TRESPASSING IN FLORIDA

In the state of Florida it is a crime to remain on another’s property when you do not have their permission to do so. A common example of trespassing happens frequently at nightclubs, restaurants, and bars, when a belligerent patron is told to leave, only to reenter at a later time. Typically, trespassing is a misdemeanor offense (second degree misdemeanor) but it can be charged as a felony in certain circumstances. Specifically, if the accused had a weapon in their possession, it can be charged as a third degree felony.

In Florida, Trespass can generally be lumped into four different categories:

  1. Trespass on Property
  2. Trespass on School Grounds
  3. Trespass in a Structure
  4. Trespass in a Conveyance


Trespass (regardless of which type) can be committed in one of two ways:

  1. Willfully entering or remaining on some form of real property without authorization, license, or invitation; or
  2. Returning to or ignoring a prior request to stay off real property.


Defenses:

There are a few specific defenses that can be raised. “Consent” is an affirmative defense to the crime of Trespass, often seen when multiple people own or control the property one of which consented to the defendant’s entry. Further, if an establishment is “open to the public” it is inferred that the defendant had consent to enter onto the property, unless such consent was withdrawn.


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