Former State Prosecutor

Former Atlantic County Prosecutor

Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Experienced for over 30 years

Available 24/7

609.390.4600

Former Prosecutor

Now Fighting for You

New Jersey Criminal Defense and DWI attorney
who knows how to navigate the local courts

RECENT DWI & CRIMINAL DEFENSE RESULTS

STATE v. HENDRICKS — NEW JERSEY MURDER TRIAL — “NOT GUILTY” VERDICT

Mr. Tumelty represented Helena Hendricks, who was charged with first degree murder in Atlantic County Superior Court. The defendant faced a number of additional charges, including armed robbery, conspiracy and possession of a handgun for an unlawful purpose. At the conclusion of a jury trial that lasted three weeks, the defendant was found “not guilty” of all charges.

Former State Prosecutor

Former Atlantic County Prosecutor

Certified Criminal Trial Attorney

Experienced for Over 30 Years

Grand Theft or Petty Theft in NJ: Which Charge Applies?

Grand Theft or Petty Theft in NJ: Which Charge Applies?

Have you been accused of any type of theft allegation in New Jersey? If so, it’s important to realize how the distinction of the crime makes a difference in the type of penalties you might face. The most commonly charged theft crimes in New Jersey are petty theft and grand theft. Grand theft involves crimes… Continue Reading

Felony vs. Misdemeanor Laws in New Jersey

Felony vs. Misdemeanor Laws in New Jersey

No matter the type of crime that you have been accused of, it is imperative to schedule a consultation with a New Jersey criminal defense attorney immediately. The laws that determine whether you’ll be looking at felony or misdemeanor charges depend on the severity of the crime and two general classes outline the different types… Continue Reading

Atlantic City Criminal Trespass Attorney Defending Clients in Atlantic & Cape May County

Answers to Frequently Asked Criminal Trespass Questions

There are many criminal trespass complaints filed in Atlantic City Municipal Court each year by the security department of the casino hotels in Atlantic City. The criminal trespass complaints are frequently filed against patrons who are accused by casino security with acting in a disorderly manner in a casino nightclub, lounge area or casino floor. Casino security typically escorts the person off the property, informs the individual that he is not allowed back inside. If the person re-enters he will likely be charged with criminal trespass.

New Jersey Criminal Trespass Statute; N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3, may be a disorderly persons, a petty disorderly persons offense or a crime of the fourth degree. A conviction for criminal trespass will result in a criminal record and mandatory fines and penalties.

The current law in New Jersey for criminal trespass is:

N.J.S.A. 2C:18‑3. Unlicensed entry of structures; defiant trespasser; peering into dwelling places; defenses

a. Unlicensed entry of structures. A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or surreptitiously remains in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied a portion thereof. An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a school or on school property. The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a dwelling. An offense under this section is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a research facility. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.

b. Defiant trespasser. A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:

(1) Actual communication to the actor; or

(2) Posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or

(3) Fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.

c. Peering into windows or other openings of dwelling places. A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person and under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the dwelling or other structure would not expect to be observed.

d. Defenses. It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:

(1) A structure involved in an offense under subsection a. was abandoned;

(2) The structure was at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the structure; or

(3) The actor reasonably believed that the owner of the structure, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain, or, in the case of subsection c. of this section, to peer.

1. What are the different types of trespassing offenses?

There are basically four different types of trespassing and they are:

A. The Unlicensed Entry of a Structure(s), N.J.S.A. 2C:18‑3(a)

In New Jersey an unlicensed entry is considered a crime, and it is committed when someone enters or surreptitiously remains in any structure when they are not permitted to do so. It is a fourth degree offense if it is committed in a school, on school property, a dwelling, research facility, power generation facility, waste treatment facility, public sewage facility, water treatment facility, public water facility, nuclear electric generating plant or any facility which stores, generates or handles any hazardous chemical or chemical compounds. Otherwise it is a disorderly persons offense.

B. Defiant trespass, N.J.S.A. 2C:18‑3(b)

In New Jersey this offense is committed when someone enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by actual communication to the person, a posting or fencing. The key difference between this offense and the unlicensed entry of structures is the notice requirement. This is a petty disorderly persons offense. This offense usually occurs when someone has been banned from a store or mall and then returns.

C. Unlawful Peering, N.J.S.A. 2C:18‑3(c)

In New Jersey the crime of peering into windows or other openings of dwelling places is considered to be a fourth degree offense. It is committed when someone peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person. Unlawful peering is often referred to as peeping. The victims in these“Peeping Tom” cases usually demand that their cases be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. They often feel violated because of the invasion of their privacy rights.

D. Indictable Trespass Charge

If you trespass in another person’s home, school property, or a public utilities facility then you would be charged with a fourth degree crime.

2. What are the elements of a trespass offense?

In New Jersey a trespass is the unlawful entry onto a property or into a structure. No one likes having their privacy invaded and for this reason it is my experience that victims will usually ask for these cases to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The trespassing statute also requires that the State must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant acted knowingly. In simpler terms the State must prove that the defendant knew that he had no legal right to trespass or to remain on the property.

For a deviant trespass case, the State must prove that the defendant committed an illegal entry onto a structure. A structure is defined under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-1 to include any building, room, ship, vessel, car, vehicle or airplane.

3. How is a trespass charge graded?

Criminal trespass under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(a) is graded as a disorderly persons offense. Defiant trespassing under N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(b) is considered to be a petty disorderly person’s offense. A criminal trespass is graded as a fourth degree crime when the structure in question is a school or on school property. It is also a fourth degree crime when it is committed in a research facility or a dwelling.

4. What are the penalties for trespassing?

A trespassing charge is serious and can expose you to a multitude of penalties including fines, probation, community service, and up to 18 months in jail.

Trespassing is a crime in the forth degree if it is in a home or dwelling, a school, or a research facility. You can also be charged with a forth degree crime for peering into the windows of a home or dwelling. A forth degree crime conviction carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in prison.

Trespassing (defiant trespasser) is a petty disorderly persons offense in all other cases. The statute fits if the property is marked or fenced/enclosed, or notice against trespass is otherwise give. The maximum penalty for a petty disorderly persons trespassing offense is 30 days in jail and a $1000 fine.

In summary the possible punishment for a disorderly criminal trespass is as follows:

a. Fine range 0 to $1000

b. VCCB Assessment $50

c. Safe Neighborhood Assessment $75

d. Jail term 0 to six months.

e. Restitution to victim

f. Probation

g. Loss of driving privileges.

5. When is trespass charged in a domestic violence case?

A criminal or a defiant trespass can constitute an act of domestic violence when it is committed upon the property of spouse, former spouse, It also includes a victim who has been in a dating relationship with the defendant.

6. What are some possible defenses to a trespass charge?

There are a lot of possible defenses that can be raised against a criminal trespass charge. For instance, you could prove that the structure was either abandoned, open to the public or that the individual believed that they had permission to enter the premises or peer into the window.

N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3(d) provides certain defenses to the charge of trespassing. It is an affirmation defense for the defendant to show that the structure was abandoned. The defendant may also raise the defense that the structure was opened to the public at the time and that he has complied with all lawful conditions of access to or remaining in the structure. Finally, it is an affirmative defense that the actor reasonable believed that the owner would have allowed him or her access to the property or permission to remain on the property.

7. What is the best strategy to defend against trespassing?

Some possible defenses against trespassing include:

a. The defendant reasonably and legitimately believed he had a right to be there.

b. The place was open to the public, and the defendant acted lawfully in gaining access.

c. The property involved is abandoned.

In cases where you are charged with a 4th degree criminal offense, you should try to negotiate the charges down to a disorderly persons offense.

Contact me today to discuss your defense case at 609-390-4600.

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Atlantic County Offices

JOHN W. TUMELTY
ATTORNEY-AT-LAW
CRIMINAL LAWYER
1 S. NEW YORK AVENUE, SUITE 212
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ 08401

609.345.3300

Cape May County Offices

ATTORNEY JOHN TUMELTY
DEFENSE LAWYER
539 SOUTH SHORE ROAD
MARMORA, NJ 08223

609.390.4600

ATTORNEY JOHN TUMELTY
DEFENSE LAWYER
3318 SIMPSON AVENUE
OCEAN CITY, NJ 08226

609.385.4221

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
100 E RIO GRANDE AVE
WILDWOOD, NJ 08260

609.277.2786

Areas We Serve

Atlantic County Offices

Cape May County Offices

ATTORNEY JOHN W. TUMELTY
CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER
100 E RIO GRANDE AVE
WILDWOOD, NJ 08260

609.277.2786 Get Directions

Seasoned criminal defense lawyer John W. Tumelty has three conveniently located offices in Atlantic City, Somers Point and Marmora, NJ. He serves clients in Atlantic, Ocean, Gloucester and Cape May counties and the Jersey Shore, including: Absecon, Atlantic City, Avalon, Cape May, Dennis Township, Egg Harbor Township, Galloway Township, Hamilton Township, Hammonton, Linwood, Lower Township, Margate, Middle Township, Northfield, Ocean City, Pleasantville, Sea Isle City, Somers Point, Stone Harbor, Upper Township, Ventnor and Wildwood.