Trespass Criminal Defense Lawyer in Charleston, SC
Trespass is a misdemeanor in SC that is punishable by up to 30 days in jail.
In most cases, trespass charges are heard in the magistrate or municipal court, depending on whether the property was inside city limits or in the county.
What’s the Procedure for a Trespass Charge in SC?
If you have been charged with trespass in the Charleston area, do not plead guilty at your bond hearing.
Once you have bonded out, immediately call your criminal defense attorney – in most cases, we will request a jury trial, which will change your initial court date. We will investigate the charges, talk to any witnesses, and attempt to resolve the case before you go to court.
If the case cannot be resolved, we will set a trial date. In many cases, the charges are resolved the morning of trial. If they are not, we then pick a jury and try your case.
Who’s the Victim in a Trespass Case?
The person whose property you are accused of trespassing on would be considered the victim – in most cases, you cannot talk to that person before your court date. It’s a standard condition of bond.
Your attorney or your attorney’s investigator can speak to them, however, if they are willing – they could be the most critical witness in your case. In some cases where the trespass charge is really the culmination of a neighbor dispute, the state may agree to dismiss your case if we are able to resolve the dispute prior to trial.
What is Trespass Notice in SC?
You must have been placed on trespass notice before you can be charged with trespass. It is not enough that you are on another person’s property if you did not receive a warning that you are not allowed to be there.
Trespass notice may be:
- A written document entitled “trespass notice” that you receive from law enforcement;
- A written notice in any form that you receive from the property owner;
- A verbal warning from law enforcement or the property owner; or
- Clearly visible signs on the property that say “posted,” “no trespassing,” or something similar.
SC Trespass Criminal Defense Attorney in Charleston
If you have been charged with trespass in the greater Charleston area including Dorchester County, Berkeley County, Georgetown County, or Horry County, call an experienced criminal defense lawyer who may be able to get your case dismissed, find an alternate resolution to keep the charges off your record, or win your case at trial.
Call Charleston criminal defense lawyer Grant B. Smaldone now at (843) 808-2100 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation.