No trespassing sign hanging on a chain fence

When Does Trespassing Become a Crime in Indiana?

Criminal Trespassing in Indiana

Property owners in the state of Indiana have the right to ask you to get off their property or deny you entry at any time, and for any reason. If you violate this right, the property owners can file a trespassing charge against you.

What is trespassing?

In Indiana, trespassing is defined as entering someone else’s property without their consent or prior approval. However, if you enter the premises unknowingly or accidentally, it does not count as a criminal offense. To be considered a crime, trespassing requires intent. If you make a conscious decision to enter someone’s property despite being denied entry, it qualifies as a crime and you may suffer a criminal trespassing charge as a result.

Facing criminal trespassing charges in Carmel, IN? Contact Blankenship Law, LLC at (317) 680-5528 to learn how I can defend your freedom.

Trespassing Laws in Indiana

Trespassing is considered an offense against property, and a few laws govern this offense in Indiana. They include:

Indiana Code 35-43-2-2(1): “A person who, not having a contractual interest in the property, knowingly or intentionally enters the real property of another person after having been denied entry by the other person or that person's agent … commits criminal trespass.” In other words, the basis of a criminal trespassing charge, which is the denial of entry, is mentioned under this statute. A person who has no contractual interest in the property may be denied entry or asked to leave by the property owner or by someone acting on their behalf (which many times can be a police officer).

Indiana Code 35-43-2-2(2): Under this section, a person who has wrongfully entered a property where they hold no contractual interest, if refuses to leave, will be found guilty of Class A criminal trespass.”

Indiana Code 35-43-2-2(5): “A person who, not having a contractual interest in the property, knowingly or intentionally enters the property of an agricultural operation that is used for the production, processing, propagation, packaging, cultivation, harvesting, care, management, or storage of an animal, plant, or other agricultural product … or dwelling of another person without the person's consent… commits criminal trespass.” Simply put, entering the dwelling or an agricultural operation center without the owner’s permission is a Class A misdemeanor.

Types of Trespassing

A criminal trespassing charge can be filed in Indiana if a person does the following:

  • Interferes with the use or possession of someone else’s property without getting the owner’s consent.
  • Knowingly enters someone else’s property without any contractual interest in the same, even after being denied entry by the owner.
  • Intentionally refuses to leave the premises even after being asked to do so.
  • Enters the dwelling of another without the owner’s consent.
  • Intentionally accompanies another person in a vehicle despite knowing that he/she is not authorized to drive the vehicle.
  • Travels by train or inside a locomotive, passenger car, or freight car without getting due approval from the railroad carrier or the lawful authority.

Criminal trespass generally falls under Class A misdemeanor. Depending on the type of charges, a person can be imprisoned and fined up to $5000.

Why Should I Contact a Carmel Criminal Defense Lawyer?

Trespassing charges generally require a detailed and thorough investigation of the facts, evidence, and circumstances under which the crime took place. After the initial court summons and hearings, you are required to attend a series of meetings such as multiple status hearings, pleading deadlines, and pretrial conferences. At Blankenship Law, I am always willing to offer a free case review and help guide you through life’s scariest moment that is a criminal charge.

Criminal trespassing cases involve a series of procedures that can be tough to tackle and manage on your own. If you are charged with any of the above offenses, you should first consider contacting a criminal defense lawyer to review your case before taking any further steps. Call Blankenship Law, LLC at (317) 680-5528 to begin the fight for your freedom!

When your life is on the line, I’ve got your back.