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Do i need a lawyer and how serious is a criminal tresspassing charge?

Tennessee |

i was on a tva campground camping and asked to leave for possession of beer, and told not to return with beer. two days later i returned, with no beer and me and my wife were taken to jail for trespassing.

the police lady said she told us not to return for the entire weekend, which if she did she didnt make it clear.

should she not have given us something to sign? is her word gonna stand over mine and my wife's? how stiff should the charges be? is it serious enough that i should fight it?

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Attorney answers 2


Criminal trespass in TN is a Class C misdemeanor which means up to 30 days in the county jail. In Tennessee, a person commits criminal trespass “who, knowing the person does not have the owner’s effective consent to do so, enters or remains on property, or a portion thereof.” T.C.A. § 39-14-405. That person commits aggravated criminal trespass if he or she “intends, knows, or is reckless about whether such person’s presence will cause fear for the safety of another.” T.C.A. § 39-14-406. “Any person who drives, parks, stands, or otherwise operates a motor vehicle on, through or within a parking area, driving area or roadway located on privately owned property which is provided for use by patrons, customers or employees of business establishments upon such property, or adjoining property or for use otherwise in connection with activities conducted upon such property, or adjoining property, after such person has been requested or ordered to leave the property or to cease doing any of the foregoing actions” is guilty of the offense of trespass by motor vehicle. T.C.A. § 39-14-407.


Get the lawyer. The charge against your wife can argued for dismissal if she was not in violation, since by your facts she was not there the first time. The lawyer can argue the lack of specific written notice as a basis to mitigate any direct sentencing consequence (like jail); and, be able to advise you on the collateral consequence of how long this will stay on your record before you are eligible to petition to get your record cleared.

This response does not constitute legal advice. Given the nature of this website, it does not create an attorney-client relationship. This answer is provided solely for informational purposes, for you to use as a starting point when speaking directly with a lawyer in your State. I urge you to immediately contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer admitted to practice law in your State before you make any decisions about this case.