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Cops got me...

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Old 01-10-2010, 11:13 PM
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Default Cops got me...

Okay so the other day I was on my way to work and I wanted to visit an old abandoned building with TONS of graffiti that is around my house. So I made a quick pit-stop there and saw a heck of a lot of mud and could not pass up the opportunity. Did a couple passes/donuts etc. you know, the usual. So I was down there maybe five minutes and the building didn't look too cool so I left to go to work. as I was leaving I headed up the dirt road "driveway" and as I was just about to the top of the road two cruisers were coming down and blocked me in. (Right about now I crapped my pants.) So I shut my truck off and did all the normal stuff and the cops came up to my door and told me i was trespassing (I didn't realize it cause i heard friends that go down there a lot)

So they asked for the usual license and registration and I had a baggie of fuses in my glove box and the passenger side cop started flipping out screaming "WHATS IN THE BAG!" so I pulled it out and said fuses. and then they go check if there's any damage to the building or fresh spray paint and they give me a citation for criminal trespassing (misdemeanor and approximately $300 fine in PA)

Then as soon as they left I realized i had about 5 cans of spray paint in the back of my truck for a school project. I'm so lucky they didn't see that because that would've given them grounds to search my truck filled with fireworks and a knife (fireworks; cause I live in the middle of nowhere and the knife; just in case to cut the seat-belt) so I have court Tuesday to plead not guilty cause I didn't know it was private property.

Lets hope I don't get that misdemeanor (but if you must know the mud was amazing. and I'd probably do it again)
 
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Old 01-10-2010, 11:33 PM
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Sorry, trespassing is trespassing, regardless of if you knew you were doing it or not. Remember, ignorance of the law is no excuse. Pay your fine and wheel where it is legal.
 
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:16 AM
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Were there any no trespassing signs? Cruise by and see if there are any. Take some pics to take with you to court. I agree that trespassing is trespassing whether you are aware or not, but if its not posted you can more than likely get out of it but you need to have some proof that its not posted just in case. As long as you aren't on the property you should be ok taking some pics and there should be signs at property boundaries.

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. But I think what I said makes sense.
 
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Old 01-11-2010, 06:36 AM
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I agree, you would have an argument if there were no "no trespassing" signs. But I also agree with AJ. Trespassing is trespassing no matter how you look at it. Even though you weren't going there to spray paint it still isn't a good idea. Stick to where you can wheel legally and avoid the costly visits from the po-po.
 
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Old 01-11-2010, 08:18 AM
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Yep, no signs no biggie, the way I see it.
 
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Old 01-11-2010, 09:59 AM
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Here is the Pennsylvania Criminal Trespass Statute. Looks like a sign should be posted, but there is also civil trespass, and I can't locate a statute for your state concerning that. Don't assume anything in court and get a lawyer.
 
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:35 AM
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As far as signs go, think of it this way. If I were to come and do some doughnuts in your front yard, would I be trespassing? I'll almost guarantee most people don't have signs in their front yards stating "No Trespassing" so by your reasoning I would have an argument in court.

Private land does not need to be posted in order for one to be charged with trespassing. IMHO, trespass signs are put up to help keep honest people honest.
 
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Old 01-11-2010, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by AJBert View Post
As far as signs go, think of it this way. If I were to come and do some doughnuts in your front yard, would I be trespassing? I'll almost guarantee most people don't have signs in their front yards stating "No Trespassing" so by your reasoning I would have an argument in court.

Private land does not need to be posted in order for one to be charged with trespassing. IMHO, trespass signs are put up to help keep honest people honest.
It's hard to say. I'm on the fence and agree with both sides lol. I think it really depends on where you are though. I know up here if you didn't have a sign posted it would be a solid argument in court that there was no sign.
It's also a little different comparing a residential place to an abondoned site. Something abandoned would have to have a sign on it since there is no one living/working there.
As I said though, I really agree with both sides. Yes, there should have been a sign posted but the OP also shouldn't have been trespassing (sign or no sign). I also agree with Richard. Get yourself a lawyer and discuss it with them since they will know more about the laws and what holds up in court then any of us will!
 
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Old 01-11-2010, 02:53 PM
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I would say go degaine's route (pics of the area) and go to court. You can easily beat that rap by not trying to beat it. Ignorance, as stated, doesnt get you a freebie, BUT go in admit fault, but show that you were unaware BECAUSE it was misleading.

As long as you go in with an "i screwed up, no doubt about that, but this is why it's not REALLY that bad" attitude, you should skate. at worst you still pay the fine, at best you walk free and clear. i would try to beat the rap.

owning up, but showing how you were mislead has worked for me i dont know how many times. it's the I'M NOT WRONG!!!!!11one guys that no one buys

call up one of those douche-y phone book lawyers, look for one that answers phone questions at no charge, and see if they think you have a shot. if they say fall on your sword, call another one

$300 is steep as hell. fight the power

(btw i may be the worst law enforcement officer EVER...)
 
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Old 01-11-2010, 03:11 PM
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you could always find out who owns/manages the land and tell them your starting a neighbor hood watch and ask them for a consent to enter premises letter. might be a stretch but you never know.

if you plead not guilty you better be able to prove it. otherwise just plead no contest, and possibly eat the turd on this one. go to court early, the judge is much nicer early on but as the day progresses your going to just be one more lawbreaker. it pays to feel out the judges mood a bit too. some judges HATE nocontest pleas. just my 2 pennies, hope it helps.
 

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