Trespassing is formally defined as knowingly entering another owners’ property or land without permission, which encroaches on the owners’ privacy or property interests. There are many laws relating to trespass, and Virginia takes this charge seriously.

We always think of trespassing charges as the act of going onto someone else’s property. But can you be arrested in Virginia for trespassing on your own property? Surprisingly, you can. In some unique situations, people are charged with trespassing their own property, or even burglarizing their own property. This issue arises often in domestic cases where couples, homeowners, or other domestic partners experience issues and disputes. Additionally, landlord tenant disputes also lead to people getting charged with trespassing on their own property. 

Read on to learn more about being charged with trespassing on your own property, and contact a lawyer right away if you have been charged with this unique crime in Virginia.

How Does Virginia Define Trespassing?

Under Virginia state code, if any person, without the authority of law, goes upon or remains upon someone else’s property, after having been forbidden to do so, or otherwise not lawfully being permitted to the premises, they could be charged with trespassing.

You do not need to have no trespassing signs on the land for trespassing to have occurred. Subsections of this part of Virginia state code also include peeping or spying into someone’s dwelling or enclosure, and trespassing in nature by hunters or wildlife enthusiasts who are not permitted to access a certain area.

Can You Be Charged With Trespassing Into A Formal Marital Home Or Shared Property?

If a married couple lives happily together in one home, neither spouse is lawfully permitted to be charged with trespassing or burglary in this shared dwelling space. But if you and your spouse get divorced, or one spouse moved out of the home, you may be wondering if you still have the right to enter the home after being separated. In a divorce, Virginia State courts might state that the person who is possessing the house is permitted, and the other one is without permission. The person who is without permission may be charged with burglary or trespassing, even if they legally own the home, rent the home, or their name is on the title or lease.

If there is a domestic dispute or separation situation in which one person is not permitted to enter the home by law enforcement, this ruling trumps the marriage certificate.

What Are The Penalties For Trespassing In Virginia?

Trespassing may seem like a fairly simple and straightforward offense, but it is not a charge you want to handle on your own. There can be serious consequences for trespassing. Trespassing can be classified as a misdemeanor depending on the circumstances. A class one misdemeanor in Virginia is punished with a jail sentence of as long as 12 months, and a monetary fine as high as $2500. If the person caught trespassing intentionally selected the property to perform a hate crime, terrorize another, or otherwise commit additional crimes, penalties will multiply.

What Are Possible Defenses For Trespassing On Your Own Property In Virginia?

There are many defenses one can take with the help of a skilled lawyer. There are certain child custody situations in which a parent is eligible, or even required to, spend time with their children. This, perhaps, may include visiting the child in the home. In another example, maybe there was a misunderstanding about when you would be visiting, and the situation can be clarified with proper evidence.

Every criminal charges different, and everyone who is arrested will be arrested under different circumstances. At our law firm we pride ourselves on understanding what unique defenses can be taken to defend someone against a trespass in case. Since every crime is different, you need to schedule a consultation with our lawyers in order to get personalized advice about your situation. Some charges can be dismissed with volunteer work, community service, or paying a fine, but this is not always the case. If you have a crude a any any sent, call our lawyers as soon as you can.

Schedule A Free Consultation With The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC If You’ve Been Arrested For Trespassing

Don’t gamble with the penalties associated with trespassing. Call The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC right away and schedule a free consultation. The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC is a trusted Fairfax trespassing lawyer who will take the time to gather strong evidence, creating a strong defense that outlines why you should not be subjected to serious penalties.

As soon as you have been arrested for any criminal charge, you should contact The Law Office of Scott C. Nolan, PLLC to fight back.