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Davidson County Trespassing Attorney

Nashville Trespassing Attorney

In the State of Tennessee, criminal trespass is a crime that involves entering someone else’s property or remaining on someone else’s property without their permission to do so, and aggravated criminal trespass involves a complicating factor. Nothing else must happen for the serious charge of criminal trespass to apply, which makes better understanding this charge critical. If you are facing a criminal trespass charge, the best path forward is with the professional legal guidance of an experienced Nashville trespassing attorney on your side.

Criminal Trespass

The charge of criminal trespass is typically a property crime that simply means the accused is alleged to have entered or to have remained on any portion of someone else’s property when they didn’t have the owner’s consent to do so. It’s important to point out here that entry can mean entering with one’s body or entering via drone. While a charge of burglary requires that the accused had the intention of committing a felony, criminal trespass does not.

This means that if the state can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you simply entered or remained on the property in question without the consent of the owner, you could be convicted of criminal trespass. There is no need to prove that you intended to commit any of the following in order to convict you:

In other words, it doesn’t take much in terms of wrongdoing for a trespassing charge to apply.

Your Defense

One common defense that is woven into the criminal trespass statute is when the following elements apply:

Fines and Penalties

The charge of criminal trespass is a Class C misdemeanor, which comes with a jail sentence of up to 30 days and fines of up to $50. It’s also important to consider the overarching social implications associated with having a criminal record.

Aggravated Criminal Trespass

There are certain additional elements that can elevate the charge of criminal trespass to aggravated criminal trespass. This charge typically applies when the accused knows that they aren’t wanted on the premises. Aggravated criminal trespass breaks down into two basic categories that include:


To convict on the basis of being on the property without consent and knowing that one’s presence will cause the property owner to be in fear, all the following elements must be present:

Causing Damage upon Entry

In order for a conviction that is based upon causing damage to the property upon entry, the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused knew they didn’t have the owner’s consent to be there and that the accused obtained entry to the premises by cutting, destroying, or otherwise removing one of the following mechanisms designed to keep trespassers out:

Aggravated Criminal Trespass: Fines and Penalties

Aggravated criminal trespass that happens at any of the following is a Class A misdemeanor:

A conviction carries the following fines and penalties:

It’s important to note that a conviction for aggravated criminal trespass at this level is not eligible for expungement in the State of Tennessee. Expunction refers to the removal of an offense from one’s criminal record – typically a first offense. When a charge is expunged, it’s destroyed or erased from the person’s record.

Aggravated criminal trespass charges that occur on most other premises are charged as Class B misdemeanors, which carry the following fines and penalties:

Again, the social consequences can also be harsh.

When it comes to criminal trespass charges, the matter of the property owner’s consent can be established in any of the following ways:

When Property Owners Make the Matter of Trespassing Clear

When property owners post no trespassing signs that clearly designate trespassing is not allowed, they help to create a stronger legal barrier to the criminal act. Such signs must be clearly posted in a manner that makes them reasonably likely to be seen, must be legible, and must adhere to specific posting requirements.

An Experienced Nashville Criminal Trespassing Attorney Can Help

If you are facing a criminal trespass or an aggravated criminal trespass charge, the accomplished Nashville criminal trespass attorneys at Raybin & Weissman have an impressive range of experience successfully advocating for our valued clients’ best legal outcomes, and we’re standing by to also help you. The consequences of a conviction are too serious to leave to chance, so please do not delay reaching out and contacting or calling us at 615-256-6666 for more information about how we can help you today.