NJSA 2C:18-3 Unlicensed Entry into a Structure, Defiant Trespasser

Attorney Todd Palumbo

A violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3 for unlicensed entry into a structure or being a defiant trespasser is a crime that carries with it up to 18 months in prison. This is the maximum time that could be served on a 4th degree offense. The crime is one of the 4th degree when it is alleged that  the defendant entered and surreptitiously remained in a dwelling (i.e. a home) when one knows that he has no permission to do so. Unlicensed entry can also be charged as a 4th degree crime (i.e. indictable offense or felony offense in some jurisdictions) when it happens in certain sensitive areas, such as research facilities, power plant, nuclear facility, etc. Under most circumstances, the offense will be charged as a disorderly persons offense, or misdemeanor criminal offense and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail.

Under the subsection b, of the statute, defiant trespasser, an individual can be charged with a petty disorderly persons offense and face up to 90 days in jail if he, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, enters or remains in any place in which notice against trespass is given.

Now, under both sections of the statute, there is a TREMENDOUS amount of gray area. The statute itself provide for a number of affirmative defenses to charges of this nature. Under most circumstance, when I represent individuals charged with this type of offense, I am able to favorably resolve the case without having to expose my client to a trial. But if a trial is necessary, I am confident that the defense a provide will result in a not guilty verdict.

The easiest way to get quick information is to contact a criminal attorney for a free phone consultation. I offer 24 free phone consultations. The facts of your case will determine the defenses you have. Therefore it is necessary to hear the specifics of your defiant trespasser charge before I can make any determinations.


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