Can you be convicted of Criminal Trespass if you are in a night club that stamped your hand so as to allow you entry?

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Can you be convicted of Criminal Trespass if you are in a night club that stamped your hand so as to allow you entry?

I was told not to go to the Club, but then told again (by people who work there) that it was 
OK to go. I entered the club with an “employee” (a promoter) and had my hand stamped like everyone else. An off-duty police officer (who knew I had been asked not to come back) saw me, arrested me, and had me put in jail ($500 bail). Wasn’t I “welcomed” into the club by the employee who stamped my hand?

Asked on July 23, 2010 under Criminal Law, Alabama

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

You should consult with a criminal defense attorney. On the face of it, what you say makes sense: if someone is invited into or onto property by someone with the authority to make that invitation, such as an employee, they would not be guilty of trespassing. Here, though, the issue may be whether this "employee" (the promoter) actually had the authority to invite you. Even if he did not, if you reasonably thought that he could--i.e. if he had, to you, what's called "apparent authority," you may have a good defense. However, if you knew or should have known that the promoter did not in fact have the authority to invite you in, that would be a very different matter, and in that case, you may well have trespassed. It is worth discussing with an attorney. Good luck.


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