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Pennsylvania State Trespassing Laws

When it involves trespassing, you’ll be wanting to know the law for a minimum of two reasons: first, to higher protect your property from trespassers, and second, to avoid trespassing on another person’s property.

pennsylvania flag

Sure, you might not intend to, but ignorance isn’t an excuse within the eyes of the law!

If you are out within the bush, hunting, camping, four-wheeling, or whatever else you’re feeling like doing, steer clear of properties you are not allowed on.

But things get a bit more complicated when you think about that every of the 50 states has its own intrusion laws. Some are short and sweet, others are extremely complex.

Penalties vary, and a few states are surprisingly harsh with regards to penalties.

As for Pennsylvania, while they’re long, they usually are not terribly obscure, but there are just a few special statutes that the common citizen should concentrate on. In this text, we’ll enable you understand them.

An overview of Pennsylvania trespassing law

  • Trespassing is often a criminal offense in Pennsylvania, although some special cases and closely related offenses could also be felonies.
  • Fencing or signage is an excellent idea to guard property from intruders, and Pennsylvania is kind of liberal concerning the kind of signage owners can use.
  • Pennsylvania has extensive and really detailed laws regarding using drones and other modes of electronic surveillance with regards to private property.

What constitutes trespassing in Pennsylvania?

The State of Pennsylvania defines trespassing as entering or being in anyplace where an individual just isn’t specifically licensed or privileged by law to achieve this.

For example, ignoring a particular, direct warning to steer clear of the property, ignoring a posted sign, avoiding a fence or wall, or any variety of other notices or obstructions.

The overwhelming majority of Pennsylvania’s extensive trespassing statutes are handled in Section 3503, which we imagine is referenced multiple times throughout this text.

The most relevant passage regarding the definition of criminal trespass is provided below in your convenience:

3503. A criminal offense.
(b) Rebellious Intruder–
(1) An offense is committed by a one who, knowing that he just isn’t authorized or privileged, enters or stays in anyplace which has been notified of a prohibition of trespass by:
(i) actual communication with the actor;
(ii) posting in a way prescribed by law or reasonably more likely to come to the eye of intruders;
(iii) a fence or other fence clearly designed to maintain intruders out;
(iv) notices posted in a way prescribed by law or more likely to draw an individual’s attention each time they enter school property that visits are prohibited without permission from the designated school, center or program representative;
(v) an actual request by an actor to depart the varsity premises by a college, facility or program official, worker or law enforcement agent or official; or
(vi) subject to section 3, placing hallmarks in purple paint on trees or poles on property which can be:
(…)
(2) With the exception of the cases provided for in para. (1)(v), the offense set forth on this subsection is a 3rd degree misdemeanor if the offender defies a private order to vacate the premises from the owner or other authorized person. The offense under sec. 1 point v is a misdemeanor of the primary degree. Otherwise, it’s a summary offence.

Does Pennsylvania require “No Trespassing” signs?

No, not specifically for legal protection, but posting no trespassing signs is very advisable if you must protect your property.

This is because an intruder who does so in defiance of properly placed signage will probably be charged a better trespass fee than trespassing on land or other property without affixed signage.

Is a fence required to guard property?

No, not required, but again highly advisable if signage won’t be used.

An intruder who bypasses fences, partitions or other fences or entry barriers during an intrusion will face a more serious charge.

Also, do not forget that you haven’t got to make use of each: one or the opposite is sufficient. For details on fencing see section 3503.

What other signs indicate “no trespassing”?

Varnish markings. Pennsylvania is certainly one of the few states that permits using purple paint markings to mark property boundaries from trespassers.

Recipes of this sort get their accidental name from the undeniable fact that purple paint is generally specified for this purpose, sometimes orange or other colours are allowed.

For Pennsylvania, vertical lines of purple paint have to be placed across the perimeter of the property not more than 100 feet apart and at least 3 feet, I do know greater than 5 feet off the bottom on trees or poles.

Done this fashion, these paint marks can replace signs or fencing to reveal property to intruders.

We will once more consult with a part of section 3503 for specific requirements for using purple paint marks as follows:

3503. A criminal offense.
(…)
(vi) subject to section 3, placing hallmarks in purple paint on trees or poles on property which can be:
(A) vertical lines not lower than eight inches long and never lower than one inch wide;
(B) so placed that the lower fringe of the mark just isn’t lower than three feet from the bottom or greater than five feet from the bottom; and
(C) placed in locations which can be clearly visible to an individual approaching the property and not more than 100 feet apart.
(…)

Can Attorneys Ignore No Trespassing Signs?

No, even though it sometimes results in problems in suburban and concrete areas.

If a lawyer is in a position to walk right to your front door in your area and ask in your time to make a proposal, give a presentation, ask you just a few questions, or whatever, he generally won’t have an excessive amount of fear of the law unless you really need to dig deeper.

However, it must be noted that solicitors must not ever try to circumvent a locked and locked gate or other barrier to entry to your property, and even a small fence with a locked gate will suffice to discourage them.

Another thing is solicitation in rural areas, which is mostly treated with a bit more substance if the solicitor ignores the trespassing warning posted.

Can trespassing lead to an arrest in Pennsylvania?

Definitely. trespassing is often a misdemeanor in Pennsylvania, but it might be a serious misdemeanor, and a number of other specific sorts of trespassing are felonies.

Any such incident may lead to arrest, and even essentially the most basic and a minimum of severe sorts of trespassing are more likely to lead to significant fines.

Can you sue someone for trespassing?

Yes you’ll be able to. Especially for repeated offences, trespassing and disregarding signage or fencing, or trespassing that causes damage to property or land or is perceived as a threat to you or your loved ones, you actually have grounds for suing someone.

Once again, we prefer to return to article 3503 of the statute, this time for the definition of a standard misdemeanor.

Counter-intuitively, mere transgression entails transgression, which is probably going more severe resulting from intent. Read for yourself below:

3503. A criminal offense.
(…)
(b.1) Ordinary Intruder–
(1) An offense is committed by a one who, knowing that he just isn’t authorized or privileged, enters or stays in anyplace for the aim of:
(i) threatening or terrorizing the owner or occupant of the premises;
(ii) start or cause a fireplace on the premises; or
(iii) destruction or destruction of premises.
(2) The offense set forth on this section is a summary offence.

Special Intrusion Cases in Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania has several laws coping with specific cases of trespass, but essentially the most notable for our purposes is section 3505, which details the offense and penalty for illegal use of an unmanned aerial vehicle, especially for surveillance or recording purposes.

3505. Unauthorized use of an unmanned aerial vehicle.
(a) Defined Offence. An individual commits an unmanned aircraft offense if he intentionally or knowingly uses an unmanned aircraft to:
(1) Observe one other person in a non-public place.
(2) Act in a way that exposes one other person to an affordable fear of injury.
(3) Delivering, delivering, transmitting or delivering contraband in violation of section 5123 (contraband) or 61 Pa.CS § 5902 (prohibition of contraband).
(b) Rank. – The offense of illegal use of an unmanned aircraft is assessed as follows:
(1) An offense under subsection (a)(1) or (2) is a summary offense punishable by a positive of as much as $300.
(2) The offense under subsection (a)(3) is a second degree felony.
(…)


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