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Will County criminal defense attorneyWhen someone sees a “no trespassing” sign, he or she may not take it very seriously. It may seem more like a request to stay off of someone’s yard than an actual law. In legal terms, trespassing is defined as physically being on another person’s property without permission. Property owners have the right to call the police and have trespassers arrested and charged if they are on their premises. Generally, trespassing is charged as a misdemeanor offense in Illinois. However, if a person trespasses on a certain type of property or with the intent to commit a crime such as burglary, it could be charged as a felony. 

Different Forms of Trespassing

It is important to note that under Illinois law, there are two types of trespassing, civil and criminal. Civil trespass typically involves a tenant-landlord situation in which a tenant fails to pay rent but still remains in the residence. The police will not get involved until the eviction process is formally started. Criminal trespass to property, residence, or vehicle are more serious offenses, which can lead to fines and imprisonment depending on the circumstances. A few examples of this type of trespassing include the following:

  • Entering a building you do not have permission to be in
  • Stepping foot on property when there are “no trespassing” signs clearly posted
  • Using false documents to receive permission from the owner to enter or remain in a building
  • Refusing to leave someone’s home after being asked to leave
  • Operating or entering a vehicle, boat, plane, or snowmobile without permission to do so. 

Illinois Punishments for Trespassers

According to Illinois Criminal code, criminal trespassing can be prosecuted either as a Class A  or B misdemeanor, or even a Class 3 or 4 felony. The penalties for these offenses are as follows:

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