New York Criminal Trespass Laws

Entering someone else's property without their consent may be considered rude, but it's also against the law. A person who knowingly enters or stays on another party's property without a legal right to do so has committed a simple trespass. This action is considered a violation, not a crime, in New York. With this type of violation, a trespasser may be liable to the property owner for damages. Although a violation entails a possible 15-day jail sentence, the punishment is typically a fine and/or community service. However, some trespasses are considered crimes depending on certain actions and circumstances that give rise to criminal accountability for trespassing.

New York recognizes differing levels of criminal trespass based on factors such as where the trespass occurs and whether weapons were involved. For example, criminal trespass in the first degree, the most serious trespassing offense, involves trespassing with a gun or deadly weapon. It is the only New York criminal trespass law that constitutes a felony. Criminal trespass in the second degree involves trespassing into a home or a residence without permission; third degree criminal trespass involves trespassing into a building or onto someone else's property.

New York Criminal Trespass Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of state laws related to New York criminal trespass laws including links to important code sections.

Statutes

Penalties and Sentencing

  • Criminal trespass in the first degree: This is a class D non-violent felony. First time offenders: No minimum sentence, but up to two and one-third to seven years prison sentence. Alternatives: probation, probation with jail, community service, fines, and a conditional discharge.
  • Criminal trespass in the second degree: This is a class A misdemeanor which means that regardless of criminal history, if you are convicted of a class A misdemeanor, you could serve up to a one year jail term without a mandatory minimum. Alternatives: probation, probation with jail, community service, fines, and a conditional discharge.
  • Criminal trespass in the third degree: This is a class B misdemeanor. Regardless of criminal history, if you are convicted of a class B misdemeanor, you may not be sentenced to up to 90 days in jail; you may be ordered to pay a fine or you may get probation.

Possible Defenses

  • You had the right to be on the property.
  • You were given permission to be on the property.

Related Offense

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

New York Criminal Trespass Laws: Related Resources

Get Help with Your Criminal Case

Although trespassing is often considered a frivolous offense, being convicted of trespassing can affect your life in a negative way. If you're facing charges, then you might consider getting help from an experienced attorney. A criminal defense attorney in New York can help you identify your options before taking your next steps.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.