How can I be charged with trespassingif no signs were posted and no fence was up?

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How can I be charged with trespassingif no signs were posted and no fence was up?

I got a trespassing charge for entering land between a railroad track and a river. You walk a couple hundred feet on the tracks and follow a well beaten path into some woods that lead to the river. There were no “DO NOT ENTER” or “NO TRESPASSING” signs posted at all. It looked like a hiking trail and there was no fence to be seen. The sheriff was across the river and told us to leave and we immediately left. When we arrived back to our car 2 sheriffs were waiting. They stated they had given 22 tickets the prior week. Wouldn’t that indicate there is not any means to let people know it’s private?

Asked on July 18, 2011 under Real Estate Law, South Dakota

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

In many States in this country, there are laws that provide that the mere crossing upon some one else's property absent an emergency is a trespass even if no signs are posted on th land stating "no trespassing". Yes, you can be charged with trespassing even if no signs are posted and no fences are placed to bar entry.

Trespass is an unauthorized entry upon another person's land without permission to do so. Apparently you had no permission to cross the land you crossed belonging to someone other than you.

It appears that the property owner has gotten the sheriff involved due to others walking across his or her land without permission by the fact of the sheriff being involved and warning you to get off the land.


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