Committed to Protecting Your Rights Under The Law

Charlotte Criminal Trespass Lawyer

Difference Between Trespassing and Criminal Trespassing in North Carolina

Trespassing is intentionally entering or remaining on another’s property without permission. Accidentally entering a property is not criminal intent, but if there is a “no trespassing” sign posted, you could still face criminal charges.

In North Carolina, criminal trespass laws are classified as either first- or second-degree trespass. First-degree trespass is entering or remaining in an enclosed, secured property that is intended to keep intruders out or in a building owned by another person. An individual may be charged with second-degree trespass for entering or remaining in a property when there is a “no trespassing” notice posted or remaining after being notified not to enter by the owner or occupant of the building.

Types of Trespassing Crimes in NC

  • Burglary
  • Trespassing
  • Domestic criminal trespass
  • Injury to personal property
  • Misdemeanor breaking or entering

In North Carolina, the term trespassing carries several different connotations and possible repercussions. North Carolina differentiates between four different types of trespassing for the purposes of criminal actions. It is very important to know the differences and know the particulars of each. The main difference between each kind of trespassing is the severity of punishment for each. At Jetton & Meredith, our Charlotte trespassing attorneys represent clients accused of criminal trespass in Mecklenburg County.

If you have been accused of criminal trespass, contact us at (704) 931-5535 for a consultation with one of our Charlotte trespassing lawyers.

Second-Degree Trespassing in NC

Second-degree trespassing is the least severe kind. It is proven by showing that the person remained or entered into the premises without permission, after being told not to be there, or being reasonably warned that they would not have permission.

This can be broken down into three basic elements:

  1. Being present in an area
  2. After being reasonably warned (by signs for example) or personally told not to be there
  3. Without permission or other justification

Second-degree trespassing is punished as a class 3 misdemeanor, the lowest level available. For class 3 misdemeanors, only those offenders who have the highest level of the prior record is jail time even an option, while for first time offenders, the court may only levy a fine against them.

First-Degree Trespassing in NC

In NC, first-degree trespassing is proven if the government can show that without permission or justification, the defendant was:

  1. Present on the premises of another, so enclosed or secured as to clearly show the intent to keep out other people
  2. Present in the building of another
  3. Present on the lands of the people of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians after being excluded by resolution by the Tribal Council

First-degree trespassing is punished as a class 2 misdemeanor. It is important to note that while first-time offenders charged with this kind of trespassing cannot be sent to jail for an active sentence, they are not guaranteed to only receive a fine. For this class of misdemeanor, one may receive supervised probation, even for a first offense.

Misdemeanor Trespassing in NC

Misdemeanor trespassing in North Carolina is proven considering the same elements as first-degree trespassing, but the trespassing takes place at an electric facility, water treatment facility, natural gas facility, or certain types of agricultural facilities. This type of trespassing is punished as an A1 misdemeanor, meaning that even if it’s the first-offense, an active sentence is possible. Also, A1 misdemeanors cannot be expunged under current North Carolina law.

Felony Trespassing in NC

Felony trespassing is proven if the trespassing occurs in any of the facilities mentioned under the A1 misdemeanor section, but also with the intent to disrupt the operation of those facilities, or if the offense of trespassing placed the offender or anyone else at risk of serious bodily injury.

This, the most severe form of trespassing, carries a mandatory $1,000.00 fine, and is proven by showing one of three things:

  1. The person has re-entered the premises after the execution of a valid order or writ for possession.
  2. The offense occurred under color of the title where the defendant knowingly created or provided materially false evidence of possession.
  3. A second or subsequent offense involving the lands of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Although first- and second-degree trespass are both misdemeanors, there are situations that can elevate the charges. In some situations, the charges can be elevated to a felony. It is in your best interests to avoid any criminal record. If you are facing criminal trespassing charges, our trespassing crimes lawyers in Charlotte can help you understand how the law applies to your situation.

Please contact us at (704) 931-5535 to discuss your case with one of our Charlotte trespassing attorneys.

Client Testimonials*

The Opinions that Matter Most
  • “These guys are who you need to talk with.”

    Former Client
  • “Great service and very personal.”

    Former Client
  • “Great Service”

    Former Client Concord, NC
  • “They took full control of the matter and ensured an expeditious conclusion.”

    Former Client
  • “His colleagues and assistants are very approachable and delighted to help. Any calls I made for questions or concerns were answered in a timely fashion.”

    Former Client
  • “Ready to fight for their clients!”

    Former Client
  • “I could not be happier with my experience, thank you!”

    Former Client
  • “I never thought attorneys would give me and my family such personalized attention.”

    Former Client
  • “Fees were reasonable and I felt he was working for resolution versus dragging out the process.”

    Former Client
  • “Everything he promised, he delivered.”

    Former Client
  • “Jetton & Meredith, PLLC and their staff went above and beyond.”

    Former Client
  • “Can't Thank You Enough”

    Former Client
  • “Attorney Eric Meredith of Jetton & Meredith and his team were more than super.”

    Former Client
  • “They were very passionate in every court appearance and again, really gave me the push to believe that everything was going to be alright-- and it was.”

    Former Client
  • “The entire process was handled quickly and in a very professional manner.”

    Former Client


  • Rising Stars 2023 Erika Angles
  • Legal Elite 2023
  • Elite Lawyer Jetton & Meredith 2023
  • Elite Lawyer Personal Injury Eric Meredith 2023
  • Elite Lawyer Personal Injury Mark Jetton 2023
  • Elite Lawyer Personal Injury Tim Cannady 2023
  • Elite lawyer 2022 Accidents
  • Elite lawyer 2022 Divorce
  • Elite Lawyer 2022 Criminal Defense
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
  • Super Lawyer 2022
  • Top 10 Family Law Attorneys 2022
  • 10 Best Attorney's in Client Satisfaction 2022
  • Top Ranking Family Law Attorney 2021
  • Elite Lawyer Badge 2021
  • Litigator of the Year 2021
  • Law Eagles of America 2021
  • Legal Elite 2021
  • Super Lawyers - Rising Star 2021
  • Avvo Client Choice - 2020 Erika Angles
  • Top 10 Family Law Attorneys
  • Legal Elite 2020
  • American Institute of Trial Lawyers
  • Client's Choice Award
  • 10 Best Attorney's in Client Satisfaction 2019
  • 2019 Attorney and Practice Magazine Family Law Badge
  • National College for DUI Defense
  • Clients Choice Award 2019
  • Business North Carolina Legal Elite
  • BBB - Start With Trust
  • RUE Ratings Best Attorneys of America - 2015
  • TNTL Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Avvo Clients' Choice 2015 Divorce
  • Avvo Clients' Choice 2015 Criminal Defense
  • Attorney and Practice Magazine's Criminal Defense top 10
  • AIPIA - 10 Best 2018 Attorney
  • AIPIA - 10 Best 2018 Law Firm
  • TGDWW - Top Lawyer 2015
  • AIFLA - 10 Best 2015
  • AATA - Premier 100
  • NAFLA - Top Ten Ranking 2015
  • MVTL - Top 25
  • Top 40
  • American Association of Attorneys - Premier DUI
  • ASLA 2015 Top 40 Lawyer Under 40

Why Jetton & Meredith?

A Passionate Defense Of Your Rights
  • Numerous Professional Awards & Recognitions

  • Proven Track Record of Successful* Case Results

  • Unique & Personalized Approach to Each Case

  • Consultations Available on Evenings & Weekends

  • Well-Established Family Roots in Charlotte, NC

  • Decades of Combined Legal Experience

  • Unwavering Dedication to Client Satisfaction

  • Highly Respected within the Legal Community