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Tag: what are california trespassing laws

Don’t Get Caught Trespassing On California Beaches

Don’t Get Caught Trespassing On California Beaches

Don’t Get Caught Trespassing On California Beaches

Everyone knows what trespassing is; however, there can be a bit of a gray area for people when it comes to certain locations. Some locations make sense, such as stores and restaurants. Some locations, on the other hand, seem impossible to close. How can you close a location that doesn’t have a ceiling, walls or even fences? This is what many people wonder when they hear that parks are closed.

As people grapple with constant closures of places like local parks. A big talking point right now is the closure of state beaches, which is becoming more and more upsetting as the weather warms. People want to go and cool off with their favorite beach activities, but it isn’t safe to do so. Just because a place doesn’t have a fence, doesn’t mean it can’t be closed. Once a beach or any other type of park is closed, that means nobody can enter that vicinity. If caught doing so, a person could face trespassing charges.

California’s Trespassing Law

Here in California, trespassing is made illegal under Penal Code 602. This law defines the act of trespassing as a person willfully entering someone else’s property without permission or remaining on the property after they’ve been instructed to leave.

Under this definition, there are two different scenarios in which a person can be guilty of trespassing. The first is the one that most people are familiar with. It occurs when a person sneaks onto the property that they don’t have permission to be on. The second scenario occurs when a person initially had permission to be on the property, but then the owner told the person to leave and the person remained on the property anyway.

Under this law, willfully entering or occupying a person’s property means the person knowing entered or remained on the property. This does not mean that they had to know they were breaking the law, just that they knew they were entering the property. If someone goes onto a closed beach with a bunch of beach gear, it is obvious that they meant to enter the closed property and will likely be found guilty of trespassing.

The Consequences Of Trespassing

Since there are different types of trespassing, a person accused of the crime can face infraction, misdemeanor or even felony charges. The exact type of charge is dependent on the facts of the case.

Most first-time trespassing offenses earn a person infraction charges that come with a $75 fine. A second offense on the same land sees the fine increase to $250. A third and any subsequent, offense on the same land will earn a person misdemeanor charges.

The penalties for misdemeanor trespassing include:

  • Up to six months in county jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

Felony trespassing only occurs when a person makes a credible threat against another individual and then, within 30 days of making that threat, is caught trespassing on the person’s property or place of work. While this doesn’t really apply to the closed park and beaches scenario, the consequences for this particular crime include:

  • 16 months, 2 years, or 3 years in county jail.
  • A max fine of $10,000.
  • Felony probation.

Don’t Go To The Beach Yet

So far, 2020 has been off to a rocky start and these last few months have been tough on everyone. As the weather warms up, it is only natural that all Californians begin to daydream about laying out on a towel listening to the roaring waves of the ocean. Unfortunately, now isn’t the best time to be going anywhere that is crowded.

Most California beaches are currently closed. Unless they slowly reopen some of the beaches, they will most likely remain closed for a while. Even though they may not look closed, people should stay away from them for the time being or else they could end up facing trespassing charges.

 

Trespassing Laws And Oversharing On Social Media

Trespassing Laws And Oversharing On Social Media

Trespassing Laws And Oversharing On Social Media

Going out and exploring the world can be a lot of fun. There are millions of spectacular and amazing sights to see out there. Sadly, not all of the great views are open to the public. From being too dangerous for the public, or someone just wants to keep the land to themselves, some views may be kept behind fences.

Despite the reasoning, some people decide that they want to see the view for themselves. This sounds like a harmless act, but it can actually get a person into big trouble, even here in California. A person can easily be charged with trespassing for doing this, especially if that person decides to post pictures from the incident onto social media.

What Is Oversharing?

As social media became popular, people began to share more and more of their lives online. This led to problems of oversharing, where people share stuff that would have been better left private. A person never wants to share too much personal information about themselves. If a person is not careful, then they could inadvertently give the people of the internet the ability to steal their identity, or provide police officers with self-incriminating evidence.

Despite what a person might think, deleting something from the internet is practically impossible. Even if a person deletes the post/image/video from their page, someone else could have copied or screenshot it and posted it elsewhere, meaning it still exists online. This is why a person has to really be careful about what they share online.

Over sharing on social media can even get people into trouble. There have been hundreds of incidents of people posting pictures or videos online that show the individual committing criminal activity. Plenty of celebrities have fallen victim to this over the years.

The police are well aware of how much people share on their social media accounts and often turn to those during investigations to look for more evidence. This means if a person shared any pictures or videos of themselves while doing the illegal act in question, then they provided the incriminating evidence to the police.

California Trespassing Law

State Penal Code 602 defines trespassing as the act of a person entering into or remaining on someone else’s property without their permission to do so. The law goes on to list dozens of different scenarios where a person could be considered trespassing.

In some cases, trespassing can be charged as an infraction. This means a person faces a small fine, whose size is dependent on how many times the person has trespassed onto that particular piece of property.

  • $75 for a first time offense.
  • $250 for a second offense.
  • Misdemeanor charges for any subsequent offenses.

In California, most trespassing offenses are charged as misdemeanors. This means a person accused of this crime faces the following consequences:

  • Up to 6 months in jail.
  • A max fine of $1,000.
  • Misdemeanor probation.

A person can face felony charges for trespassing when they make a credible threat against someone, and then trespass onto that person’s property or workplace with the intent of carrying out that threat. Under these conditions, a person can end up in county jail for 16 months, 2 years or 3 years.

Don’t Trespass Or Post The Pictures Online

Just because there is a good view on someone else’s land does not mean a person should sneak onto the property. They do not have permission to do so and can be charged with trespassing here in California. This becomes even more likely if they post pictures or videos of the view onto their social media account where anyone can see them.

A person should always be aware of what they are sharing online and how that could affect them. Oversharing online is easily avoidable.

What do you think of California’s take on trespassing?

Are the consequences too steep, just right or not enough? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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