California Penal Code Section 602 PC – Criminal Trespassing
California Penal Code Section 602 makes it a crime for an individual to enter or remain on another person’s property without the property owner’s express permission. If a defendant unlawfully enters the property of another or remains on it, he can be charged with a misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail sentence of up to six months, as well as a fine of up to $1000.
If you have been charged with criminal trespassing, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to defend you and keep you from going to jail. You should not wait as a conviction of misdemeanor criminal trespassing can result in you being sent to jail for up to six months, as well as being ordered to pay a fine of up to $1000.
So, if you have been charged with criminal trespass, contact an experienced criminal trespassing attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.
Text of California Penal Code Section 602 PC – Criminal Trespass
According to California Penal Code Section 602 PC prohibits any person from “entering upon lands or buildings owned by any other person without the license of the owner or legal occupant.” An individual who violates this criminal statute is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail, and a fine of up to $1000. The criminal statute goes on to outline a number of situations that constitute criminal trespass, but we will not list them here because it is a very long list of scenarios. You can check them by clicking on the text in blue above.
Here are some of the situations that constitute criminal trespassing in California:
- Entering the property of another person with the intent to damage that person’s property
- Entering the property of another with intent to occupy the property
- Entering the property of another to interfere with or obstruct the owner’s business or activities
- Refusing to leave the property of another after being expressly asked to leave the property
Convicting an Individual Guilty of Committing Criminal Trespassing Under CPC Section 602 PC
For the prosecution to convict an individual of committing criminal trespass, the prosecution must prove the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to establish even one element, the prosecution will not be able to convict an individual of criminal trespassing. The prosecution must prove the following elements:
- The defendant willfully and intentionally
- Entered or remained on the property of another
- The defendant had the intent to interfere with the property he entered into, and
- The defendant actually interfered with the property
Examples of Criminal Trespassing Under Penal Code Section 602 PC
A man works at a pizza shop, his boss fires him and so he stands outside the restaurant on the restaurant’s property warning patrons to stay away from the restaurant. The restaurant owner calls the police and the police arrest the disgruntled employee. The prosecution can charge and convict the individual of criminal trespassing because he entered the property of another to obstruct or interfere with the restaurant’s business. As such, he can be convicted of criminal trespassing.
A man passes by home and sees that it has been empty for months. So, he brings in a sleeping bag and begins staying at home. The owner of the home comes to the home and finds the man sleeping inside his home, so he calls the police. The police arrive and arrest the man for criminal trespass. The charges the man with criminal trespassing under CPC 602 PC. The prosecution will most likely prevail because the man entered the home with the intent to make another’s man home is home and this interferes with the owner’s right to possess the home.
A homeless man enters a coffee shop to purchase some water. After entering the stores, many customers leave the store due to the man’s odor and appearance. The store owner calls the police. The homeless man cannot be convicted of criminal trespassing because he did not have the intent to interfere with the store owner’s business. Also, the store is open to the general public and this means that the less fortunate may enter the store, as well.
Penalties for Trespassing
If the prosecution convicts an individual of trespassing, the defendant faces the following consequences:
- Conviction of misdemeanor trespassing
- Up to six months in county jail
- A fine of up to $1000
- Placement on summary probation for three years
Note: The judge has the power to impose additional punishments as the court sees fit. This is not an exhaustive list of all punishments the court can impose on you if you’re convicted of trespassing.
Defenses to Criminal Trespassing Charges
There are a variety of defenses that an attorney can use to defend an individual charged with trespassing under California Penal Code Section 602 PC. Here are some of the defenses that your attorney can use to defend you:
- The defendant did not willfully enter the property of another
- The defendant was permitted to enter the property
- The defendant was in the process of leaving the property after being asked to leave
- The defendant did not interfere with the property of another
- The defendant did not obstruct the business of the property owner
Note: These are only some of the defenses that your attorney can use, and this list is not exhaustive of all the defenses your attorney can use to defend. To know which defenses, apply to your case, you should contact an experienced trespassing attorney at The H Law Group to defend you and keep you from going to jail.
Contact an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with trespassing in violation of California Penal Code Section 602, you should immediately contact an experienced criminal defense attorney at The H Law Group to defend you. We have defended numerous individuals charged with trespassing, and so we have the knowledge and experience to best defend you and achieve the best possible outcome for you.
At the start of every case, we will review the facts of your case to determine whether a dismissal is possible. If a dismissal is possible, our attorneys will communicate this to the prosecutor. If the prosecutor refuses to dismiss your case, we will do all that we can to negotiate the best possible plea deal for you. Schedule your free consultation today by filling out the contact form below or by calling us at 1 (213) 370-0404.