‚ÄčTrespassing

Trespassing offenses are crimes that prevent a landowner from fully enjoying their property due to unauthorized individuals gaining access to their property.

First-Degree Trespass

First degree trespass is governed by N.C.G.S. 14-159.12.

You may be found guilty of first-degree trespass if you enter or remain on the premises or building of another without permission. A defense to this charge is that you had the reasonable belief that you had a legal right to enter the premises or building.

A first-degree trespass charge is a Class 2 Misdemeanor and carries up to 60 days in jail. If you have been charged with this, a criminal defense lawyer can help you mitigate this charge, and sometimes help you avoid jail time completely.

Second-Degree Trespass

Second degree trespass is governed by N.C.G.S. 14-159.13.
You may be found guilty of second-degree trespass if you enter or remain on the premises of another after having been notified by the owner not to enter or remain or when signs are posted with notice not to enter.

A second-degree trespass charge is a Class 3 Misdemeanor.

Domestic Criminal Trespass

Domestic criminal trespass is governed by N.C.G.S. 14-134.3.

You may be found guilty of domestic criminal trespass if you enter or refuse to leave a premises, that you have been forbidden to enter, and occupied by:

  • Your present or former spouse
  • Another person with whom you have lived with or married


A domestic criminal trespass is a Class 1 Misdemeanor and carries up to 120 days in jail. This charge can be escalated to a Class G Felony if you trespassed on property that is being used as a safe house for victims of domestic violence and you were armed with a deadly weapon at time of offense. A Class G Felony carries up to 21 months in prison for first time offenders, but can be increased substantially depending on the circumstances of your case. If you have been charged with domestic criminal trespass, it is in your best interest to hire a criminal defense lawyer right away to receive the best possible outcome.