By Dallas and Collin County Criminal Defense Lawyer Jeremy Rosenthal
Under Texas Penal Code Section 30.05, a Criminal Trespass is committed where a person enters or remains on or in the property of another, including residential land, agricultural land, recreational-vehicle park, building, or aircraft or other vehicle without effective consent and had either notice that the entry was forbidden, or received notice to depart but failed to do so.
Criminal Trespass can be either a Class C, B, or A Misdemeanor depending on how it is alleged to have been committed. Generally speaking, it’s a Class B. Here’s the statute itself and you can read the different punishment aspects.
Much like burglary, criminal trespass has many specific definitions and which thereby make the cases somewhat defend-able based on the particulars of each case.
For example, Tex.Pen.C. 30.05(b)(2)(C) states that one particular definition of receiving notice of not being on the premises is “a sign or signs posted on the property or at the entrance to the building, reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, indicating that entry is forbidden.” This legal definition of notice, then, means that the police and State can try and charge someone with criminal trespass even where the person did not have actual notice entry was forbidden. This can pose extreme difficulties to a prosecutor.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer can defend these cases which may otherwise seem cut and dry from the prosecutions point of view.
*Jeremy Rosenthal is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and licensed by the Supreme Court of Texas. Nothing in this article is intended to be legal advice. For legal advice about any specific set of circumstances you should directly consult an attorney.