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Trespassing laws in Washington State

Tacoma, WA |

The other night I met up with a friend and his friends at a tennis club when one of my friend's friends produced a key and vaguely spoke of how he worked there and that it was fine if we swam in the pool at night. I ended up not even swimming and was just about to leave when the police showed up and took all of our information down without citing us with any tickets. The police basically just said that we might get summoned to court and that the tennis club may press charges but that he didn't really know what would happen, especially since there were about 9 of us trespassing and that we might even get let off the hook. I'm a little apprehensive since I'm applying to law schools soon and I don't know how likely it is that I am charged or what I should do if I am...any advice?

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Attorney answers 2


Under RCW 9A.52.080 (1) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another under circumstances not constituting criminal trespass in the first degree. (2) Criminal trespass in the second degree is a misdemeanor.

If you get charged with trespass you should most certainly contact an attorney to discuss your options. In the mean time, make sure your address is correctly listed on you driver's license.


You'll know if you're charged within a month or so -- you'll be sent a subpoena. You'll want to make sure to check the mail at the address the police took down. You don't want to miss a court date and have a warrant for your arrest issued!

If you are charged, you need to hire a lawyer -- especially considering your vocational goals. Ideally the charges would get dismissed so you can truthfully say on your law school and bar applications that you've never been arrested or charged with a crime. Either way, it is a simple misdemeanor, and probably won't keep you out of law school or from practicing law. I do think that, if you're charged, you'll have to let all the schools you're applying to know. Good luck!

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