no trespassingThis is the next post in my series on defending against misdemeanor charges in Little Rock, Arkansas. My last article discussed dealing with misdemeanor assault and battery charges. It is important to understand that you may claim self-defense if you were not the primary aggressor in the situation. Self-defense is an issue which must be raised at trial. This means that you should retain an attorney who is experienced in presenting evidence in a way that is concise. In this article I will discuss the process of defending against trespassing charges. If you are in need of assistance then contact my office today to speak with a Little Rock criminal defense lawyer.

The penalties for trespassing in the state of Arkansas will depend on the circumstances. Wrongfully entering a car is generally a Class C misdemeanor. More harsh penalties, however, can be imposed if one enters another’s home (including an RV or vehicle which someone lives in). Moreover, if the accused individual is in possession of burglary tools then even more severe penalties will be imposed. Finally, a defendant may be facing felony charges if they have prior offenses or if other wrongful conduct is occurring (such as breaking a window to enter). The type of charges brought will depend on the overall context of the case as well as the history of the defendant.

An important element of any trespass charge is that the defendant must intentionally be in a prohibited place. In other words, if one honestly believes that they have the right to be somewhere then they are not guilty of criminal trespassing. This is best explained by way of example. Suppose an individual is traveling through a rural part of the state and decides to get out to take photographs of what they feel is a beautiful area. They park their car on the side of the road and engage in a short hike in order to gain more opportunities for photography. At no point do they come across a fence, a sign that says “private property,” or any other such marker. Unfortunately, they have entered private property, however, and the owner sees them from afar. The owner contacts law enforcement. The photographer is charged with trespassing. Under this scenario, the finder of fact may believe that the individual did not know that they were on private property. It is important to remember, however, that how the Court will rule in any given situation is always going to depend on the facts of the case.

If you have been charged with trespassing then it is important that you take immediate steps to protect your interest. A conviction can mean having a permanent criminal record, being disqualified from employment, and having difficulty finding housing. I am a Little Rock criminal defense lawyer who devotes his practice to protecting the rights of the accused. I understand that you are facing a serious situation and my office will give your case the attention it deserves. Contact us online or by telephone today to schedule an initial consultation. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff, and throughout the rest of Arkansas.