What type of conciquences am I looking at for defiant trespassing in the state of PA?

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What type of conciquences am I looking at for defiant trespassing in the state of PA?

Me and a few friends went up to a quary close to where I live and were caught trespassing. I just turned 18 three months ago and everyone else I was with is under 17. What concequences am I most likely going to be facing? Probation? or just a fine?

Asked on May 11, 2009 under Criminal Law, Maryland

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Depends on what your state classifies this particular act as.  You may face criminal liability, civil fines, or both.  Did you just trespass or did you commit acts of vandalism? I.e., were you just hang out or doing not legal stuff?

Here are the laws:

18 Pa.C.S. § 3503: Criminal trespass

(a) Buildings and occupied structures.--
 (1) A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he:
  (i) enters, gains entry by subterfuge or surreptitiously remains in any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof; or
  (ii) breaks into any building or occupied structure or separately secured or occupied portion thereof.
 (2) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) is a felony of the third degree, and an offense under subparagraph (1)(ii) is a felony of the second degree.
 (3) As used in this subsection:
  "Breaks into." To gain entry by force, breaking, intimidation, unauthorized opening of locks, or through an opening not designed for human access.
(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:
  (i) actual communication to the actor;
  (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;
  (iv) notices posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the person's attention at each entrance of school grounds that visitors are prohibited without authorization from a designated school, center or program official; or
  (v) an actual communication to the actor to leave school grounds as communicated by a school, center or program official, employee or agent or a law enforcement officer.
 (2) Except as provided in paragraph (1)(v), an offense under this subsection constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree if the offender defies an order to leave personally communicated to him by the owner of the premises or other authorized person. An offense under paragraph (1)(v) constitutes a misdemeanor of the first degree. Otherwise it is a summary offense.
(b.1) Simple 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 for the purpose of:
  (i) threatening or terrorizing the owner or occupant of the premises;
  (ii) starting or causing to be started any fire upon the premises; or
  (iii) defacing or damaging the premises.
 (2) An offense under this subsection constitutes a summary offense.
(b.2) Agricultural trespasser.--
 (1) A person commits an offense if knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so he:
  (i) enters or remains on any agricultural or other open lands when such lands are posted in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the person's attention or are fenced or enclosed in a manner manifestly designed to exclude trespassers or to confine domestic animals; or
  (ii) enters or remains on any agricultural or other open lands and defies an order not to enter or to leave that has been personally communicated to him by the owner of the lands or other authorized person.
 (2) An offense under this subsection shall be graded as follows:
  (i) An offense under paragraph (1)(i) constitutes a misdemeanor of the third degree and is punishable by imprisonment for a term of not more than one year and a fine of not less than $250.
  (ii) An offense under paragraph (1)(ii) constitutes a misdemeanor of the second degree and is punishable by imprisonment for a term of not more than two years and a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5,000.
 (3) For the purposes of this subsection, the phrase "agricultural or other open lands" shall mean any land on which agricultural activity or farming as defined in section 3309 (relating to agricultural vandalism) is conducted or any land populated by forest trees of any size and capable of producing timber or other wood products or any other land in an agricultural security area as defined in the act of June 30, 1981 (P.L. 128, No. 43), [FN1] known as the Agricultural Area Security Law, or any area zoned for agricultural use.
(c) Defenses.--It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:
 (1) a building or occupied structure involved in an offense under subsection (a) of this section was abandoned;
 (2) the premises were at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
 (3) the actor reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain.
(d) Definition.--As used in this section, the term "school grounds" means any building of or grounds of any elementary or secondary publicly funded educational institution, any elementary or secondary private school licensed by the Department of Education, any elementary or secondary parochial school, any certified day-care center or any licensed preschool program.

If you were cited, it may be best to speak with an attorney in your state who handles criminal defense.  Why? Because this may wind up on any background checks done on you and you don't want that at such a young age.  Try www.attorneypages.com.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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