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California State Trespassing Laws

California is a state known for its beautiful beaches and terrain, loads of recreational opportunities and bureaucracy running amok.

california flag

You will certainly find the latter to be true for those who ever hassle to read the state statutes regarding their trespassing laws.

It must be noted that California tends to categorize certain crimes that don’t fit into the standard classification of trespassing as trespassing, meaning that specializing in what exactly constitutes illegal entry or seizure of property may be difficult for those without legal experience .

Nevertheless, it’s something you should do if you wish to understand the law and your rights while within the Golden State. This article will assist you understand a very powerful concepts.

Overview of California law of entry

  • Actual trespassing is a misdemeanor only in California, although some charges can carry a major advantageous.
  • In general, nobody is allowed to enter private property marked with a “no trespassing” sign.
  • Many crimes in California, particularly various types of vandalism, are counted as trespassing under the statutes.

What constitutes trespassing in California?

Trespassing in California is broadly defined as entering or being in a spot without the legal, lawful consent of the owner, owner’s agent or some other person lawfully in possession of the property.

Basically, because of this you might not enter, stay or be on any property that you simply wouldn’t have express permission to be in, whether privately owned or publicly owned.

In the case of public property, during public access hours, it isn’t allowed to be on the property on the request of the staff, owner or law enforcement officer.

Refusal to go away after being asked or notified in this manner will end in a misdemeanor charge of trespassing.

It is price noting that trespassing into any home or other dwelling while the owner or occupant is present is taken into account aggravated trespass. For more information, see sections 602.1, 602.2, and 602.5 of the California state statute.

TITLE 14 – DAMAGING ACCIDENTS Section 602.


(1) Refusal or failure to vacate the land immediately after being summoned to the landowner, agent of the owner, or person having the precise to vacate the land.

(m) Entering and occupying real estate or structures of any kind without the consent of the owner, agent of the owner or person in lawful possession.

Does California require “No Trespassing” signs?

No entry signs must be placed around vacant land that isn’t fenced for those who want the law to support you in keeping people off your property.

Anyone entering vacant, undeveloped and unfenced land that isn’t designated may only be trespassed after being notified orally or in writing by the owner, the owner’s agent, or law enforcement.

Only in the event that they refuse to go away can they be considered trespassing.

Also note that signs have to be posted along property boundaries at intervals of not lower than three to a mile and on all roads, trails and footpaths resulting in the property.

Is a fence required to guard property?

No, fencing isn’t required to guard property, however it is one option to protect property by deterring intruders.

Section 602.8 specifies that any one who enters fenced-off areas could also be fined, with increasing fines for repeated offenses culminating in misdemeanor charges.

Again, for those who want the law to support you in coping with intruders, fencing off any unused property, even when it’s only a vacant lot, is an excellent idea.

What other signs indicate “no trespassing”?

In California, only no trespassing signs and fences have any legal significance in terms of notification.

Purple paint, while increasingly common and supported by law in some states, isn’t yet ubiquitous and isn’t utilized in California for legal purposes in terms of trespassing.

That said, many individuals know that purple paint on trees or posts means “no trespass”, but that will not do much to stop people from trespassing in your property, especially for those who want significant police intervention.

Can Attorneys Ignore No Trespassing Signs?

Technically, no, although California’s lenient stance on trespassing and trespassing of “innocents” particularly, which causes no property damage, means lawyers will not be too willing to concentrate to “no trespassing” signs.

This is particularly likely if they only wish to knock in your door and check out to sell you something or are campaigning for one political party or one other.

Can trespassing end in an arrest in California?

Yes, although it will generally not be the case for serious or repeated offences.

Simpler or lesser trespassing charges normally only end in a advantageous, no charge, and only misdemeanor charges begin to be levied after the third charge of unusual trespass.

Can you sue someone for trespassing?

Yes, even though it is probably going and has any likelihood of success only within the case of repeat offenders.

A standard misdemeanor, especially one that doesn’t cause any damage to property or property, is unlikely to go far.

Special cases of trespassing in California

California is particularly notable for the variety of crimes it classifies as trespassing that isn’t trespassing as most of us would call it.

This may be anything from taking earth or sand from property that does not belong to you, or from public places like beaches, to picking fruit or flowers from trees or other plants you haven’t got a legal, lawful right to.

This appears like one other eye-rolling attack of idiocy by the Cali legislature, and it probably is, but don’t underestimate it: it’s still a law and may carry significant fines, fees, and social consequences for you!


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