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Trespass and Riding Over Lands

Trespass and Riding Over Lands of Another

In New Jersey, a charge of Trespass and Riding Over Lands can result in a criminal record. The offenses are related.

Trespass

The Trespass Act states:

N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3. Unlicensed entry of structures; defiant trespasser; peering into dwelling places; defenses.

a. Unlicensed entry of structures. A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or surreptitiously remains in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, or in or upon utility company property. An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a school or on school property. The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a dwelling. An offense under this section is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a research facility, power generation facility, waste treatment facility, public sewage facility, water treatment facility, public water facility, nuclear electric generating plant or any facility which stores, generates or handles any hazardous chemical or chemical compounds. An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in or upon utility company property. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.

b. Defiant trespasser. A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:

    (1) Actual communication to the actor; or
    (2) Posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or
    (3) Fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.

c. Peering into windows or other openings of dwelling places. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person and under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the dwelling or other structure would not expect to be observed.

d. Defenses. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:

    (1) A structure involved in an offense under subsection a. was abandoned;
    (2) The structure was at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the structure; or
    (3) The actor reasonably believed that the owner of the structure, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain, or, in the case of subsection c. of this section, to peer.

SOURCE. N.J.S. 2A:170-31; 2A:170-58; 2A:170-59 amended 1965, c. 68; 1972, c. 140. Amended. L. 1980, c. 112, §3; L. 1994, c. 90, §1, effective August 9, 1994; L. 1995, c. 20, §4, effective January 25, 1995; L. 1997, c. 15, §1, effective January 31, 1997; L. 2005, c. 100, §1, effective June 15, 2005; L. 2009, c. 283, §3, effective January 17, 2010.

Additional definitions relevant to Trespass offenses are contained in N.J.S.A, 2C:18-1. They provide:

2C:18-1. Definition. In this chapter, unless a different meaning plainly is required:

a. "structure" means any building, room, ship, vessel, car, vehicle or airplane, and also means any place adapted for overnight accommodation of persons, or for carrying on business therein, whether or not a person is actually present;

b. "utility company property" means property; (1) owned by a public utility, as defined in R.S.48:2-13, or by a municipality, county, water district, authority or other public agency, and (2) which is used for the purpose of providing electric, gas or water utility service.

SOURCE. Model Penal Code: 221.0. Amended. L. 1980, c. 112, §1; L. 2009, c. 283, §1, effective January 17, 2010.

Riding Over Lands of Another

The charge of Riding on the Lands of another also can result in a crminal conviction. The Act states:

N.J.S.A. 2C:18-5. Riding on Lands; Damaging Property on Lands. It is an offense under this act to:

a. Knowingly or recklessly operate a motorized vehicle or to ride horseback upon the lands of another without obtaining and in possession of the written permission of the owner, occupant, or lessee thereof.

b. Knowingly or recklessly damage or injure any tangible property, including, but not limited to, any fence, building, feedstocks, crops, live trees, or any domestic animals, located on the lands of another.

SOURCE. Adopted. L. 1983, c. 522, §2.

The penalties for Riding on the Land of Another are set forth in a different section:

2C:18-6. Penalty. a. An offense pursuant to section 2 of this act [2C:18-5] is a crime of the third degree if the actor causes pecuniary loss of $2,000.00 or more; a crime of the fourth degree if the actor causes pecuniary loss in excess of $500.00 but less than $2,000.00; and a disorderly persons offense if he causes pecuniary loss of $500.00 or less.

b. The provisions of N.J.S. 2C:43-3 to the contrary notwithstanding, in addition to any other sentence which the court may impose, a person convicted of an offense under this act shall be sentenced to make restitution, and to pay a fine of not less than $500.00 if the offense is a crime of the third degree; to pay a fine of not less than $200.00 if the offense is a crime of the fourth degree; and to pay a fine of not less than $100.00 when the conviction is of a disorderly persons offense.

SOURCE. Adopted. L. 1983, c. 522, §3.

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At the Newark Law Offices of Kevin Crawford Orr, we can help with your the defense of your New Jersey Trespass and/or Riding Over Lands of Another offense. Contact us today to find out more about your options.


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