Trespass After Forbidden: A Way of Viewing Trespass
Oklahoma values property rights. When a landowner posts a no trespassing sign in Oklahoma, he means it. And although trespass after forbidden may seem like a trivial crime, ignoring charges once they are brought against you can result in a warrant for your arrest.
Trespass After Forbidden — Defined
Trespass after forbidden is defined as the malicious or willful entry onto another’s garden, yard, pasture or field after being expressly forbidden to do so, or without the permission, of the owner or occupant. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1835
It is criminal trespass to do so. Trespass after forbidden is a misdemeanor offense in Oklahoma. You could be fined up to $250 for a first offense.
Entering the property and causing or attempting to cause damage, theft or waste on that property also is a crime. It is punishable by a fine from $50 to $500, or from 30 days to six months in jail, or both. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1835
Entering another person’s pecan grove without permission is also criminal trespass. It carries a fine of $25.
No trespassing signs give notice that entry is forbidden. Willful entry can be presumed if notice has been given. These signs must be conspicuously posted at all entry points to the property, whether the property is fenced or unfenced.
Entry onto another person’s farming, ranching or forestry property without the express permission of the owner is also criminal trespass. This is true whether no trespassing signs are posted or not. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1835.2
The crime is punishable by a fine from $500 to $1,500 and restitution for any damage done for a first offense. A subsequent offense is punishable by a fine from $1,500 to $2,500, jail time from 30 days to six months, or both, in addition to restitution for any damage caused Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1835.2
There are people who may enter property without permission, mainly such people as police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and public utility employees who are addressing an emergency that presents an imminent danger to health, safety or the like. These people are exempt from prosecution under the law.
In addition, people who enter with a legitimate reason such as land surveyors, professional engineers in the performance of their duties, delivery persons, mail carriers and the like also are exempt.
Permission is the biggest defense to this crime. Mistake may also be a valid defense if you enter a property thinking you have permission only to find that you are entering the wrong property.
Arrest warrants are routinely issued after a case is filed. Resolving the criminal case resolves the warrant. Never ignore a warrant that has been issued against you. Contact an experienced Okmulgee criminal defense attorney about it right away.
Any jail time can be difficult to deal with. If you are facing a charge of trespass after forbidden, you need the services of an experienced Okmulgee criminal defense lawyer.
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