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What you need to know about Washington State Trespass Charges.
If you, or someone you know, is facing a Washington state trespass charges, the government must prove the elements of that offense beyond a reasonable doubt. These elements are laid out under the Washington state criminal statutes.
WA Trespassing Charges = Misdemeanors or Gross-Misdemeanors
Washington state trespassing charges are all misdemeanors or gross-misdemeanors, meaning they are punishable by up to either 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine for a misdemeanor, or up to 1 year and jail and a $5000 fine for a gross-misdemeanor. There are several defenses to these crimes, such as the building is abandoned, open to the public, or the person accused of the offense reasonably believed her or she had a right to be there. If you have any questions about the elements of the Washington state trespass charges, please feel free to contact us for a free consultation.
Below is the Revised Code of Washington statutes (what the Washington State government most prove beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you of this crime and what we will defend you against):
9A.52.070 Criminal Trespass in the First Degree
(1) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the first degree if he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in a building.
(2) Criminal trespass in the first degree is a gross misdemeanor.
9A.52.080 Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree
(1) A person is guilty of criminal trespass in the second degree if he knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in or upon premises of another under circumstances not constituting criminal trespass in the first degree.
(2) Criminal trespass in the second degree is a misdemeanor.
9A.52.090 Criminal Trespass — Defenses
In any prosecution under RCW 9A.52.070 and 9A.52.080, it is a defense that:
(1) A building involved in an offense under RCW 9A.52.070 was abandoned; or
(2) The premises were at the time open to members of the public and the actor complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the premises; or
(3) The actor reasonably believed that the owner of the premises, or other person empowered to license access thereto, would have licensed him to enter or remain; or
(4) The actor was attempting to serve legal process which includes any document required or allowed to be served upon persons or property, by any statute, rule, ordinance, regulation, or court order, excluding delivery by the mails of the United States. This defense applies only if the actor did not enter into a private residence or other building not open to the public and the entry onto the premises was reasonable and necessary for service of the legal process.