Criminal Trespass

RSA 635:2

  1. A person is guilty of criminal trespass if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place.
  2. Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor for the first offense and a class B felony for any subsequent offense if the person knowingly or recklessly causes damage in excess of $1,500 to the value of the property of another.
  3.  Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor if:
    1. The trespass takes place in an occupied structure as defined in RSA 635:1, III; or
    2. The person knowingly enters or remains:
      1. In any secured premises;
      2. In any place in defiance of an order to leave or not to enter which was personally communicated to him by the owner or other authorized person; or
      3. In any place in defiance of any court order restraining him from entering such place so long as he has been properly notified of such order.
  4. All other criminal trespass is a violation.
  5. In this section, "secured premises" means any place which is posted in a manner prescribed by law or in a manner reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders, or which is fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner designed to exclude intruders.
  6. In this section, "property," "property of another," and "value" shall be as defined in RSA 637:2, I, IV, and V, respectively.

OSBORNE LAW’S TAKE ON CRIMINAL TRESPASS

Remember the intro song to TV show CHEERS?

  • Sometimes you want to go
  • Where everybody knows your name
  • And they're always glad you came
  • You want to be where you can see
  • The troubles are all the same
  • You want to be where everybody knows your name

Well, what CHEERS didn’t tell you is sometimes everybody isn’t glad you came, and they plain just don’t want you around.

So, under New Hampshire law, you need to stay off of those folks’ property.  CRIMINAL TRESPASS can happen if you walk onto or into a premises where you simply do not have permission to be. An example would be:

  1. Walking across someone’s lawn or backyard without permission;
  2. Hanging around a business after hours when it is closed and without permission.

In these instances, provided you have not already been told to not come around, is a VIOLATION.  A VIOLATION in New Hampshire is a non-criminal offense – like littering or speeding.  But even VIOLATIONS carry expensive fines and do show up on criminal background checks, so take this stuff seriously.  After all, you really don’t want to have to explain to a prospective employer during a job interview why it was that you were busted once for hanging around a Wendy’s parking lot late on night, right?

A more serious instance of CRIMINAL TRESPASS that can lead you to a MISDEMEANOR criminal conviction, including possible jail time and high fines, is if you are told expressly/specifically told (orally or in writing) not to be somewhere, and you ignore that request and go to that place anyway.

Property owners, police, prosecutors, and judges take this kind of CRIMINAL TRESPASS very seriously.  It is one thing for the neighborhood kid to cut across your yard or for a skateboarder to be rolling along in the Shaw’s parking lot after dark.  BUT, it is an altogether different problem in the eyes of the law for a person to entering or hanging around a place wherein he/she is not welcome.

Such a situation harkens to fears of stalking, burglary, threats, and an overall sense of danger and unease.  Even if your reasons for being on the property were harmless, but you were arrested anyway for CRIMINAL TRESPASS, you do not want to blow it off, go it alone, or just think you will show up to court and pay a fine.

A CRIMINAL TRESPASS conviction (whether it be a MISDEMEANOR or a VIOLATION) can stay on your record for many years and raise lots of questions in the meantime.  Life is tough enough, you do not need a CRIMINAL TRESPASS conviction to make it worse.

At OSBORNE LAW, we have seen all kinds of CRIMINAL TRESPASS accusations.  We have seen real, false, and erroneous charges of CRIMINAL TRESPASS.

At OSBORNE LAW, not only will we know your name and be glad you came - we will welcome your questions and we will be happy to guide you on the ins-and outs of CRIMINAL TRESPASS.