Woodridge Trespassing Defense Lawyer

Facing a charge of criminal trespass is serious. In Illinois, punishments for a conviction of criminal trespass could include fines and even imprisonment.

Criminal trespass is different from civil trespass, usually involving a landlord-tenant situation where a tenant defaults on rent but remains in a residence. There are many types of criminal trespass that are usually charged as misdemeanors, but the class increases depending on a variety of circumstances, including where and how the trespass allegedly took place. Under certain circumstances, criminal trespass will be charged as a felony.

Why You Need a Woodbridge Trespassing Attorney

If you have been arrested and charged for criminal trespass, you will be facing a prosecutor. The prosecutor’s job is to get convictions for the state, so it is likely that the prosecutor will attempt to get the harshest sentence possible. Therefore, to protect your rights, it is imperative that you get help from a skilled and experienced defense attorney.

The seasoned Illinois criminal trespass attorneys at Wolfe & Stec have extensive experience in defending clients charged with criminal trespass, as well as other criminal charges. Not only do we know the courts, the judges and the system, we are also aware that there are defenses that may lead to a dismissal of your charges or result in a lesser penalty.

Our team-oriented approach to handling criminal cases serves our clients well. We are aggressive in the courtroom, defending our clients’ rights and ensuring they have experienced lawyers on their side. In addition, we offer a free consultation to examine the specifics of your case and determine what we can do to help fight for your rights and freedom.

With office locations in both Woodridge and Chicago, we represent clients throughout the entire Chicagoland area.

Call Our DuPage County Criminal Trespass Lawyers Today at 630-305-0222 to Schedule a Free Initial Consultation

What Illinois Law Says

In Illinois, there is a distinction between criminal trespassing and civil trespassing. There are several types of criminal trespass. Common examples include:

  • Ignoring a “no trespassing” sign
  • Stepping foot into a building without permission
  • Refusing to leave a property after being asked to leave
  • Operating a car, boat, plane or motorized vehicle without permission
  • Falsifying documents to gain access to a building.

The Illinois Criminal Code of 1961, Article 21, defines the different types of criminal trespass and lists areas of trespass. Generally, you can be arrested for trespass if you knowingly and without authority or permission from the owner trespass in areas that include:

1. Criminal Trespass to Vehicles

Illinois Statutes Chapter 720, Article 21, Section 2, defines criminal trespass to vehicles. According to this statute, “[a] person commits criminal trespass to vehicles when he or she knowingly and without authority enters any part of or operates any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft or snowmobile.” This offense is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $2,500.

2. Criminal Trespass To Real Property, Also Called Trespass To Land

Article 21, section 3, defines criminal trespass to real property. Criminal trespass to real property can occur in various ways, including:

  • entering or remaining in a building without permission
  • entering or remaining on the land of another after receiving notice to leave
  • intentionally removing a residential real estate notice prior to the time set forth in the notice
  • entering or remaining on the land of another after receiving notice that entry is forbidden
  • falsely representing yourself or presenting false documents in order to obtain permission to enter or remain on the land.

Criminal trespass to land generally does not apply to buildings open to the public. It is usually considered a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to six months and a maximum fine of $1,500. However, it can be a Class A misdemeanor under circumstances such as entering or remaining on agricultural property, fields, barns and orchards with a motor vehicle.

3. Criminal Damage to Government-Supported Property

If the property is supported or partially supported by government funds and someone knowingly damages the property, it is a felony. It is a Class 4 felony when the damage to property is $500 or less, and the class keeps increasing until it becomes a Class 1 felony when the damage to property exceeds $100,000. If the damage exceeds $10,000, there will be a fine equal to the value of the damages to the property.

4. Criminal Trespass to State-Supported Land

If the trespass is on state-supported land or buildings, it is a Class A misdemeanor.

5. Unauthorized Possession or Storage of Weapons

Possessing or storing weapons in buildings or on land supported with public funds without prior written permission from the chief security officer is a Class A misdemeanor.

6. Criminal Trespass To Restricted Areas and Restricted Landing Areas at Airports

Entering or remaining in any restricted area or restricted landing area in connection with an airport facility after receiving notice from the airport authority that such entry is forbidden is a Class 4 felony. Doing so while in possession of a weapon, replica of a weapon or ammunition, after receiving notice that this is forbidden, is a Class 3 felony. Doing so by presenting false documents or falsely representing identity is a Class A misdemeanor. Doing so while dressed in the uniform of, improperly wearing the identification of, presenting false credentials of, or otherwise physically impersonating an airman, employee of an airline, employee of an airport, or contractor at an airport is a Class 4 felony.

7. Criminal Trespass to a Nuclear Facility

Criminal trespass to a nuclear facility occurs if a person knowingly and without lawful authority enters or remains within or on the grounds of a nuclear facility after receiving notice that entry is forbidden, or is given notice to depart from the facility, or presents false documents or falsely represents their identity. Criminal trespass to a nuclear facility is a Class 4 felony.

8. Criminal Trespass to a Place of Public Amusement

Criminal trespass to a place of public amusement, such as a stadium or theater, occurs if someone knowingly and without lawful authority enters or remains there after having received notice that the general public is restricted from access, or presents false documents or falsely represents their identity, or has been personally notified that entrance is prohibited. This is a Class 4 felony with a fine of not less than $1,000, plus public or community service.

Defenses to Criminal Trespass

If you are afraid that there is no way you can “beat” a criminal trespass charge, don’t worry. There are several defenses available against trespass charges. An experienced trespassing defense lawyer will analyze the state’s case against you in order to determine if any of the defenses apply to your case.

For example, the law does not prohibit a person from entering a building or upon the land of another for emergency purposes, or where the individual is or is reasonably believed to be in imminent danger of serious bodily harm, or when the property is or is reasonably believed to be in imminent danger of damage or destruction. Prosecutors must show the defendants had notice that entry is forbidden or that a printed or written notice warning against trespassing was clearly posted.

People who are living on land with permission from the owner, people who beautify unoccupied and abandoned residential and industrial properties and people who enter for emergency purposes will not generally be criminally responsible for trespass.

Put Your Trust in a Woodridge Trespassing Attorney — Contact Wolfe & Stec for a Free Consultation

Even a misdemeanor conviction can have a devastating effect on your life and livelihood. Anyone charged with criminal trespass should get sound advice from a defense attorney who can reduce or eliminate charges and punishments.

The experienced and compassionate Woodridge trespass defense lawyers at Wolfe & Stec are skilled trial lawyers who believe each case is unique, with its own set of circumstances. Whether your criminal law case is seemingly straightforward or highly complicated, we can help.

We know the judges and the court system and will aggressively explore every avenue for your defense. We examine the facts, the individuals involved, the evidence available and work hand in hand with our clients throughout the criminal process. We explain what the charges are against you and develop an effective defense strategy tailored to your specific circumstances. Our goal is always to minimize the negative impact of the situation and to focus on protecting your freedoms, liberties and rights.

Frequently Asked Questions for a Woodridge Trespassing Defense Lawyer

  • How do you beat a trespassing charge?
    The short answer? There is no one tried-and-true way to “beat” a trespassing charge. There are several defenses to criminal trespass. When we evaluate your case and learn about the facts that led to the charge, we let you know if any of those defenses apply to your situation.
  • What type of crime is criminal trespassing?
    In most cases, criminal trespassing is a misdemeanor. However, there are types of criminal trespass that are categorized as felonies in Illinois.
  • Will I go to jail for trespassing?
    It is possible that you can go to jail if convicted of criminal trespass, especially if you are convicted of or plead guilty to a felony.
  • Can you get sued for going on someone’s property?
    Yes. Civil trespass is distinct from criminal trespass and often involves a lawsuit between individuals.

Contact Wolf & Stec Today

Don’t delay — contact us for help today at 630-305-0222. Wolfe & Stec trespass defense attorneys in Woodridge represent clients in DuPage County and the greater Chicagoland area. Your initial consultation will be free.

Attorney Marc Wolfe

Marc Wolfe has been representing clients in criminal matters in Chicago and the entire State of Illinois for over 30 years. Mr. Wolfe has tried over 300 cases to verdict and represents clients facing investigation or prosecution for a broad range of state and federal criminal offenses, including murder, embezzlement, sexual abuse, drugs, marijuana and white collar crimes. [ Attorney Bio ]

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Phone: 630-305-0222

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