Trespassing Charges in Maryland
Trespassing on another person’s property is a civil offense that is taken seriously in the State of Maryland. Specifically, trespassing is defined by Maryland law as entering another person’s property without consent from the owner or legal authority. Even though trespassing is a civil offense, it is still charged as a misdemeanor. As a result, those who are convicted of a trespass charge may have the charges on their records for the rest of their lives; any time a criminal background check is run by an employer, landlord, or anybody else, the charge will surface and serve as a constant reminder of the event.
If convicted of a trespassing charge, a person may face significant fines or jail time. A first time offender, for example, can expect up to a $500 fine and/or up to 90 days in jail. The punishment becomes more serious for repeat offenders. They can expect up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000, particularly when the second offense occurs less than two years after the first one.
One of the common defenses of those who are charged with trespassing is that the person was not aware that they were trespassing at the time of their arrest. Unfortunately, this kind of claim is typically not taken seriously by members of law enforcement, who take a firm stance that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” However, the fact remains that many people charged with trespassing were not aware of their wrongdoing at the time; they may have been attempting to get somewhere else and made a wrong turn, or they may have mistakenly thought that they were allowed on the property for other reasons.
Dealing with a Trespass Charge
Being charged with trespassing can be difficult. Even though it is a civil charge, it is still a misdemeanor and thus should be taken very seriously. It is important to understand that, if you have been arrested and charged with trespassing, you have every right to fight the charge in court. It is perhaps even more important to realize, however, that you will not have much of a chance of success when it comes to your day in court without counsel.
Fortunately, if you have been charged with trespassing, you can find and hire a dedicated lawyer who has specific experience when it comes to fighting these charges. Such a lawyer will be able to get the specific details of your case through a consultation with you and will then be able to develop a strong case for your innocence. Whether this was your first trespassing charge or not, having a quality defense lawyer on your side can truly make all the difference when it comes to the outcome of your case. You may be able to get your charges dropped entirely or have them lessened. In this sense, having a lawyer on your side can keep you out of jail and save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
If you desire a free consultation on your case contact Robinson & Associates at 443-524-7395.