If you’ve been accused of criminal trespass in the state of Kentucky, it’s important that you understand exactly what the charges mean as well as the possible penalties for each of the separate criminal trespassing offenses recognized under Kentucky law. Although criminal trespassing is not a felony offense in Kentucky, a conviction can still carry significant penalties including time in jail.
Criminal trespass is not a charge to be taken lightly. In addition to the possibility of jail time and fines, a conviction could mean future problems when looking for a job, enrolling for higher education, and more.
If you’re facing criminal trespassing charges, speaking with a knowledgable Kentucky defense attorney as soon as possible is crucial for mounting a successful defense. The more time your attorney has to review and investigate your case, the better your chances for a positive outcome.
Criminal Trespass Laws In Kentucky
There are four separate criminal trespassing charges that can be prosecuted under Kentucky law. All are misdemeanor offenses. The circumstances and penalties for each is described in the Kentucky Revised Statutes (KRS) Chapter 511, Sections 060 through 085.
Third Degree Criminal Trespass
Criminal trespass in the third degree is defined in KRS § 511.080:
A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the third degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises.
Criminal trespass in the third degree is a misdemeanor violation, which is punishable by a fine of up to $250.
Second Degree Criminal Trespass
Criminal trespass in the second degree is defined in KRS § 511.070:
A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building or upon premises as to which notice against trespass is given by fencing or other enclosure.
Criminal trespass in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $250.
First Degree Criminal Trespass
Criminal trespass in the first degree is defined in KRS § 511.060:
A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the first degree when he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling.
Criminal trespass in the first degree is a Class A misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
Domestic Violence Shelter Trespass
Domestic violence shelter trespassing is defined in KRS § 511.085:
- As used in this section, “domestic violence shelter” means a residential facility providing protective shelter services for domestic violence victims.
- A person is guilty of domestic violence shelter trespass when:
- The person enters the buildings or premises of a domestic violence shelter that the person knows or should know is a domestic violence shelter or which is clearly marked on the building or premises as being a domestic violence shelter; and
- At the time of entering, the person is the subject of an order of protection as defined in KRS § 403.720 and § 456.010.
An exception that can be used as a defense to this charge is if a person is given permission to enter the shelter by the shelter’s operator has disclosed the fact that he or she is the subject of an order of protection. Permission to enter, however, may only be granted by the operator of the shelter and not by someone taking shelter at the facility.
This section of the statutes also states that someone may be convicted of one of the trespassing offenses listed above or domestic violence shelter trespass, but not both.
Domestic violence shelter trespass is also a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $500.
Speak With A Qualified Lexington Criminal Defense Attorney
If you’ve been charged with a criminal trespassing offense in Lexington or anywhere in the state of Kentucky, speaking with a qualified and competent attorney as soon as possible is crucial for putting together the best possible defense.
At Baldani Law Group, our team has both the knowledge and experience needed to get the best possible results for your case. In many cases, these types of charges can be reduced or even dismissed. Don’t let a criminal trespass charge cause more trouble in your life than it has to. Contact Baldani Law Group online or call (859) 259-0727. Your initial consultation is free and confidential.