Criminal Trespass in North Carolina

by | Dec 18, 2019 | Blog Posts, NC Criminal Defense

In North Carolina, criminal trespass is a generally a misdemeanor, although in certain circumstances, it is felonious. Trespass is governed by N.C.G.S. 14-159 and is broken down into degrees – first degree criminal trespass and second degree criminal trespass.

This blog is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a criminal defense attorney.

First degree Criminal Trespass

A person commits the offense of first degree trespass if, without authorization, he enters or remains:

  1. On premises of another so enclosed or secured as to demonstrate clearly an intent to keep out intruders;
  2. In a building of another; or
  3. On the lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians after the person has been excluded by a resolution passed by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indian Tribal Council.

First degree criminal trespass is typically a Class 2 misdemeanor, which means it carries a maximum possible penalty of 60 days in jail.

First degree trespass is punished as a Class A1 misdemeanor in certain situations involving trespass on a premises dealing with public water, natural gas, agricultural services, or electrical power. First degree criminal trespass becomes felonious in certain limited situations, such as where the offense involves an act that places anyone on the premises at risk of serious bodily injury.

Second Degree Criminal Trespass

A person commits the offense of second degree trespass if, without authorization, he enters or remains on premises of another:

  1. After he has been notified not to enter or remain there by the owner, by a person in charge of the premises, by a lawful occupant, or by another authorized person; or
  2. When there is a notice not to enter posted, in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders

Second degree trespass is punished as a Class 3 misdemeanor, which means that it carries a maximum of 20 days in jail.

Domestic Criminal Trespass

Domestic criminal trespass is generally a Class 1 misdemeanor. A person can be charged with this crime if, while living apart, they enter the premises of a current or former spouse or domestic partner after being forbidden to do so or ordered to leave by the lawful occupant in certain situations (for example, in situations where the parties have agreed to live apart or where there is a court order dictating such).

If you have been charged with a crime in North Carolina or South Carolina, contact us to discuss your options.

DISCLAIMER – This forum is intended for general questions and comments about the particular law or topic. Comments are public and are not protected by confidentiality or attorney-client privilege; therefore, they can be used against you in court. Please refrain from revealing your identify or specifics about any actual criminal case. No attorney-client relationship is created in this forum.

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