I was at a public vocational college in Chillicothe,Ohio, dumpster diving, and may be charged with attempted theft for taking refuse. Is it illegal to dumpster dive in Chillicothe,Ohio?
Theft of property that is abandoned is an interesting legal issue. I think you could have a defense to to a theft charge. However, if a police officer finds you inside a trash dumpster, I'm not sure how you could defeat a charge of trespassing. Unless there is a signage indicating that everyone is welcome to enter their dumpster, you lack legal authority to enter the dumpster. Perhaps if you had asked someone at the college if you could take something out of the dumpster, it would have been okay.
Keep in mind that the City of Chillicothe or other municipalities in Ross County could have their own local ordinances which are more restrictive towards trespassing or "trash collecting." I don't know if you are charged under the Ohio Revised Code or under a local ordinance.
Hire a criminal defense attorney to investigate this.
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