Criminal Trespassing Laws in NM Everyone Should Know
Criminal Defense Attorneys Fighting Criminal Trespassing Charges throughout New Mexico
While the act of trespassing is easily understood, many people commit the crime without realizing it. New Mexico has several laws regarding criminal trespassing; therefore, it is important that you know what these laws entail, and how a trespassing charge could be added to a series of charges – all carrying significant penalties.
What Does New Mexico Consider Criminal Trespassing?
In New Mexico, you are guilty of trespass if you enter or remain on a person’s property without authorization.
There are numerous ways for a person to break this law, including:
- Remaining on private property. Being on private property without the owner’s permission is trespassing. If you stay on the private property after being asked to leave, that is also trespassing.
- Entering posted private property. If the property has a “private property” sign on the exterior or around the perimeter, and you enter that property anyway, you are trespassing. The only exception to this rule is if you have written permission from the owner or the property is open for hunting.
- Entering despite public notice. Private property with signs displayed for the public indicating private ownership is off limits. If you choose to get into that property, you are committing the act of trespass.
- State lands and entering without permission. State lands are protected. While they might not have fences around their entire perimeter if you knowingly enter or remain on state lands without permission, you are trespassing.
It is a Crime to Remove the “No Trespass” Sign Too
You might be surprised to find that removing a “No Trespassing” sign on private property is also a crime. While it is a petty misdemeanor, you could still be forced to pay the damage of the sign, and you will be guilty of a misdemeanor. Also, you could go to jail for this “petty” crime, while it might be less than one year. Depending on the circumstances, the judge may impose the minimum or maximum.
What is the Penalty for Trespassing in New Mexico?
Knowingly trespassing in New Mexico is a misdemeanor offense. If you violate the law in conjunction with fishing or hunting licenses, then you also forfeit your license, and you will not be permitted to receive another for up to three years by the state game commission.
Trespassing Can Tie to Other Serious Charges
Criminal trespassing is the least of your concerns. Sometimes you could be accused of other offenses in addition to the act of trespassing.
For example, if arrested for breaking and entering, you could also be accused of trespassing. Burglary or the intent to burglarize along with trespassing is another common combination of offenses. These offenses carry harsher punishments than the act of trespassing alone. You could face a third-degree felony if convicted of invasion burglary, while aggravated robbery charges involve a second-degree felony.
Speak with a Criminal Defense Attorney for Your Trespass Charges
Whether you are accused of trespass or a combination of criminal offenses, it is in your best interest to speak with a criminal defense attorney.
The attorneys at New Mexico Criminal Law Offices understand the questions and concerns you have. Any criminal charge can be scary, and not knowing what your future holds is stressful. Let our attorneys assist you with our aggressive representation. Schedule a free case evaluation at 505-375-4763 or ask us your questions online.