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Trespassing

What are the Types of Trespassing Charges You Can Face?

Trespass in Structure or Conveyance

Trespass on Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance

Trespassing on School Property, Grounds, and Facilities

Defenses to Trespassing

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Trespassing Laws in Florida

Trespassing in Florida is most often a misdemeanor offense, although in certain circumstances it can be a felony. Under the Florida Trespassing Statutes, the consequences of a trespassing conviction can include a jail or prison sentence.

The minimum and maximum sentences and punishments for trespassing will depend on the circumstances of the crime. Some of these include whether the trespass was in a structure or conveyance or on other property, whether the building or property was occupied or unoccupied, whether the trespass was committed while armed with a firearm or other weapon, and whether the trespass occurred on school grounds.

More information on the types of trespassing charges, punishments, best and worst outcomes, and defenses can found below.

If you have been charged with trespassing in Florida, it is important to get the information you need to know about your specific charges so that you can make informed decisions going forward.

Trespassing Lawyer Tampa Bay

The consequences of being arrested and convicted of trespassing can be serious. If you have been accused of trespassing, it is important to hire a criminal defense lawyer that you trust to protect your rights, provide assistance in navigating the court process, and to help you achieve the best result possible depending on the specific facts of your case.

Attorney Chris Beardslee is an experienced and knowledgeable criminal defense lawyer serving the Tampa Bay area. He is dedicated to not only providing the best legal advice and defense for your case, but also to making sure that you are informed about the process and your legal options along the way.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your case or any current charges, our office is happy to help.

Contact The Law Office of Chris Beardslee for a free consultation today. Call 813-496-7778, or fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you.


What are the trespassing laws in Florida?

Trespassing is a misdemeanor or felony offense in Florida. Depending on the circumstances of the crime, you can be charged with:

  • Trespass in Structure or Conveyance
  • Trespass on Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance
  • Trespassing on School Property, Grounds, or Facilities
    • Trespass on School Property with Firearm or Other Weapon
    • Trespass Upon Ground or Facilities of a School
    • Trespass Prohibited in School Safety Zones

Further information on the different types of trespassing charges and punishments for each are provided below.


What is Trespass in Structure or Conveyance in Florida?

Under § 810.08, Florida Statutes (2022), trespass in a structure or conveyance is when:

  • Whoever, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters or remains in any structure or conveyance; OR
  • Having been authorized, licensed, or invited, is warned by the owner or lessee of the premises, or by a person authorized by the owner or lessee, to depart and refuses to do so.

What is Trespass in a Conveyance in Florida?

Section 810.011(3), Florida Statutes defines conveyance as any motor vehicle, ship, vessel, railroad vehicle or car, trailer, aircraft, or sleeping car.

“To enter a conveyance” includes taking apart any portion of the conveyance.

What is Trespass in a Structure in Florida?

Structure is defined statutorily as a building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the curtilage thereof. § 810.011(1), Florida Statutes.

Curtilage, generally meaning, an area of land attached to a building, immediately surrounding and forming one enclosure with it.

What does “person authorized” mean in the context of trespass in a structure or conveyance?

Person authorized is defined as any owner or lessee, or his or her agent, or any law enforcement officer whose department has received written authorization from the owner or lessee, or his or her agent, to communicate an order to depart the property in the case of a threat to public safety or welfare.

Punishment and Sentences for Trespass in Structure or Conveyance in Florida

Misdemeanor Trespass in Structure or Conveyance

  • Trespass in Structure or Conveyance (Unoccupied, Unarmed):
    • Second degree misdemeanor
    • Up to 60 days jail time
  • Trespass in an Occupied Structure or Conveyance:
    • First degree misdemeanor
    • Up to 1 year jail time

Felony Trespass in Structure or Conveyance (Armed Trespassing)

  • Trespass in a Structure or Conveyance while armed with a firearm or dangerous weapon:
    • Third degree felony
    • Up to 5 years in prison

Trespass on Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance in Florida

Generally, under § 810.09, Florida Statutes (2022), trespass on a property other than a structure or conveyance is when:

  • A person who, without being authorized, licensed, or invited, willfully enters upon or remains in any property other than a structure or conveyance:
    • As to which notice against entering or remaining is given, either by actual communication to the offender or by posting, fencing, or cultivation; OR
    • If the property is the unenclosed curtilage of a dwelling and the offender enters or remains with the intent to commit an offense thereon, other than the offense of trespass

Punishment and Sentences for Trespass on Property Other Than Structure or Conveyance:

Trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance is usually a first degree misdemeanor with a possible sentence of up to 1 year in jail.

However there are circumstances in which trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance can be a third degree felony, which comes with the possibility of a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.

Felony trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance can include among others, circumstances that involve:

  • Armed trespass
  • Trespass of specific types of property, including certain:
    • Designated agricultural sites
    • Commercial horticultural properties
    • Construction sites
    • Operational areas of airports
    • Domestic violence centers

Trespass on School Property, Grounds, or Facilities in Florida

Under Florida Trespassing Statutes, §§ 810.095, 810.097, and 810.0975 it is illegal to be on school grounds without a legitimate business purpose, authorization, license, or invitation, during certain times of the day, or while armed with a firearm or weapon.

Trespassing on school property is generally a second degree misdemeanor. However, depending on the circumstances you could be charged with a first degree misdemeanor or a felony trespassing charge. The possible jail or prison sentences range from up to 60 days in jail to up to 5 years in prison if committed with a firearm or weapon.

Punishment and Sentences for Trespassing on School Grounds or Facilities:

Trespassing on School Property with a Firearm or Other Weapon

  • Third degree felony (Up to 5 years in prison)

Trespassing Upon Grounds or Facilities of a School

  • Generally
    • Second degree misdemeanor (Up to 60 days in jail)
  • After being directed by the principal to leave
    • First degree misdemeanor (Up to 1 year in jail)

Trespassing in School Safety Zones

  • From 1 hour prior to start of school until 1 hour after the end of school session
    • Second degree misdemeanor (Up to 60 days in jail)
  • After request from principal to leave school safety zone (when he or she has reasonable belief of a of the occurrence of a crime, harassment, or intimidation)
    • Second degree misdemeanor (Up to 60 days in jail)
  • With a prior conviction for a gang-related offense under Chapter 874, Fl. Stat.
    • First degree misdemeanor (Up to 1 year jail time)

Defenses to Trespass Charges in Florida

The best defenses to a trespassing charge will depend on the specific circumstances of the case. Each person’s case will be different as will be the defenses available to them. If you are accused of trespassing, it is important to discuss the facts of your case with your attorney.

Some defenses to trespassing include:

  • Mistaken identity
  • Defendant was not on the property
  • No communication or lack of communication to leave the property
  • Request to leave or withdrawal of permission to remain not communicated by authorized person
  • Lack of notice
  • Notice not posted in accordance with statute
  • Authorization, permission or invitation to be on the property
  • Legitimate business to be on the property
  • Entry or remaining on property not willful