What is the Law on Trespass in Georgia and what are the Punishments for it?
An act of trespass may be committed in various ways in the state of Georgia. If a person commits any of the below-listed acts, it is sufficient to make him/her responsible for an act of trespassing in Georgia:
An individual commits the crime of criminal trespass in the state if he/she purposely damages someone else’s property without the latter’s consent and the value of the damage is a maximum of 500 USD.
- The accused to have a specific purpose to cause damage to someone else’s property. Also, the damage should not be an outcome of mere accident or negligence.
- The alleged victim should not have given consent. Consent may be in writing or in verbal form. It can be implied or express. Consent can be concluded from inaction or silence of a person if a reasonable individual has to express his objection or consent for his property’s destruction. Any consent should be procured through coercion, deception, trickery, or fraud.
- There is certain intent if the willful acts of a person are executed to particularly cause damage to someone else’s property. The offender should not have any other objective in his/her mind apart from destroying another person’s property.
- When the value of the damage exceeds 500 USD, the accused if found guilty is responsible for causing criminal damage to the victim’s property. The act is considered to be of the 2nd-degree and is penalized by a prison term between 1 and 5 years.
An individual commits the crime of criminal trespass in Georgia if he/she maliciously and knowingly causes interference to the use or possession of another person’s property without the latter’s consent.
- It is imperative to ascertain who the person is that has the legal right of possession of the property when the trespassing occurred. It is to be noted that there is a distinction between possessing the legal right and the ownership right of a property. The latter is one of the factors to be taken into account for ascertaining the legal possessor.
- “Property of another” means either real property or personal property. Likewise, interference with some business activities may be also regarded as trespass. On many occasions, business entities place signposts in their business premises mentioning that they have the right of refusal for providing service to anyone.
An individual is said to have committed the crime of criminal trespass if he/she without authority and knowingly enters into another person’s premises or land or into a railroad car, any vehicle, watercraft, or aircraft of someone else for an illegal purpose.
- The state laws allow entering into another person’s property or premise thus negating trespass if private or public necessity demands it. A common instance of this provision is saving a person when their house is on fire.
- A trespasser should have an illegal purpose if he/she enters the vehicle or premises.
An individual commits the act of criminal trespass if he/she without authority, and knowingly enters upon the premises or land, of someone else or into any vehicle part, watercraft, aircraft, or railroad car of some other individual after getting notice from the representative, occupant, or owner that the entry is forbidden for them.
- Walking, strolling, and wandering around any private property that does not have an explicit prohibition for entering it do not qualify as trespassing unless the individual enters that property with illegal purpose.
- A person should take the instruction of prohibition to access a premise seriously. When there are signs with the words “no trespassing” posed on a private property’s barb wires, trees, or fences, it makes sense to come out of or avoid the property.