NJ Trespassing charges
3 ways to be found Not Guilty

NJ Trespassing Charges

Our Approach

NJ Trespassing charges can take many forms. If you are charged with trespassing, please call us.
You will benefit from our extensive trial experience. Most importantly, we will be honest about your chances of winning your case.
We never guarantee results. However, we absolutely guarantee that we will aggressively fight for you!

Your case is as important to us as it is to you.  Each case is different and we welcome the opportunity to protect & defend you.

When you hire us, you will get complete access to us. We respond to all communications & love answering questions.
Our fees are reasonable and we offer payment plans.

NJ Trespassing Charges & The Law

NJ Trespassing Charges Law can Be Found Here (N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3)

If you’re facing NJ Trespassing charges, you may want to read the actual law.

However, we took the extra step and broke it down for you.

I. Unlicensed Entry of Structures

A person commits unlicensed entry when he or she enters a building without authorization. If a person trespasses another person’s home or a property belonging to a school, he or she could be charged with fourth-degree trespassing, which can lead to six (6) months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine.


II. Unlawful Peering Into Windows

These types of NJ Trespassing charges are called “unlawful peering”.

It is a fourth-degree criminal offense, subjecting you to six (6) months in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. 

III. defiant trespass

You may be charged with defiant trespassing when you enter a property despite having been given the notice to stay off the premises.

Notice may be provided verbally or through a sign.

Defiant trespassing is considered one of the more serious NJ Trespassing charges. 

You face a criminal conviction and getting up to 30 days in jail.

Defenses To NJ Trespassing Charges

(1) The "place" you entered was abandoned;

If you’ve been charged with trespassing in NJ because you entered a “structure”, it is important to determine whether or not that structure was “abandoned”. A building may appear to be abandoned because the owner does not maintain it in good condition. However, the owner may have security cameras that notify him if someone has entered the building. He calls the police and you are charged with trespassing.

Our defense strategy would consist of visiting the structure to take pictures of its appearance. If a reasonable person believed that the structure was indeed abandoned, we would use this in your defense.

(2) The "place" was open to members of the public and you
complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the structure

This means that you had every right to be on the property. Trespassing charges under this section of the law have to with situations where people overstay their visit. Yes, you were allowed to be on the property since it was open to the public but you did not leave at closing time.

These situations are common at bars, nightclubs, and restaurants where patrons do not want to leave. However, you still have legal defenses available. For example, if you were in the lobby of the bar after closing time because you were waiting for a taxi, we would use this evidence in your defense.

(3) You "reasonably believed" that the owner of the place "consented" to your actions.

This defense involves situations where a property owner always gave you permission to enter his property until he didn’t. For example, you and your neighbor have an excellent relationship. You help each other with many things & entering your neighbor’s house was never an issue. 

However, at some point, things went downhill. You argued over something and had a falling out. One day you enter his home because that’s what you’ve been doing for years. He calls the police and accuses you of trespassing. 

In this situation, we would have to show that although you had a falling out, your neighbor never made it expressly known to you that you could no longer enter his home.

Do NJ Trespassing charges stay on your record?

If you are convicted of NJ Trespassing charges, these charges will stay on your record for years depending on the type of case you have.

If i'm innocent, can i get a trial?

You absolutely have a right to a trial.
Our NJ Trespassing charges lawyers will prepare your defense and take your matter to trial.
Remember: You are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

important tip: Be Patient! You will Get Your Day in Court

Remember, when you talk to a police officer, everything you say can & will be used against you.
Do not try to explain your story to a police officer. There is always time for that.
If you make a mistake while you are telling your story to a police officer, this becomes evidence against you.
Be patient and hire a NJ Trespassing lawyer to help you with your criminal case.

famous NJ Trespassing Charges cases

  • State v Hamilton – A criminal complaint charging defendants with defiant trespassmisidentified location of the trespass as municipal property, when in fact it was county property…
  • State v Besson – Defendant was convicted before the Municipal Court of Roselle of interfering with school assembly and trespass of school property and he appealed. The County Court, Stamler, N.F., J.C.C., held that where teacher’s ‘vigil of protest’ was confined solely to one area of school’s parking lot where he and others with him were quiet and…
  • State v Gibson – The circumstances warranting an objectively reasonable police officer finding probable cause for defiant trespass, according to the State, include Gibson’s leaning on the porch of the Omega property, the officer’s knowledge that the property was in a high-crime area, prior complaints of the…

NJ Trespassing Charges N.J.S.A. 2C:18-3

         a. Unlicensed Entry of Structures

A person commits an offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or surreptitiously remains in any research facility, structure, or separately secured or occupied portion thereof, or in or upon utility company property.

An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a school or on school property.

The offense is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a dwelling.

An offense under this section is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in a research facility, power generation facility, waste treatment facility, public sewage facility, water treatment facility, public water facility, nuclear electric generating plant or any facility which stores, generates or handles any hazardous chemical or chemical compounds.

An offense under this subsection is a crime of the fourth degree if it is committed in or upon utility company property. Otherwise, it is a disorderly persons offense.

          b. Defiant Trespasser

A person commits a petty disorderly persons offense if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place as to which notice against trespass is given by:

(1) Actual communication to the actor; or

(2) Posting in a manner prescribed by law or reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders; or

(3) Fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to exclude intruders.

           c. Peering

A person commits a crime of the fourth degree if, knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he peers into a window or other opening of a dwelling or other structure adapted for overnight accommodation for the purpose of invading the privacy of another person and under circumstances in which a reasonable person in the dwelling or other structure would not expect to be observed.

Our Experience

You or a loved one have been arrested. Understandably, you are terrified & have a lot of questions. You’ve heard about plea bargains & probation, but the process is overwhelming. You want a local attorney near you to represent you.

Mr. Peyrouton is from Ridgewood & handles all types of criminal matters in New Jersey complex as well as nearby cities. The New Jersey Law Journal recently published one of his articles on the subject of criminal law.

How We Can Help

Regardless of the criminal charges you are facing, we are here to defend & protect you. Whether you are facing a restraining order, drug charge, theft charge, or aggravated assault charge, we are here to help you. Even a DWI case can really complicate your life.

If we can’t get your charges dismissed, we can either get them downgraded or place you in a diversionary program. The point is, our criminal defense lawyers will fight tirelessly to get you the best result possible. Take advantage of our free consultation to see how we can help.

Our Practice Areas:

Below, you will find a few of our practice areas.

Areas We Serve

Our Hackensack criminal lawyers represent clients in Bergen County & nearby counties & cities. 

A person extorts if he purposely threatens to:

a. Inflict bodily injury on or physically confine or restrain anyone or commit any other criminal offense;
b. Accuse anyone of an offense or cause charges of an offense to be instituted against any person;
c. Expose or publicize any secret or any asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule, or to impair his credit or business repute;
d. Take or withhold action as an official, or cause an official to take or withhold action;
e. Bring about or continue a strike, boycott or other collective action, if the property is not demanded or received for the benefit of the group in whose interest the actor purports to act;
f. Testify or provide information or withhold testimony or information with respect to another’s legal claim or defense; or
g. Inflict any other harm which would not substantially benefit the actor but which is calculated to materially harm another person.

***It is an affirmative defense to prosecution based on paragraphs b, c, d or f that the property obtained was honestly claimed as restitution or indemnification for harm done in the circumstances or as lawful compensation for property or services.

Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion is a “search” standard that applies in criminal law.

When a police officer conducts a warrantless search, and does not have probable cause to justify the search, the courts look to see if the police had
a “reasonable & articulable suspicion” for the search.

A mere “hunch” is not enough.

In other words, a police officer has to provide an acceptable explanation for the search.

United States Constitution

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

NJSA - 2C:43-7.2.
Eligibility for parole;
persons convicted of certain violent crimes

a. A court imposing a sentence of incarceration for a crime of the first or second degree enumerated in subsection d. of this section shall fix a minimum term of 85% of the sentence imposed, during which the defendant shall not be eligible for parole.

b. The minimum term required by subsection a. of this section shall be fixed as a part of every sentence of incarceration imposed upon every conviction of a crime enumerated in subsection d. of this section, whether the sentence of incarceration is determined pursuant to N.J.S.2C:43-6, N.J.S.2C:43-7, N.J.S.2C:11-3 or any other provision of law, and shall be calculated based upon the sentence of incarceration actually imposed. The provisions of subsection a. of this section shall not be construed or applied to reduce the time that must be served before eligibility for parole by an inmate sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of incarceration. Solely for the purpose of calculating the minimum term of parole ineligibility pursuant to subsection a. of this section, a sentence of life imprisonment shall be deemed to be 75 years.

c. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary and in addition to any other sentence imposed, a court imposing a minimum period of parole ineligibility of 85 percent of the sentence pursuant to this section shall also impose a five-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the first degree, or a three-year term of parole supervision if the defendant is being sentenced for a crime of the second degree. The term of parole supervision shall commence upon the completion of the sentence of incarceration imposed by the court pursuant to subsection a. of this section unless the defendant is serving a sentence of incarceration for another crime at the time he completes the sentence of incarceration imposed pursuant to subsection a., in which case the term of parole supervision shall commence immediately upon the defendant’s release from incarceration. During the term of parole supervision the defendant shall remain in release status in the community in the legal custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and shall be supervised by the State Parole Board as if on parole and shall be subject to the provisions and conditions

Felony Degree

Prison & Fines



1st-degree felony charges in NJ are reserved for the most serious criminal offenses. Prison terms start at a minimum of 10 years in prison.


2nd-degree felony charges carry 5-10 yrs in prison.
These charges can often be “downgraded” to 3rd or 4th-degree crimes.


3rd-degree felony charges carry 3-5 years.
You have a good shot at PTI if you are charged with a 3rd-degree.


4th-degree felony charges carry up to 18 months in jail. These cases can get “remanded” to a lower court. In this way, you will be out of “felony” danger.