Trespassing Defense Attorneys in Ocean County, New Jersey
Trespassing, which is considered an invasion of privacy, is a serious offense in New Jersey. Depending upon the facts of the case in addition to the alleged victim, a criminal trespass charge will be adjudicated as either a disorderly persons offense or a serious indictable crime. Furthermore, the crime of trespassing is often coupled with other charges such as Burglary and Criminal Mischief. To make matters worse, pursuant to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act, the crime of trespassing could be considered an “act of domestic violence” and as such, could be the underlying basis for obtaining a temporary restraining order. This could also lead to an individual spending up to 24 hours in the Ocean County Jail, pending a pretrial services interview if they are in fact charged with trespassing pursuant to the Domestic Violence Prevention Act. This ability was instituted in 2017 when New Jersey announced there Bail Reform Act. For more information on restraining orders and bail reform as it pertains to trespassing, please see below.
Need Lawyer for Trespassing Case in Brick NJ
Our lawyers defend clients from prosecution for trespass charges throughout Ocean County and its surrounding areas including Point Pleasant, Seaside Park, Toms River, Lakewood, Bay Head, Ship Bottom, Eagleswood, and Island Heights. Often, our Ocean county criminal defense lawyers are able to successfully negotiate with the prosecutor and victim in an effort to obtain a plea to a downgraded offense. If the facts of the case allow, these charges may be dismissed altogether. If the matter cannot be resolved with the prosecution, then we stand ready and able to present an aggressive defense at trial. To learn more information regarding New Jersey Trespass law and discuss the circumstances of your case then feel free to contact our office in Point Pleasant for a free initial consultation at (848) 238-2100.
New Jersey Trespassing Statute N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3
Depending on the specific facts involved, trespassing can be defined as a broad range of conduct including Defiant Trespass and Criminal Trespass. The New Jersey trespass statute 2C:18-3 is provided, in pertinent part, below:
a. Unlicensed entry of structures. A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or surreptitiously remains in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof. An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a school or school property…dwelling…[or] research facility. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.
b. Defiant trespasser. A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:
(1) Actual communication to the actor; or
(2) Posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or
(3) Fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.
c. Peering into windows or other openings of dwelling places. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person and under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the dwelling or other structure would not expect to be observed.
Consequences of a Trespassing Conviction in New Jersey
Petty Disorderly Persons Offense
30 days in county jail
Disorderly Persons Offense
6 months in county jail
4th Degree Crime
18 months in state prison
Most trespass cases will be tried as either disorderly persons offenses or petty disorderly persons offenses. Common examples of this crime include neighbor property disputes and wrongful entrance into commercial stores after having been previously banned. As mentioned in the above statute, trespassing will only be upgraded to a fourth degree felony if the trespassed property is a home, school property, or a public utilities facility. Also punishable as a crime of the fourth degree is when one is caught peering through the windows of a residence.
Served with a Restraining Order for Trespassing in NJ?
Since criminal trespassing is one of the enumerated offenses under the New Jersey Domestic Violence Prevention Act, if the incident in question falls under this category, the Defendant could find themselves being served with a temporary restraining order as well. The restraining order is in addition to the potential criminal charges. Meaning that not only will the Defendant be forced to litigate the charges in criminal court but will also be forced to defend themselves in the Chancery Division, Family Part of the Ocean County Superior Court. For more information on domestic violence charges in Ocean County, please click the link.
Consult with Toms River NJ Defiant Trespass Lawyers
Regardless of the specifics of your case, one thing is certain- a trespassing conviction will result in a permanent criminal record in addition to penalties such as probation, community service and jail. One of our firm’s founding attorney, Will Proetta, Esq., has broad experience handling criminal and municipal court cases throughout his career. He and our attorneys know what it takes to beat or mitigate defiant and criminal trespass charges in Ocean County, New Jersey. To discuss your matter in more detail during a free initial consultation, contact our office in Point Pleasant office today at (848) 238-2100 or you can try contacting us online.
Our phones are answered 24 hours a day. We are available weekdays during business hours. We also meet with clients on evenings and weekends by request. All major credit cards are accepted.