Trespass after forbidden is another way of describing criminal trespass in Oklahoma. And entering a property after being forbidden is a crime in Oklahoma. Those signs that say “do not enter” or “keep out” expressly forbid entry. You enter at your own risk. Here are some things you might want to know about those “do not enter” signs, and what can happen if you enter anyway.
Trespass After Forbidden Can Mean Jail Time
Oklahoma values farm land and pastures. Oklahoma law defines trespass after forbidden as the malicious or willful entry onto another’s garden, yard, pasture or field after being expressly forbidden to do so or without the permission of the owner or occupant. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1835. To enter anyway means you are committing criminal trespass.
No trespassing signs must be conspicuously posted at all entry points to the property, whether the property is fenced or unfenced.
Trespass after forbidden is a misdemeanor offense in Oklahoma. You could be fined as much as $250 for a first offense.
Oklahoma has other laws protecting land. For example, if you enter the property and create – or attempt to create – any damage, theft, or waste, you can end up with a fine from as little as $50 to as much as $500 and spend as little as 30 days and as long as six months in jail. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1835. Entering another person’s pecan grove without permission is also criminal trespass. It carries a fine of $25.
In contrast, even if there are no postings, you may not enter property belonging to another that is used primarily for farming, ranching or forestry without the owner’s express permission. This, too, is a type of criminal trespass. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1835.2.
A conviction, even a first-time offense, carries a fine from as little as $500 to as much as $1500. In addition, you will be required to pay restitution for any damaged incurred on the property. A subsequent offense is punishable by a fine from as little as $1500 to as much as $2500 and may include jail time from as little as 30 days to as long as six months. This is in addition to ordering any restitution for damage incurred at the property site. Okla. Stat. tit. 21 § 1835.2.
There are people who may enter without permission. People such as police officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel or public utility employees who are addressing an emergency that presents an imminent danger to health, safety, or the like are exempt under this law. Registered land surveyors and professional engineers in the performance of their duties, persons making deliveries, selling services, conducting polls or surveys, and others who have a legitimate reason for entering are exempt from this law.
Defenses to the crime include either an express or implied permission or legal authority to be on the property. Likewise, if you reasonably believe that you have permission from the owner or occupant to be on that property, that is a defense, even if the permission is not actual or if permission is given by mistake. In general, the permission should be in writing, and you must not have a prior conviction or been found civilly liable for criminal trespass.
Any jail time can be a difficulty for you and your family. If you are facing a charge of trespass after forbidden, you need the services of an experienced Wagoner criminal defense lawyer.
Call for a Free Consultation With An Experienced Wagoner Criminal Attorney
We are here to help you defend you against your trespassing charge in Wagoner. For a free consultation with a Wagoner, Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer call the Wirth Law Office – Wagoner at (918) 485-0335 (or toll-free at (888) Wirth-Law). Or, as always, you may enter a legal question in the form at the top right of this page.