Trespassing Laws in Tennessee
We all know that trespassing is illegal. But what many people may not know is that there doesn’t need to be any vandalism, theft, or property damage involved for a person to be charged with criminal trespassing. Property owners have the right to prevent others from accessing their property.
In general, criminal trespassing involves entering another person’s property without their authority or permission. You can even trespass into someone’s property unintentionally if you enter a property not knowing that you are not allowed to be there or remain there after you are asked to leave. If you get convicted of any type of criminal trespassing, you may face severe consequences, including hefty fines, losing your job, and time in jail.
There Are Different Types of Trespassing in Tennessee
There are three types of criminal trespassing in Tennessee. Trespassing charges will also be based on the location where the trespassing occurred.
- Criminal Trespassing – This occurs when you enter someone else’s property without the owner’s knowledge or permission.
- Trespassing with a Motor Vehicle – Like criminal trespassing, this is a class C misdemeanor. You can get charged with trespassing if you park or drive your vehicle on privately owned property or spot.
- Aggravated Criminal Trespassing – Depending on the circumstances, this can be charged as a class B or class A misdemeanor. This is criminal trespassing but with aggravating factors. For instance, the trespasser knew, intended to, or didn’t care whether their presence on the property would cause another person to fear for their safety. In addition, the trespasser entered the property by removing, altering, vandalizing, cutting, or destroying a chain, lock, fence, signage, or other barrier intended to keep people out of the property.
Penalties for a Trespassing Conviction in Tennessee
- Criminal trespass and trespassing with a motor vehicle are both class C misdemeanors and are punishable by a fine not exceeding $50 and jail time not exceeding 30 days.
- Aggravated Criminal trespass can either be a class B or A misdemeanor. The penalties for a class B misdemeanor include a fine of up to $500 and jail time or six months. If the offense was committed in a home, habitation, residence, hospital buildings or facilities, railroad property, construction site, or on a public or private school’s campus, facilities, or property, you could be charged with a class A misdemeanor. The punishments for a class A misdemeanor are fines not exceeding $2,5000 and jail time of 11 months plus 29 days.
- Aggravated criminal trespass can also be a class E felony if it occurred on a residential property occupied or owned by a local, state, or federal official, judge, active military member, or law enforcement officer, and the offender intended to harass the individual due to their occupation or status. It is punishable by a fine of not more than $3,000 and imprisonment of one up to six years.
Talk to a Nashville Trespassing Defense Attorney Now
Charged with criminal trespassing in Nashville? Get in touch with the Nashville trespassing attorney at Raybin & Weissman right away. We will work hard to develop a solid defense strategy to ensure that we secure the most favorable results for your case. Call 615-256-6666 or fill out our online form to arrange your free consultation with our Nashville trespassing attorney.