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Defending Juveniles Against Trespassing Charges

no trespassing

Most minors may not be aware that the State of NJ has a law against trespassing on property without permission. As your child walks to and from school, movies and other hangout spots, he or she most likely encounters numerous “No Trespassing” signs on buildings, lots and other properties. For the most part, the sign is read and barely acknowledged, never once registering that the sign is not merely a suggestion, but a law. However, every so often, there are groups of teenagers, looking for something to do and unable to find entertainment.

A Tempting Situation

Many NJ towns, like Toms River, Brick, Point Pleasant, Red Bank, Asbury Park, Belmar and Long Branch have homes, storefronts, former boardwalk structures, and other places of business or residences that are standing empty. At times, these empty sites present a temptation your adolescent may find hard to resist; they are places where teens can congregate without any supervision or rules. However, these buildings, while they may appear abandoned, are owned by residents or companies. Although buildings in Red Bank or Long Branch may look uninhabited, they are still considered private property. Might your child be tempted to enter one of these structures and have some “fun”? If he or she gives in to the lure of trespassing and are caught, they are charged with breaking NJ law. The New Jersey law firm of Villani & DeLuca can help you deal with the trespassing charges brought against them.

Juvenile Trespassing Charges

Did you know your child can be found guilty of trespassing under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3 if they knowingly enter a building without specific permission from the owner? If the underage juvenile has been warned previously not to enter a certain building and still enters it, then the charge is a petty disorderly persons offense. Additionally, the charge can become a fourth degree crime if your minor child enters school property, a public building or a private home while knowing that he or she is not privileged to do so. Teens in Belmar throwing parties in private homes when owners are not at home, teens in Point Pleasant or Brick using the pools or decks of private property while the owners are out of town or even asleep, or teens in Toms River or Asbury Park entering schools after hours for some time to play in the gym are all committing trespassing crimes of the fourth degree. Even if your underage son or daughter does not enter a private home, a charge of fourth degree trespassing can be brought. A minor cannot look in windows or open doors of a home, due to the invasion of privacy caused.

Hire an Attorney to Defend Your Juvenile's Trespassing Charge

If for some reason your underage son or daughter is arrested by Ocean County or Monmouth County police for trespassing, it is up to you as the parent to arrange for legal representation. After the arrest is made, the county or town court will convene to decide if your child should be charged with the crime of trespassing and to what degree. The consequences of these charges can vary and may include constant adult supervision or community service. Jail or detention time is rare, especially for a first offense, but it is a possibility. If it can be proven that the building was abandoned, open for public entry or that your child was previously granted access to the structure, then your son or daughter might not be found guilty of the crime of trespassing.

Call Villani & DeLuca for Help

In the state of NJ, you must hire a lawyer for your juvenile child if he or she has been arrested for a crime. Villani & DeLuca in Point Pleasant Beach, NJ are very experienced in juvenile law. The office will work tirelessly to best represent your child and to ensure that the court provides the best possible outcome. For residents of Toms River, Red Bank and Belmar, Villani & DeLuca is the place to go when your minor loved one needs legal advice or representation. Call to speak with a member of the office today!

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Villani & DeLuca, P.C. is committed to answering your questions about Divorce & Family Law, Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, and DWI & Traffic Law issues in New Jersey. We offer a Free Consultation and we'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.