Criminal trespass in Ohio can be a serious charge. If you are dealing with a criminal trespass violation in Ohio, you may not know what to do next.
Ohio trespass law imposes severe penalties for trespass convictions. Thus, it is crucial to have an experienced Ohio criminal defense attorney to help you with your case.
Overview of Ohio Trespass Law
Before discussing penalties, it is important to have a basic understanding of what constitutes criminal trespass in Ohio. Under Ohio law, a person will be guilty of criminal trespass if he or she does any of the following:
- Knowingly enters or remains on the land or premises of another;
- Knowingly enters or remains on the land or premises of another that has restrictions on access;
- Recklessly enters or remains on the land or premises of another where notice exists that access is unauthorized; or
- Negligently fails or refuses to leave the premises after the owner of the land provides notice to leave.
“Land or premises” includes any land, building, structure, or place that belongs to someone else. Thus, a trespass can occur in a broad variety of locations. However, it is important to note that it is not a defense to a charge of criminal trespass that the land is owned or controlled by a public agency.
In some situations, a trespass may rise to the level of aggravated trespass. Ohio law defines aggravated trespass as entering or remaining on the land or premises of another with the purpose to commit a misdemeanor while on the premises. For the purposes of this statute, a misdemeanor involves “causing physical harm to another person or causing another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to him.”
What Are Penalties for Criminal Trespass in Ohio?
A conviction for criminal trespass will also come with penalties. General criminal trespass is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. This can result in up to 30 days in jail and a fine of up to $250. If, however, a criminal trespass occurs while using a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle, the fine will be doubled.
Further, a prior conviction for criminal trespass involving the use of a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle may lead the court to impose additional penalties. In this situation, a court may impound the vehicle’s certificate of registration or license plate for up to 60 days.
Penalties for aggravated trespass can be even more severe. Violation of Ohio aggravated trespass law is a first-degree misdemeanor. Such a violation can result in up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Contact an Ohio Trespass Law Attorney Today
A criminal trespass charge can impact your life in many ways. However, if you do not understand the law, you may not know how to best handle your charge moving forward. Fortunately, you do not have to go through this on your own.
At Gounaris Abboud, LPA, we have more than 50 years of collective experience providing high-quality legal representation to our clients. We are committed to fighting for your rights and giving you the best defense possible. Contact us online or give us a call at 927-222-1515 today to see what we can do to help get you through this difficult time.