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Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C.
678-208-9200Available 24/7

DuPage County Criminal Trespass Defense Attorney

Dupage County Property Crimes Attorney

Lawyers Defending Clients Charged with Trespassing in Elmhurst and Lombard

If you deliberately enter another person's private property including their land, home, other building, or vehicle without permission, you are not merely being rude. Under Illinois state law, you can be charged with criminal trespassing.

The charge of criminal trespass can arise from a wide variety of situations: disputes between neighbors over property boundaries, strangers off-roading without permission, troublesome teens out for kicks, itinerants seeking shelter, or interrupted criminal activity. However, a person will not be charged with criminal trespass if they enter another's property due to an emergency (to shelter from a blizzard, for example) or enter unintentionally (perhaps being unclear on the property lines) as long as they leave when asked.

If you have been charged with trespassing, you will want to avoid getting a criminal conviction on your record. The attorneys at Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. have the knowledge and experience to defend you against trespassing charges in DuPage County and surrounding areas. We will help you understand the law as it applies to the details of your case and provide an aggressive defense, aiming to get criminal charges and penalties reduced or dismissed entirely.

Criminal Trespass to Real Property in Illinois

Illinois state law (720 ILCS 5/21-3) defines the following actions as criminal trespass to real property:

  • Entering or remaining within or on a building that is not open to the public knowingly and without permission.
  • Entering another person's land after receiving notice (orally, in writing, or in the form of posted signs or purple-painted markers) that entry is forbidden.
  • Misrepresenting one's identity in order to obtain permission to enter a property or to remain there.
  • Remaining on a property after being told to leave.
  • Dirt biking or off-roading on someone else's agricultural land without permission, ignoring the purple striped posts and "private property--no trespassing" signs marking the boundaries of the property.
  • Removing a foreclosure notice from a residential property prior to the date and time detailed in the notice.

Criminal trespass to real property is a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by a jail sentence of up to six months and a maximum fine of $1,500. If a trespasser causes any damage, they can be charged with the separate offense of criminal damage to property (720 ILCS 5/21-1). The property owner may also bring a civil suit against a trespasser to demand compensation for property damage.

Criminal trespass on agricultural land carries additional penalties under an Illinois law that took effect Jan. 1, 2006. Specifically, a trespasser who drives a motorized vehicle "off roading" on agricultural land can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. If the trespasser also causes damage to costly farm equipment or buildings, the crime rises to a Class 1 felony. If the trespasser is under age 16, the trespasser's parents and the vehicle owner can both be held liable for property damages.

Criminal Trespass to a Residence in Illinois

Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/19-4) defines criminal trespass to a residence as knowingly and without authority entering or remaining in a residence including a house, house trailer, or specific unit within a multi-unit residential building. This is a more serious offense than trespassing on land or non-residential buildings. This is a Class A misdemeanor, except if the trespasser knows or has reason to know that one or more people are inside, in which case the crime is elevated to a Class 4 felony.

Criminal Trespass to a Vehicle in Illinois

Illinois law (720 ILCS 5/21-2) defines criminal trespass to a vehicle as knowingly and without authority entering any part of, or operating, any vehicle, aircraft, watercraft or snowmobile. This is a Class A misdemeanor.

Defense against Trespassing Charges in DuPage County

If you have been charged with criminal trespass in DuPage or neighboring counties, you could end up with a hefty fine, jail time, and a criminal conviction on your record. You need the help of a skilled defense attorney, who can negotiate for reduced penalties or even get the criminal charge dismissed entirely to keep your record clean. The attorneys of Kathryn L. Harry & Associates, P.C. have decades of experience defending clients against criminal charges such as trespassing. For a free consultation, contact our office at 630-472-9700. We provide legal counsel to clients in Addison, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Hinsdale, Lombard, Oak Brook, Wheaton, and Westmont.

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