How is the degree determined for a summary offense on a trespassing charge?

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How is the degree determined for a summary offense on a trespassing charge?

§ 3503. Criminal trespass. (b) Defiant trespasser (1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by: (ii) posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders (iii) fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders According to PA state law, these both qualify as summary offenses but it does not specify what degree summary offenses they are. How can this be determined?

Asked on November 5, 2010 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

It is my understanding that summary offenses are not criminal offenses in Pennsylvania.  So they would not be characterized by degrees, which is how you characterize criminal offenses.  Generally speaking summary offenses are punishable by a fine.  Sometimes, though, you can be punished by getting up to 90 days in jail.  There are certain other distinctions here.  Since it is not really a crime you are not entitled to an attorney to represent you in court should you not be able to afford one.  But the good thing about them is that you can probably keep your record clean by doing community service.  Maybe you should consult with an attorney in your area to clear up what is going on with you. Good luck.


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