Burglary and trespassing offenses

Trespassing is a criminal offense that covers a wide variety of conduct. The penalties for trespassing offenses increase as the seriousness of the conduct increases.  Some of the trespassing offenses in Ohio include:

  • Aggravated Burglary
  • Burglary
  • Trespass in a Habitation
  • Breaking and Entering (B&E)
  • Aggravated Trespassing
  • Trespassing

These offenses have a common theme of trespassing, which is entering onto the land or property of another person. Higher level trespass offenses that result in physical harm to person are deemed offenses of violence, which may not be eligible for sealing and expungement.


AGGRAVATED BURGLARY

AGGRAVATED BURGLARY is the most serious trespassing offense. Under Ohio law, it is illegal to trespass in an occupied structure when another person is present with purpose to commit in the structure any criminal offense. AGGRAVATED BURGLARY requires the offender to trespass with force, stealth, or deception. This offense is "aggravated," meaning more serious because it also requires proof that the offender either inflicted, attempted to inflict, or threatened to inflict physical harm on another; or had a deadly weapon.

AGGRAVATED BURGLARY possible penalties:

  • F1 (felony of the first degree).

BURGLARY & TRESPASS IN A HABITATION

Similar to Aggravated Burglary, BURGLARY makes it illegal to, by force, stealth, or deception, trespass in an occupied structure when another person is present with purpose to commit in the structure any criminal offense. Unlike Aggravated Burglary, BURGLARY does not require that the offender inflicted physical harm or had a deadly weapon.

An offense similar to Burglary is TRESPASS IN A HABITATION, which makes it illegal to trespass, by force, stealth, or deception, in a permanent or temporary habitation of any person when any person is present or likely to be present. TRESPASS IN A HABITATION does not required proof that the offender trespassed with a purpose to commit a criminal offense. Rather, simply trespassing into the "habitation" (e.g., someone's home) is enough to commit this offense.

BURGLARY and TRESPASS IN A HABITATION possible penalties:

  • F2 (felony of the second degree)
  • F3 (felony of the third degree)
  • F4 (felony of the fourth degree

BREAKING AND ENTERING (B&E)

BREAKING AND ENTERING, commonly referred to as B&E, makes it illegal to trespass, by force, stealth, or deception, in an unoccupied structure with purpose to commit any theft offense or felony offense. BREAKING AND ENTERING makes it illegal to trespass on the land or premises of another with purpose to commit a felony offense. The major difference between BREAKING AND ENTERING and other trespass offenses like Burglary is that BREAKING AND ENTERING only requires trespassing into an unoccupied structure.

BREAKING AND ENTERING (B&E) possible penalties:

  • F5 (felony of the fifth degree)

AGGRAVATED TRESPASSING

It is illegal for a person to enter or remain on the land or premises of another with purpose to commit on that land or premises a misdemeanor. This offense is known as AGGRAVATED TRESPASS. To commit this offense, the misdemeanor that the offender is attempting to commit must involve causing physical harm to another person or causing another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to them. For instance, a person is guilty of AGGRAVATED TRESPASS by trespassing onto another person's yard with the specific purpose of assaulting the other person.

AGGRAVATED ASSAULT possible penalties:

  • M1 (misdemeanor of the first degree)

TRESPASSING

The most simple (and least serious) trespassing offense is known as TRESPASSING. Under Ohio law, it is illegal to do any of the following:

  • Knowingly enter or remain on the land or premises of another;
  • Knowingly enter or remain on the land or premises of another when the use of the land is restricted to certain persons, purposes, modes, or hours, when the offender knows the offender is in violation of any such restriction or is reckless in that regard;
  • Recklessly enter or remain on the land or premises of another when there is a notice against unauthorized access is given by actually communicating the notice to the offender, by prominently posting the notice, or by fencing or other enclosure designed to restrict access;
  • Negligently fail or refuse to leave the land or premises of another after being asked to leave to do so by the owner.

CRIMINAL TRESPASSING possible penalties:

  • M4 (misdemeanor of the fourth degree)

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