Can you be charged with trespassing if the land was not posted and no damage/harm to person or property was done?

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Can you be charged with trespassing if the land was not posted and no damage/harm to person or property was done?

My 18 year-old daughter and 2 friends walked into a yard and were going to move 2 (X-mas decorationdeer into a compromising position as a prank. When they approached the deer there was a 2 foot fence around the deer. Tthey thought it was an electric fence so they turned and walked back to the car. The man and his son (an off duty cop) ran out to the car parked on the side of the road, reached in the car, pulled them out, and told them that they had to stay until the police arrived. They did not let them use their cell phones to call anyone. The city police arrived and gave 2 a $150 trespassing ticket and the minor got nothing.

Asked on January 2, 2011 under Criminal Law, South Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Trespass is the volitional entry onto the land of another without consent or privilege.  One is liable for trespass without causing damage to the property because entry onto the land of another without consent or privilege is all that is required.

A lawsuit for trespass can be filed by the property owner, but since there wasn't any damage to the property, the owner would only be able to recover a nominal amount.


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