Criminal Trespass Info

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13-1502.  Criminal trespass in the third degree; classification

A.    A person commits criminal trespass in the third degree by:

  1. Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property after a reasonable request to leave by the owner or any other person having lawful control over such property, or reasonable notice prohibiting entry.
  2. Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on the right-of-way for tracks, or the storage or switching yards or rolling stock of a railroad company.

B.    Pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section, a request to leave by a law enforcement officer
       acting at the request of the owner of the property or any other person having lawful control over the
       property has the same legal effect as a request made by the property owner or other person having
       lawful control of the property.

C.   Criminal trespass in the third degree is a class 3 misdemeanor.

13-1503.  Criminal trespass in the second degree; classification

A.    A person commits criminal trespass in the second degree by knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in
       or on any nonresidential structure or in any fenced commercial yard.

B.    Criminal trespass in the second degree is a class 2 misdemeanor.

How is trespassing related to crime prevention?

Trespassing happens frequently in a business environment -- consider the customer who is disruptive; the visitor to your office who is starting to get angry; the person you suspect stole from you last time they were in the store.  Dealing with people in these situations can be unnerving if you don't know where you stand. Understanding the law can allow you to determine the outcome of these situations and possibly avoid a violent confrontation.

There are two parts to trespassing -- inside the business and outside the business.

Inside The Business

Whether you own a retail store or a factory, at some point someone is going to be on the property longer than they should be. How do you make them leave? The answer is, you don't. While certain legally defined circumstances allow for the use of physical force to be used to remove someone from the property (like someone getting thrown out of a bar), it is best to avoid this, if possible. Instead, the law requires that a reasonable request to leave be made. 

...Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property after a
reasonable request to leave by the owner or any other person having lawful
control over such property...

What does this mean? It means you or your employee can tell them to leave. If the subject remains, then they are trespassing.

When should you call the police?

Before there is a problem. When you decide to ask the subject to leave, you should have someone else calling the police. If they leave while you are making the call, you can cancel the police. It is best to get the police responding until you see if the subject is going to leave. Please remember to cancel the police if the subject leaves.

Employees Only Areas

It is important to designate specific areas just for employees. Visitors to your business need to know what areas are off limits to them. If there are storeroom doors in your business, place a sign on the door/s stating "authorized personnel only" or "employees only." This allows for subjects to be trespassed from your business if they enter an area that is off limits to the public. If the business has a counter area for employees only to go behind, place a sign on the counter stating "authorized personnel behind counter only."

Outside The Business

Before trespassing becomes an issue for your business, it can be valuable to have a Trespass Enforcement Request form on file.  A Trespass Enforcement Request gives police permission to arrest people trespassing on your property when the business is closed, without having to contact owner/management. No Trespassing signs MUST be posted on the property.

If the business is open for business, an officer will have to make contact with someone to verify that the subject is not a customer or otherwise allowed to be on the property (due to recent court ruling).

A Trespass Enforcement Request is completed by the property owner/agent and then returned to the police department. The forms are then available for officers to utilize at their discretion. The form must contain the signature (physical or electronic) of the owner/agent. This form needs to be updated on a yearly basis. If any information on the form changes, a new form should be completed and submitted.

This is a valuable crime prevention tool because it shows that trespassers are not welcome in or around your property.

"No Trespassing" signs are recommended to be placed around your business and are a requirement of the program. No Trespassing signs can be purchased through sign companies.

Below are examples of No Trespassing signs with the proper legal verbiage. Signs should be placed at all reasonable entrances, as well as every so often throughout the property. They could be mounted on light poles, fences or buildings. They should be mounted at a height where they are visible, but not so low that they can be easily removed, damaged or tampered with.

  • Install signage at all common entrances to the property.
  • Minimum recommended size is 16" by 24", bilingual, and made of metal.

 

BilingualSign 

 

If you have any questions about the program or need help completing the Trespass Enforcement Request form, please call 480-644-5008, Monday - Thursday, 8:30am - 4:30pm.