Defending Trespassing Charges in Nashville

Defending Trespassing Charges in Nashville

A simple misunderstanding about your right to be present at a property may lead to trespassing charges. If your case gets to trial and you are convicted, you may face severe penalties and a criminal record. Thus, if you are charged with trespassing, get in touch with an experienced Nashville property crime lawyer at Byron Pugh Legal.

Let us discuss how trespassing charges work in our state and the potential defenses an attorney may invoke.

Nashville Citizens Can Legally Post “No Trespassing” Notices

The Metropolitan Government of Nashville & Davidson County allows property owners to:

  • Display “No Trespassing” or “No Soliciting” messages
  • Register their residence on the “no knock” list
  • Ask any company representative for their identification badge

If you work as a sales representative, you may face trespassing charges, even if you are just doing your job. It is important to check any property you wish to enter for signs indicating that the owners do not wish to be contacted.

Types of Trespassing Charges in Tennessee

The legislators in our state defined three types of trespassing, each with a separate legal classification. They are:

1. Criminal Trespassing

Criminal trespassing means entering or remaining on a property or any portion of it without the owner’s consent. In legal terms, the concept of entering means:

  • Intrusion of the entire body on the property
  • Directing an unmanned aircraft (including a drone) to enter the portion of airspace above the property

Criminal trespassing is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $50 and maximum 30 days in jail.

2. Aggravated Criminal Trespassing

The aggravating factors applicable to this criminal offense involve:

  • Knowing that you do not have the owner’s consent to enter their property
  • Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing someone to fear for their safety by entering their property
  • Damaging gates, fences or locks in order to gain access on the property
  • Causing damage to the property while being present there

If you are charged with aggravated criminal trespassing, contact a skilled Nashville property crime lawyer to start preparing your defense. This offense is classified as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 11 months and 29 days in jail and a $2,500 fine.

trespassing is a serious crime in Nashville

3. Trespass by Motor Vehicle

You commit the offense of trespass by motor vehicle if you drive, park or otherwise operate a motor vehicle through any part of a privately owned property, including a parking area. The term “motor vehicle” is used in the widest possible sense, including, among others:

  • Automobiles
  • Trucks
  • Vans
  • Motorcycles
  • Mopeds
  • Go-karts
  • Campers
  • Dune buggies
  • Any motor-propelled vehicle

In this situation, the offense is a Class C misdemeanor, but cannot be punished by incarceration.

Potential Defenses to Trespassing Charges

Depending on the circumstances of your case, an experienced attorney will argue that:

  • You honestly believed you had the owner’s consent to be part of the property
  • You lost your way and accidentally entered a private property
  • As soon as the owner informed you that you were trespassing, you left the property
  • While you were present at the property, you did not substantially interfere with the owner’s use or their safety

Consult with an Experienced Nashville Property Crime Lawyer!

Trespassing charges are not to be taken lightly. You may pay fines, spend time in jail and effectively ruin your good professional and personal reputation if you are convicted. Even if you believe that the charges arose out of a misunderstanding, you should still start preparing an effective defense with the assistance of a skilled Nashville property crime lawyer.

We encourage you to reach out to us as soon as possible after being charged and schedule a free consultation at 615-257-9705!