Law Offices of Christie A. Leary P.C.
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Young people often get into trouble when they end up in places they are not supposed to be. In fact, the act of unlawfully entering a property itself could result in a charge of criminal trespass. According to Virginia trespassing laws, you are not permitted to enter another person's land or building without their permission.

If your child has been charged with criminal trespassing in Virginia, it will be the prosecution's job to establish the elements of this crime. First, they must establish that your child actually entered onto someone else's land or property. In many cases, prosecutors may contact witnesses that saw your child on the property or view security camera footage to identify your child. The prosecutor may have difficulty proving that it was your child on the property and not someone else's child. Your defense attorney will work to prove that your child could not have been on the property at the time by contacting alibi witnesses that were with your child at another locations.

Even if your child was the one on the property, that is not enough to convict your child of trespassing. The prosecutor must also establish that your child was given oral or written notice that he could not enter the property or stay on the property. For example, the landowner must have posted signs explicitly prohibiting trespassers or told your child not to enter. As your defense, your legal team may establish that the landowner in fact gave your child permission to enter or stay on the property or that the posted signs were not reasonably visible. You can also argue that it was necessary for your child to enter the property due to an emergency.

Juvenile trespassing is generally a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a few exceptions. If convicted, your child will generally face serious consequences, including possible fines or probation. A criminal defense attorney may be able to help your child avoid these consequences or possibly reduce them.

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