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Penalties for Trespassing in New York State

    Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree

    • Criminal trespass in the third degree is a Class B misdemeanor. It is defined as, "Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a building or upon real property" that is fenced or enclosed, is a school or children's overnight camp, or is a public housing project.

    Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree

    • Second degree criminal trespass is defined as when a person, "Knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a dwelling." It is a Class A misdemeanor. A dwelling is defined, for the purposes of the law, as a place where an individual lodges for the night. The law also specifies, "A license or privilege to enter or remain in a building which is only partly open to the public is not a license or privilege to enter or remain in that part of the building which is not open to the public." This can also constitute trespass in the second degree.

    Criminal Trespass in the First Degree

    • First degree trespass is the most serious such offense in New York, classified as a Class D felony. It's defined as unlawfully entering a building while possessing an explosive, firearm or deadly weapon or knowing that another participant in the crime has such a weapon.


    • Penalties upon conviction of criminal trespass vary depending on the defendant's record, the judge's discretion and other factors. However, there are some statutory guidelines for sentencing. A Class B misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail; there is no minimum punishment. A Class A misdemeanor also has no minimum penalty but is punishable by up to a year in jail. A Class D felony has a minimum sentence of two to four years in jail and a maximum of three-and-a-half to seven years in prison.

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