What is the Law on Trespass in Maine and What are the Punishments for it?
Criminal trespassing is considered to be a serious offense in the state of Maine. Hiking, snowmobiling, hunting or any other outdoor activity could be much easier if you did not have to worry about trespassing into someone else’s property. The people of Maine loves the outdoors, so it is essential to be aware of the law on trespass to be aware of your rights and consequences. The state’s law on trespassing is stated under Chapter 17: Burglary and Criminal Trespass of Part 2: Substantive Offenses under Title 17-A of the Maine Criminal Code.
Law on Trespass in Maine
The Maine trespass law is coded under the §402 of Maine Criminal Code. In the state of Maine in the USA a person is guilty of criminal trespass if he or she knowingly does any of the following things:
- Enters any residence when the person lacks the privilege or license to do so.
- Forcefully enters any place or dwelling that is barred, fenced, or locked.
- Enters any area that is enclosed to restrict intruders or any place from which the person is legally excluded.
- Still remains in a place defying legal order not to remain or enter that was directly notified to the person verbally or by written order.
- Illegally remains in a burial ground or cemetery. No man is allowed inside the premises of a cemetery from half an hour after the sundown and half an hour before sunrise unless that person holds specific municipal orders.
- If a person enters an area even after reading a paint marking or posted a sign that the owner does not want trespassers.
The state of Maine defines the act of criminal trespassing as the act of entering someone else’s property with the knowledge that he or she is not allowed to do that. Criminal trespassing in Maine is generally considered a Class D crime or a Class E crime. Although the criminal trespass is comparatively a minor offense, for some reason it is still complex.
Punishment for Trespassing in Maine
The penalties and punishments for trespassing in the state of Maine depend on exactly the place that you were caught trespassing. Aggravated trespassing is the most serious type of trespassing in the state of Maine. Just after that is trespassing into someone else’s dwelling or residence. When someone intentionally enters another person’s house or dwelling in Maine then he or she is charged with a Class D misdemeanor. The penalty for this is a prison sentence of a maximum one year along with or instead of a fine of up to $2000.
All the other type of criminal trespass in the state of Maine is considered to be a Class E misdemeanor. The punishment for class E misdemeanor in the state of Maine is a maximum prison sentence of 3 months and a fine of up to $1000.
For you to be a trespasser in Maine you can simply enter someone else’s house, locked or barred structure, or cemetery after closing hours. These cases are fairly straight forward. The only legal complications arise in two cases. The first one is when a person enters an area that is properly fenced, marked with the design to keep out trespassers. And the second scenario is when a person enters or remains in a place even after being warned to stay away or leave the premises.
It should be noted people cannot be restricted to enter any public place. For instance, a private party cannot put up a sign of ‘No Trespassing’ in a public park and prevent other people from entering the ground.