One of the best-kept secrets among the top Stamford, Greenwich and Darien Connecticut criminal lawyers is the Simple Trespass infraction ticket under CGS 53a-110a. You see, the best Darien and Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers routinely see teenagers unfairly arrested for Criminal Trespass for attending parties on private property, city parks, or school parking lots. These kids get slapped with heavy-handed Criminal Trespass arrests in towns like Darien, Wilton, New Canaan and Westport Connecticut. They also get hit with Minor in Possession of Alcohol and Marijuana tickets. Then the schools get involved and will sometimes initiate suspension and even expulsion proceedings.
Can anything be done to fight these Criminal Trespass arrests in Greenwich, Stamford and New Canaan Connecticut? Much can be done. Keep reading…
Top Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyers are surprised to learn that many people don’t realize that trespassing is actually a misdemeanor crime in Connecticut. There are varying degrees of Criminal Trespass arrests in Greenwich, Darien and New Canaan Connecticut, depending on the circumstances of the trespass. The least serious trespassing crime is Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree, CGS 53a-109, which occurs when you enter or remain on private or public property, or hunt or fish on property, when there are signs prohibiting you from doing so. Second Degree Criminal Trespass under CGS 53a-108 is a more serous charge with stiffer penalties, and prohibits you from entering or remaining on public or private property without permission, regardless of whether there are signs forbidding it. Finally, the most serious Criminal Trespass charge is First Degree per CGS 53a-107, which occurs when you trespass after being explicitly ordered by the property owner to leave (such as from a business, bar, or public park). All of these charges carry jail time, probation and stiff fines so be sure to contact a top Stamford Connecticut criminal lawyer if you are arrested for Criminal Trespass in Stamford, Wilton, Darien or Greenwich Connecticut.
So how can you make your Criminal Trespass arrest in New Canaan or Darien go away? There’s a legal loophole that the top Greenwich and Darien criminal lawyers and attorneys can sometimes take advantage of to assist their clients in getting their Criminal Trespassing arrest resolved in Stamford or Norwalk Connecticut. You see, there’s a “lite” version of Connecticut Trespassing law, known as the Simple Trespass infraction. To clarify, it is an infraction, not a crime, meaning if you plead guilty to the reduced infraction, then you will not have a criminal record and cannot be sentenced to probation or jail. It is much better for background checks for employment, grad schools, insurance and mortgage lenders. Your penalty is only a light fine. So if you can get your Criminal Trespass misdemeanor arrest dismissed or reduced to the infraction, then your top Greenwich Connecticut criminal attorney has done an outstanding job for you.
In drafting and formulating the Trespassing infraction statute, Connecticut lawmakers created a rather broad and ambiguous statute. All that the Connecticut Simple Trespass infraction charge under CGS 53a-110a requires is that you enter the public or private property without permission, and do not exhibit any intent or conduct to damage anything while you are trespassing. Obviously, then, conduct that could be in violation of Criminal Trespass in the First, Second or Third Degrees can also easily be eligible for a Simple Trespass infraction ticket in Stamford, Greenwich or anywhere else in Connecticut. This is where your top Connecticut criminal lawyer attorneys need to get their job done. In certain cases, they can aggressively persuade the prosecutors and judge that you may not have had knowledge that you were not allowed to be on the property. They can point prosecutors to surveillance evidence, lack of signage, abandonment evidence, or honest mistake as reasons for getting your misdemeanor criminal trespass arrest reduced to an infraction or altogether dismissed.
Bottom line is you have a slew of options in fighting your arrest for Criminal Trespass in Stamford, Darien, or New Canaan Connecticut. Prosecutors in Stamford and Norwalk Superior Court are always willing to listen to your side of the story, as presented to them by your top Stamford and Greenwich criminal trespass attorneys. Presentation is everything and an experienced Stamford, Darien or Greenwich criminal lawyer can zero in on the key elements of a Criminal Trespass arrest and attempt to disarm and break down a case to its essential statutory elements. If they can successfully convince a prosecutor during pre-trial negotiations that there is a valid, good faith affirmative defense to your Criminal Trespass arrest, then you can get the benefit of the reduction in charge to a simple Trespass infraction under CGS 53a-110. (Just remember if you are initially charged with a Simple Trespass infraction ticket, you should contact a Stamford criminal lawyer to find out if you have options in getting the ticket dismissed in court).
So now that you know you may be able to get your Criminal Trespass arrest in Stamford, Greenwich, Darien or New Canaan Connecticut reduced to an infraction or dismissed outright, you should quickly follow up with an experienced Connecticut criminal lawyer. The team of criminal lawyers at Mark Sherman Law approaches each case with same philosophy: we provide honest assessments of your case, and work as quickly and cost-effectively as possible for the best possible result. If we do not think we can help you, then we will not take your case. Call us today for a consultation and let us start the process of getting your Criminal Trespass arrest resolved as favorably as possible. We are available 24/7 at (203) 358-4700 to take your call.