Criminal Domestic Trespass
Domestic criminal trespass: as the name implies, in simple terms, criminal domestic trespass means that after you or your spouse have left the martial home during a time of separation or divorce, you may not return back to the marital home without permission from the spouse currently residing in the
Who Does This Apply To?The applicable North Carolina statute says "any person" who enters the former marital home after being forbidden to do so will be guilty of the crime. This includes any party accompanying you or your former spouse who attempts to enter the home either without express permission to do so or against the demands of the spouse residing in the home. It does not matter that you still own the property jointly or if you need personal items from the home: if you enter the home without permission and against the wishes of the residing spouse, you could be charged with domestic criminal trespass. The spouse living in the home must willingly allow you to reenter the home, or it must be arranged via legal counsel between the parties.
When Does This Apply?The statute only applies: (1) after you have started living apart pursuant to the time of separation and eventually the divorce of the parties, and (2) only if the lawful occupant or spouse in the home has ordered you or the other spouse to not return to the home. Moreover, if you are on the premises and are asked to leave, your refusal to do so could constitute domestic criminal trespass under the statute.
Does This Apply Only to Spouses?You may be thinking this will only apply to spouses during a domestic case. The statute's language actually extends to protect more than just spouses: it states that the law also covers "a person with whom the person charged has lived as if married," meaning a couple that has lived together in a marital-type relationship. By including this language, the statute expands the protection beyond the marital rights and protections that are usually encompassed within the domestic jurisdiction of the law, allowing more people to seek the protection of the courts in these situations.