Trespassing is generally known as the act of entering or remaining on someone else’s property without their permission. In North Carolina, criminal trespass is actually divided into two different categories — first and second degree. What is the difference between the two, and what are the consequences that may follow if convicted?
Both first and second-degree criminal trespass involves entering or remaining on someone’s property without their permission. First-degree trespass, however, is defined as entering or staying on property that has clearly been secured with the intent to keep intruders out. While second-degree trespass is defined as entering or remaining on property where notice to not enter is posted, or after being notified by an authorized person not to enter.
Criminal trespass is usually considered a misdemeanor offense. The consequences for which may include jail time and fines. In certain circumstances, it may be considered a felony-level offense. The length of incarceration and the fine amount may significantly increase if felony charges are pursued.
North Carolina residents who find themselves facing criminal trespass charges have a lot to lose. Even misdemeanor crimes on one’s record can have an extremely negative impact on a person’s life. The good news is, anyone charged with a crime has the right to a criminal defense. Legal counsel can review one’s case, question any evidence put forward, and work to have the charges dismissed or reduced.