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What Are Possible Defenses to Criminal Trespassing Charges?

March 4th, 2016 at 8:00 am

criminal trespassing charges, Rolling Meadows Criminal Defense LawyerThere are a number of reasons why an individual might find him or herself facing criminal trespassing charges under 720 ILCS 5/21-3. The defendant might have overstayed a invitation to be on the property, the defendant might have knowingly been trespassing on the property of another, or the defendant might have been forced into committing the trespass. Whatever the case may be, criminal trespassing charges are serious, and if you are facing criminal trespassing charges in Rolling Meadows, it is important that you consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.

Your criminal defense lawyer will be able to analyze your case and identify any potential defenses that you might have to the charges that you are up against. The three main defenses to criminal trespassing charges in Illinois include:

  1. You had consent to be on the property. Your alleged trespassing might not be trespassing at all if you had consent to be on the property of another, or if you had permission to use a piece of property, such as a car. If you have permission, then you cannot legally be trespassing. Consent can take many forms, including spoken words, writing, actions or gestures. In some cases, silence or inaction on the part of the property owner can qualify as consent as well, depending on the facts of the situation. Consent must be legal, meaning that the person who gives consent must legally be able to give it. Children, intoxicated persons, and incompetent individuals are incapable of giving consent. Additionally, consent must be rightfully obtained—consent cannot be obtained through fraud or deception, trickery or lies.
  2. You were trespassing but to reclaim your own property. If someone took your property and you go to get it back, then your actions cannot be trespassing. The property is rightfully yours. This defense works best when your property has been stolen or taken, or there is a dispute as to who owns the property. The property is usually a thing, such as a car or an item (for example, your car was stolen by your nephew, or your patio table umbrella is blown into your neighbor’s yard during a storm and you entered your neighbor’s property to get your umbrella), and is not usually real property.
  3. You were trespassing out of necessity. Sometimes circumstance forces your to trespass on the property of another. Necessity as a defense to criminal trespass exists in two forms.
    • Public necessity exists when people are facing immediate danger and someone must commit a trespass in order to keep the public safe. The trespass must be committed in good faith. When many people must commit a trespass to stay safe, the property owner is unlikely to recover any damages from the people who trespassed.
    • Private necessity exists when a person commits a trespass in order to stay safe. When a person must commit a trespass to stay safe, the trespasser may not be held criminally liable for the trespass, but may be held civilly liable for any damage that he or she may have caused to the property.  

Call the Law Offices of Christopher M. Cosley

If you are facing criminal trespassing charges, please do not hesitate to contact a skilled Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney immediately. Reach out to our office today and let us provide you with assistance.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=072000050K21-3

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