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Criminal Trespass

To be charged with criminal trespass, you must knowingly enter or stay in someone’s house or buildings, or enter or stay on their land, without their permission. This could also happen under the following circumstances:

  • The land or buildings are restricted to certain people, purposes, modes or hours, and this was ignored
  • Someone informed you that entering or staying on the land or in the building was not allowed, or the law stated this, or there was a sign posted or there was a fence
  • After you were informed of this or noticed the sign, you still didn’t leave or refused to leave

Nearly every day in central Ohio people are charged with criminal trespass.  Criminal trespass penalties can range from a fourth degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail to a first degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail.

If you are convicted of criminal trespass, additional potential issues include:

  • Maintaining your current employment
  • Licensure issues in some professions
  • Difficulty getting a good job in the future
  • Difficulty and possible denial in immigration and naturalization proceedings
Simply put, if you are convicted of criminal trespass, it could potentially be on your criminal background for the rest of your life. No matter what the circumstances were in your case, you run the risk of being considered a person who cannot respect boundaries. Therefore, it is critical that you to give your criminal trespass charge the level of importance it deserves.

The Columbus Criminal Defense team takes a comprehensive approach when representing our clients on criminal trespass cases.

We will figure out what mistakes the police or detectives made in their investigation, whether the prosecuting witness is fabricating the charges and what other legal issues can be raised on your behalf.

We do this by requesting discovery from the prosecutor and interviewing witnesses. The discovery will generally consist of police reports, additional investigative notes, pictures and recorded interviews. As our client, you will receive a copy of everything received from the prosecutor for your review.

Based on the legal weaknesses in the State of Ohio’s case and any other mitigating factors, we will negotiate the best possible plea available with the prosecutor for you to consider in resolving your case.

If your case cannot be resolved satisfactorily with a plea, it would then proceed to a motion hearing (a hearing where the judge issues a ruling on an evidentiary issue) or a trial to the judge or jury, depending on the circumstances.

For nearly ten years, the Columbus Criminal Defense team has successfully represented clients on criminal offenses ranging from minor misdemeanors to first degree felonies. That extensive previous experience will enable us to better help you.

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Are you in trouble? Contact us.

If you’ve been charged with criminal trespass, it’s important to know what you’re up against. If you have any questions left unanswered by this page, or if you need a competent, experienced criminal trespass attorney to fight for you in court, please contact us at or via email at

If there was no violence or threat of violence involved, it’s a misdemeanor of the fourth degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A jail sentence of up to 30 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $250
    • If you used a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle or SUV to commit the offense, your fine will be doubled
      • If this is the third time you’ve used one of these vehicles to do this, your registration may be impounded for 60 days or more
If you trespassed in order to commit a misdemeanor that involved violence or the threat of violence, it’s a misdemeanor of the first degree and carries the following penalties:
  • A jail sentence of up to 180 days
    • In its place, your judge may sentence you to probation or other community control punishments
  • At most, a fine of $1,000

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Luftman, Heck & Associates LLP
580 E Rich St Fl 2
Columbus, OH 43215-5335


FAX: (614) 413-2886