In order for a person to be charged with criminal trespass, they do not actually have to do harm to the property. Many property owners can state that the person was verbally told to leave their property, and that the person refused to do so. In other cases, the person might supersede their basic privileges by gaining access past the approved point by the owner of the property: i.e. a person actually entering another person’s home, or a company building, as opposed to remaining outside the house, or entering during indicated hours of operation. Criminal trespass is considered part of civil, or tort law, meaning that the charges are typically handled in civil court. However, the trespasser is held liable for any damages to that property, aside from damages that were a direct result of the act of trespassing, and the property owner can sue the trespasser for the damages, which can be very costly to the person being charged. Damage to property that exceeds $500 is also considered criminal trespass, by law.
In Georgia, criminal trespass is considered a misdemeanor, and conviction can include jail time, or the payment of a considerable fine, or both. If you’ve recently been charged with criminal trespass, your best option is to obtain legal representation so that the charges can be minimized, and your rights are protected.
Call The Lariscy Law Firm today or contact us online to set up your free consultation.