/motor vehicle/boat without permission, or after having permission, refuse to leave. One of the most common scenarios for trespassing offenses is when a patron is attempting to enter (or re-enter) an establishment, usually a nightclub, and a bouncer or off-duty police officer takes exception. Most people facing a trespass arrest in this situation feel that they have done nothing wrong and that the bouncer or police officer treated them unfairly. It is not uncommon for this criminal charge to be accompanied by a disorderly conduct or resisting without violence charge.

What is the Punishment for Trespass?

Although there are certain circumstances where a prosecutor can file a trespass as a felony charge, most types of trespass are either first-degree misdemeanors or second-degree misdemeanors. If you are convicted of the second-degree misdemeanor of trespassing in an unoccupied structure or conveyance, for example, the maximum punishment you can face would be:

  • A county jail sentence of up to 60 days in jail (2 months in jail)
  • A fine up to $500
  • Up to six (6) months of probation

Under certain circumstances, trespass can be a first-degree misdemeanor criminal offense, in which case the maximum punishment would be:

  • A county jail sentence of up to 364 days in jail (12 months in jail)
  • A fine up to $1000
  • Up to one year of probation

Trespass can be charged as a third-degree felony if you are armed at the time you commit the trespass or if you trespass on a construction site or certain agricultural and horticultural sites. The maximum punishment, in this case, would be five (5) years in state prison.

Common Defenses To The Florida Trespass Statute

  • You never actually entered the property or refused to leave
  • You weren’t told to leave
  • You entered someone’s property by mistake (lack of intent)
  • Permission
  • The person who told you to leave or that you couldn’t come onto the property wasn’t authorized to speak for the owner
  • Lack of notice
  • Justification/Necessity
  • Although you were told to leave or that you couldn’t enter, a different person initially gave you permission

An experienced criminal defense lawyer can analyze your case to determine your best legal defense.

Contact an Experienced Miami Trespass Attorney

Over the years, we have represented hundreds of clients in a wide range of cases in South Florida. There is a good chance that we have dealt with your type of case and have represented clients who shared similar needs and concerns that you may have. Feel free to browse through the results section of our site for a representative sample of some of our past cases and the results we have achieved for our clients.

By taking the immediate action of hiring an experienced Miami trespass attorney to defend yourself, you are minimizing the chances that your criminal case will have lasting consequences for your career, personal life, and reputation.

CALL US NOW for a CONFIDENTIAL CONSULTATION at (305) 538-4545,  or simply take a moment to fill out our confidential and secure intake form.* The additional details you provide will greatly assist us in responding to your inquiry.

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 Florida Trespassing Laws

810.08  Trespass in structure or conveyance.

(1)  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 offense of trespass in a structure or conveyance.

(2)(a)  Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, trespass in a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b)  If there is a human being in the structure or conveyance at the time the offender trespassed, attempted to trespass, or was in the structure or conveyance, the trespass in a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c)  If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, or arms himself or herself with such while in the structure or conveyance, the trespass in a structure or conveyance is a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any owner or person authorized by the owner may, for prosecution purposes, take into custody and detain, in a reasonable manner, for a reasonable length of time, any person when he or she reasonably believes that a violation of this paragraph has been or is being committed, and he or she reasonably believes that the person to be taken into custody and detained has committed or is committing such violation. In the event a person is taken into custody, a law enforcement officer shall be called as soon as is practicable after the person has been taken into custody. The taking into custody and detention by such person, if done in compliance with the requirements of this paragraph, shall not render such person criminally or civilly liable for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.

(3)  As used in this section, the term “person authorized” means any owner or lessee, or his or her agent, or any law enforcement officer whose department has received written authorization from the owner or lessee, or his or her agent, to communicate an order to depart the property in the case of a threat to public safety or welfare.

History.–s. 34, ch. 74-383; s. 22, ch. 75-298; s. 2, ch. 76-46; s. 1, ch. 77-132; s. 33, ch. 88-381; s. 185, ch. 91-224; s. 1233, ch. 97-102; s. 4, ch. 2000-369.

810.09  Trespass on property other than structure or conveyance.

(1)(a)  A person who, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance:

1.  As to which notice against entering or remaining is given, either by actual communication to the offender or by posting, fencing, or cultivation as described in s. 810.011; or

2.  If the property is the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling and the offender enters or remains with the intent to commit an offense thereon, other than the offense of trespass,

commits the offense of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance.

(b)  As used in this section, the term “unenclosed curtilage” means the unenclosed land or grounds, and any outbuildings, that are directly and intimately adjacent to and connected with the dwelling and necessary, convenient, and habitually used in connection with that dwelling.

(2)(a)  Except as provided in this subsection, trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance is a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(b)  If the offender defies an order to leave, personally communicated to the offender by the owner of the premises or by an authorized person, or if the offender willfully opens any door, fence, or gate or does any act that exposes animals, crops, or other property to waste, destruction, or freedom; unlawfully dumps litter on property; or trespasses on property other than a structure or conveyance, the offender commits a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

(c)  If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon during the commission of the offense of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance, he or she is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. Any owner or person authorized by the owner may, for prosecution purposes, take into custody and detain, in a reasonable manner, for a reasonable length of time, any person when he or she reasonably believes that a violation of this paragraph has been or is being committed, and that the person to be taken into custody and detained has committed or is committing such violation. In the event a person is taken into custody, a law enforcement officer shall be called as soon as is practicable after the person has been taken into custody. The taking into custody and detention in compliance with the requirements of this paragraph does not result in criminal or civil liability for false arrest, false imprisonment, or unlawful detention.

(d)  The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed is a construction site that is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED CONSTRUCTION SITE, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”

(e)  The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed upon is commercial horticulture property and the property is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS DESIGNATED COMMERCIAL PROPERTY FOR HORTICULTURE PRODUCTS, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”

(f)  The offender commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084, if the property trespassed upon is an agricultural site for testing or research purposes that is legally posted and identified in substantially the following manner: “THIS AREA IS A DESIGNATED AGRICULTURAL SITE FOR TESTING OR RESEARCH PURPOSES, AND ANYONE WHO TRESPASSES ON THIS PROPERTY COMMITS A FELONY.”

(g)  Any person who in taking or attempting to take any animal described in s. 372.001(10) or (11), or in killing, attempting to kill, or endangering any animal described in s. 585.01(13) knowingly pro