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Aggravated Trespass, PC 601

California’s domestic violence laws often cover aggravated trespassing and facing such charges is not something you should take lightly. California’s Penal Code 601 PC Aggravated Trespass have felony consequences, so it is highly recommended you find an experienced criminal defense attorney right away.

What is Aggravated Trespass?

Under California’s Penal Code 601 PC aggravated trespass is committed when you threaten to physically harm someone and trespass on their property within thirty days of making those threats. Aggravated trespass is also known as trespassing after making threats and felony trespass. However, aggravated trespass is also considered a “wobbler” in California. This means it can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony depending on the specifics of the case.

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Committing the act of aggravated trespass involves:

  • Threats to physically harm or cause serious bodily injury to another person;
    • These threats could be made verbally, in writing, or through digital/electronic means. The threats could also be implied if it stems from a combination of statements and actions that followed a pattern of behavior over time.
  • These threats were actual and credible, meaning they were made with the intention of causing the other person to reasonably fear for their safety and/or the safety of their loved ones; and
  • You trespassed, entered another person’s property without permission, within thirty days of making those threats.

Examples:

  • Ted and Donna were split up for 6 months before Donna began seriously dating again. She meets Alex and they begin seeing each other exclusively. Ted finds out and threatens Donna if she doesn’t break it off. She ignores the threat for two weeks before Alex calls her to say that he also received a threat on his answering machine. They both begin to keep records of the threats from Ted, in case he ever followed through with them. One night Alex drives Donna home after dinner and walks her to the door. They discover her door is ajar and when they walk in, Ted is sitting on her couch drinking a beer and holding a bat.
    • This demonstrates aggravated trespassing because Ted had made previous threats to their safety and entered Donna’s apartment without her permission within thirty days of making those threats.
  • Ben gets fired from his job for coming into work while intoxicated. He gets upset with his boss, Jim and tells Jim he’ll regret it. A week goes by and when Jim is leaving work one day, he walks up to his car to discover a note on his windshield with threatening language on it. The next day, Jim gets a picture message on his social media account from Ben. It’s an image of stick figures fighting and Jim begins to fear he may end up in an altercation with Ben. After a few days pass by, Jim wakes up to odd sounds coming from his garage. He goes to investigate and finds Ben attempting to slash all the car tires.
    • Ben could face charges for PC 601, aggravated trespassing because of his implied threats throughout the weeks and trespassing in Jim’s garage. He could also face additional charges of PC 594, vandalism for damaging Jim’s vehicle.

Similar Offenses

  • California Penal Code 602 PC trespass;
    • When you enter and/or remain on another person’s property, whether it is a business or unused private property, without a right nor the permission to do so.
    • Example:
      • A drunk man walks into an electronics store and sits down on a bench they have facing the flat-screen HDTVs. As closing time nears the employees let the man know that he must make any purchases and leave soon. The man refuses to and remains there, even after the staff shuts off the TVs. This prevented the employees from being allowed to complete their jobs of closing up. The man could be charged with PC 602, trespassing because he refused to leave the business after being told to do so.

Other Related Offenses

  • California Penal Code 273.5 PC Domestic Violence;
    • Causing great bodily injury or corporal injury to another person who was or still is your intimate partner is considered an act of domestic violence.
    • Domestic violence is an offense that is often charged along side PC 601, aggravated trespass.
  • California Penal Code 646.9 PC stalking;
    • Following, harassing, and/or threatening another individual to the extent that this person reasonably fears for their own safety and/or for the safety of their loved ones.
    • Stalking is one of the commonly related offenses that can be charged in addition to PC 601, aggravated trespass and/or PC 273.5, domestic violence.
  • California Penal Code 422 PC criminal threats;
    • This happens when you threaten to cause serious physical harm or kill another person and it can still be charged even if you are unable to carry out those threats.

How Can the Prosecution Get a Conviction?

In order for the prosecution to get a conviction for PC 601, aggravated trespass they must first prove the facts or “elements of the crime” took place. They are as follows:

  • You actually threatened to cause serious physical injury to another individual,
  • The threat caused this person to reasonable fear for their own safety or for the safety of their family members,
  • You trespassed on this person’s property, whether it was their private residence, business, or workplace, with the intent to carry out those threats.

Who Can Face Charges for Penal Code 601 PC Aggravated Trespass?

There are a variety of cases where someone could face charges of aggravated trespass. The following are different scenarios that can result in someone facing charges for PC 601, aggravated trespassing.

  • Jane asks her boyfriend Daniel to move in with her after dating for several months. He agrees and they get along great until he begins to become more possessive and jealous. After living together for 4 months, he begins to physically abuse her and she gains the courage to break up with him and kick him out. He texts her every day the week after, asking for forgiveness. She ignores his apologies because she doesn’t trust him.
    • The tone of the text messages changes from apologetic to threatening. His texts also give her the impression that he knows the details of her whereabouts since they broke up. Afraid of going home or walking to her car alone, she enlists the help of a male coworker. They begin carpooling to work and Daniel quickly takes notice. One morning as Jane is leaving for work, Daniel runs up to her and shoves her back into the house, locking the door behind them. Jane’s coworker witnesses the whole thing and quickly calls the police.
      • Daniel could face charges for PC 601, aggravated trespass for gaining entry into Rachel’s home without her permission and within thirty days of threatening her. He could also face charges for PC 273.5, domestic violence and for PC 646.9 stalking because he knew all the details of Jane’s activities throughout the weeks.
  • Dave and Sally open a business together, when they begin to turn a profit, Dave develops an addiction to cocaine. It begins to have an effect on the business, so Sally offers to buy Dave’s share and run the place herself. He agrees and after a few months, he begins running out of money. He asks Sally for money and when she refuses he threatens to cause damage to the business they opened together. She ignores his threats, so he begins making threats towards her and her family. Within thirty days of making those threats, Dave shows up at the business and begins smashing the windows and yelling obscenities at Sally.
    • Dave could be charged with PC 601 aggravated trespassing because he entered Sally’s business after making threats to her, her family, and her business property within thirty days. He could also face charges for PC 594, vandalism for breaking the windows and possible drug charges if it comes to light that he was in possession of prohibited drugs or under the influence of illegal drugs.

What The Legal Defense Can Do

With the right legal representation by your side the chances of the best possible outcome for Penal Code 601 PC aggravated trespass may improve. Some of the most common defenses used for aggravated trespass charges are as follows:

  • The alleged “credible” threats that were made were not actually credible, meaning they did not cause anyone to reasonably fear for their safety or the safety of their immediate family members.
  • The threats you supposedly made were not intended to actually cause anyone to reasonably fear for their physical safety.
    • Such as instances where the threats were actually jokes and not meant to be taken seriously.
  • You had no intention of carrying out any alleged threats when you chose to enter the person’s home, business, or workplace.
    • Such cases include entering the individuals' property with the intention to apologize for making any threats.
  • You did not realize you had entered this individual’s property, business, or workplace.
    • Example:
      • Jerry had made threats to his ex, Sal after they had broken up. Two weeks after making those threats, Jerry walks into a gas station only to discover Sal was working there. Sal gets worried and says he will call the police on Jerry if he does not leave his workplace. Jerry apologizes as he leaves, stating he did not know Sal got a new job working there.

An aggravated trespass offense is commonly charged in addition to PC 273.5, domestic violence and/or PC 646.9, stalking. Regardless of any additional offenses you may be facing, contacting a San Diego criminal defense attorney will provide you with the defense platform needed to aggressively fight for control of your future.

Penalties

Being convicted of aggravated trespass can result in misdemeanor or felony penalties depending on the circumstances of your case.

  • Penal Code 601 PC aggravated trespass;
    • Misdemeanor;
      • Summary probation,
      • Up to 1 year in a county jail, and/or
      • Up to $2,000 in fines.
    • Felony;
      • Formal probation,
      • 16 months, 2, or 3 years in the county jail, and/or
      • Up to $10,000 in fines.

Related Punishments and Penalties

  • California Penal Code 602 PC trespass;
    • If charged as an infraction;
      • A small fine.
    • Misdemeanor;
      • Summary probation,
      • Up to 6 months in the county jail, and/or
      • Up to $1,000 in fines.
  • California Penal Code PC 273.5 domestic violence;
    • Misdemeanor:
      • Informal (Summary) probation,
      • Up to 1 year in a county jail, and/or
      • A restraining order prohibiting you from contacting or getting close to the alleged victim, lasting for a span of up to 10 years.
    • Felony:
      • Formal probation;
      • 2, 3, or 4 years in a California state penitentiary; and/or
      • A restraining order, you will not be allowed to contact or see the victim for a period of up to 10 years.
  • California Penal Code 422 PC criminal threats;
    • Misdemeanor;
      • Up to 1 year in county jail, and
      • Up to $1,000 in fines.
    • Felony;
      • Up to 3 years in a California state prison, and
      • Up to $10,000 in fines.
  • California Penal Code 646.9 PC stalking;
    • If convicted as a misdemeanor;
      • Informal (Summary) probation,
      • Up to 1 year in the county jail,
      • Fines up to $1,000,
      • Possible time spent in a mental illness treatment center/hospital run by the state, and/or
      • Counseling, and/or
      • A restraining order placed against you, prohibiting any contact with the alleged victim.
    • If convicted as felony;
      • Formal probation,
      • 16 months to 5 years in a California state penitentiary,
      • Maximum fine of $1,000,
      • Counseling, and/or
      • Confined to a hospital run the by state that treats patients with mental illness,
      • A restraining order, prohibits you from contacting the alleged victim, and
      • Registering as a sex offender under California’s Penal Code 290 PC.

Hiring Legal Representation

It can be stressful looking for a criminal defense lawyer while you are trying to deal with aggravated trespassing charges. Fortunately, the Law Offices of Anna R. Yum specialize in criminal defense and know how to effectively fight for your rights. Attorney Yum has earned the trust of many of her colleagues and clients, offering a strong defense and affordable pricing.

If you are located in San Diego, Orange County, or Los Angeles and are in need of a criminal defense attorney contact us today for a free consultation.

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