What Is Misdemeanor Trespassing in North Carolina?

Most of us know that trespassing occurs when someone enters another person’s property without his or her consent. In North Carolina, there are three main types of misdemeanor trespass. Here, we provide a brief overview of these three types of misdemeanor trespass as well as the charges and penalties. 

First Degree Trespass: Class 2 Misdemeanor

If you enter a secured or enclosed property without permission, you could be charged with first-degree trespass. What is considered a secured or enclosed property? In North Carolina, this is a property that is secured in a way that clearly shows an intent to keep out intruders. This might mean a fence, a secured gate or another barrier that is intended to prevent entry. 

First-degree trespass is a class 2 misdemeanor, which carries the possibility of up to sixty days in jail and a $1,000 fine. 

Second Degree Trespass: Class 3 Misdemeanor

There are two ways to be charged with second-degree trespass. Either (1) a person entered and remained on another’s property after being asked by the owner to leave or not to enter or (2) there are signs or notifications on the property warning intruders not to enter. So long as the signs (such as “no trespassing” or “private property”) are posted in a way an intruder could reasonably notice them, a person who nonetheless enters the property may be charged with second-degree trespass. 

Second-degree trespass is a class 3 misdemeanor, which carries the possibility of up to twenty days in jail and a $200 fine. 

Domestic Criminal Trespass: Class 1 Misdemeanor

A third and more severe form of misdemeanor trespass is domestic criminal trespass, which is trespass by someone’s partner or former partner on the other person’s property once the partners are no longer living together. A person is likely to be charged with this misdemeanor offense if he or she is banned from the partner or former partner’s property, but nevertheless enters or refuses to leave when asked.

Domestic criminal trespass is a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries the possibility of up to 120 days in jail and a fine at the discretion of the judge. 

Charged With a Misdemeanor in North Carolina? Contact Us Today for a Consultation.

In addition to these three misdemeanor charges for trespass, there may be additional or elevated charges if certain factors are present. Each case is different and the laws are specific to the facts of the case, but we are here to assist you in successfully defending any trespass charge. 

If you find yourself in need of assistance, Attorney Cotten can help. He is a passionate criminal defense attorney who has served hundreds of clients in Wake, Johnston, Harnett, Orange, Sampson, Lee, and Chatham Counties. Contact him for a consultation or click over to the main page to chat with a legal assistant.