Criminal Trespass

Criminal Trespass

An individual criminally trespasses if he or she enters or remains on property (building or land) of another, without consent. The individual must also have had notice that the entry was forbidden; or received notice to depart but failed to do so. Often, with commercial buildings or stores, the person had been given a Trespass Warning in the past, instructing them not to return to that store, which serves as the notice that entry was forbidden.

You can read the specific Statute and Punishments for Criminal Trespass below.

What You Need To Know

Criminal Trespass cases range from simple trespass across a field, to refusing to leave a store when asked to leave, to entering businesses or buildings, including in the rare occasion, a person's home. Obviously each case is handled differently, depending on the facts and exactly where the trespass occurred. And each one is handled differently in terms of possible punishments that a person might face.

Closely Related Offenses

Related areas to Criminal Trespass include Burglary, which is a trespass into a building with the intent to commit a crime, or Criminal Mischief which is an offense that involves damage to another's property.

If you're looking for other offenses that are related to this one, you can see more information below, or click related legal offenses.

Jail Release and Bond for Criminal Trespass

Criminal Trespass cases often involve a person being arrested and taken to jail, awaiting 'magistration' (seeing a Judge at the Jail), (fingerprinted and booked after seeing Judge).

Sometimes an officer will file arrest warrant , which will require a Walkthrough to clear the Arrest Warrant. Doing a Walkthrough quickly is important, because most of the time a person does not go into the jail during the surrender process. Call us for more details if you have an Active Travis County Arrest Warrant.

Keates Law Firm can act quickly to assist with a personal bond to release that person. Be sure to read more about Bond, Personal Bonds, and Travis County Jail Releases.

Defenses for Criminal Trespass

One of the main arguments or defenses to Criminal Trespass is that the person did not know they could not enter the area, and therefor did not have 'notice' that entry was forbidden. The statute attempts to limit this argument by providing that "Notice" means:

  • oral or written communication by owner;
  • fencing or other enclosure obviously designed to exclude intruders or to contain livestock;
  • a sign posted on the property or at the entrance indicating that entry is forbidden;
  • the placement of identifying purple paint marks on trees or posts on property

If you'd like to talk in detail about your situation, or if you have questions, contact us for a Free Case Consultation. Keep in mind, Keates Law Firm only practices in Austin and Travis County.

Work with an Experienced Criminal Trespass Attorney

Hiring the right attorney from the beginning is important. Poor legal decisions will have a negative effect upon the case as it progresses. The Keates Law Firm has over 16+ Years Experience handling Criminal Trespass cases. Our focus is to try and have the case dismissed against you. We don't even discuss pleas until all legal and negotiation options have been explored in detail.

Call Us to talk about your particular case and situation. It's a 100% Free Phone Consultation with Criminal Defense Attorney Keates. No Sales Pitches, No Hassles. We'll see if we are the right Law Firm for you, and give you a quote. Be sure to check out Keates Law Firm's Reviews and also our past cases and Results.

How We Can Help

Your goal should be Dismissal for any Criminal Trespass charge. While not every case can be dismissed, often times the goal becomes avoiding jail, or getting a reduced charge, or even getting a favorable probation with a possible dismissal at the end, called Deferred Adjudication. If dismissed, a person can later seek an Expunction of a Criminal Record, which is where a Judge Orders the offense records destroyed, including police reports, court records, and prosecutor files.

Likewise, if Deferred Adjudication is successfully completed, the person can have thier record sealed through Motions for NonDisclosure.

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The Law in Texas on Criminal Trespass


(a) A person commits an offense if the person enters or remains on or in property of another, including residential land, agricultural land, a recreational vehicle park, a building, or an aircraft or other vehicle, without effective consent and the person: (1) had notice that the entry was forbidden; or (2) received notice to depart but failed to do so.

What are the Criminal Trespass Punishments?

Criminal Trespass penalties depend on where the trespass occurred. It's a Class B misdemeanor, typically, although it can be a Class A misdemeanor if trespassing in a habitation or the person was carrying a deadly weapon.

Penalties for Trespassing
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Not Jailable, No more than $500 fines
Class B Misdemeanor Not more than 180 days in a county jail, and/or no more than $2,000 fines
Class A Misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines

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