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Criminal Trespass

Knowingly entering or remaining on the property of another party without any privilege to do so constitutes trespassing in Ohio. Many people accused of these types of offenses believed that they had permission or a lawful reason to be on the premises that they were allegedly forbidden from entering.

The Buckeye State has multiple trespassing offenses that people can be accused of. While these are generally misdemeanor offenses, the possible consequences of convictions can still be very serious and lead to all kinds of unnecessary problems later on.

Lawyer for Criminal Trespass Arrests in Cincinnati, OH

If you were arrested for an alleged criminal trespass violation anywhere in Hamilton County, it will be in your best interest to seek legal representation as soon as possible. Joslyn Law Firm aggressively defends clients accused of property offenses in Norwood, Springdale, Sycamore, Anderson, Bridgetown, Delhi, Green, Harrison, Miamitown, and many surrounding areas of southwest Ohio.

Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Brian Joslyn will work to help you achieve the most favorable resolution to your case that results in your criminal charges being minimized or possibly eliminated. He can provide a complete evaluation of your case when you call (513) 399-6289 to schedule a free initial consultation.


Ohio Criminal Trespass Information Center


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Criminal Trespass Charges in Hamilton County

Depending on the circumstances involved in an alleged trespassing violation, an alleged offender could be charged with any one of the following crimes:

Criminal Trespass, Ohio Revised Code § 2911.21

An alleged offender commits a fourth-degree misdemeanor offense if he or she, without privilege to do so, does any of the following:

  • Knowingly enters or remains on the land or premises of another;
  • Knowingly enters or remains on the land or premises of another, the use of which is lawfully restricted to certain persons, purposes, modes, or hours, when the alleged offender knows the alleged offender is in violation of any such restriction or is reckless in that regard;
  • Recklessly enters or remains on the land or premises of another, as to which notice against unauthorized access or presence is given by actual communication to the alleged offender, or in a manner prescribed by law, or by posting in a manner reasonably calculated to come to the attention of potential intruders, or by fencing or other enclosure manifestly designed to restrict access; or
  • Being on the land or premises of another, negligently fails or refuses to leave upon being notified by signage posted in a conspicuous place or otherwise being notified to do so by the owner or occupant, or the agent or servant of either.

If the alleged offender, in committing a violation listed above, used a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle, the fine may be doubled. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of or pleaded guilty to two or more criminal trespass violations or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance, and the alleged offender, in committing each violation, used a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle, the court can impound the certificate of registration of that snowmobile or off-highway motorcycle or the certificate of registration and license plate of that all-purpose vehicle for a minimum of 60 days.

Aggravated Trespass, Ohio Revised Code § 2911.211

An alleged offender commits a first-degree misdemeanor offense if he or she enters or remains on the land or premises of another with purpose to commit on that land or those premises a misdemeanor, the elements of which involve causing physical harm to another person or causing another person to believe that the offender will cause physical harm to him.

Criminal Trespass on Place of Public Amusement, Ohio Revised Code § 2911.23

An alleged offender commits a first-degree misdemeanor offense if he or she, without privilege to do so, knowingly enters or remains on any restricted portion of a place of public amusement and, as a result of that conduct, interrupts or causes the delay of a live performance, sporting event, or other activity taking place at the place of public amusement after a printed written notice has been given that the general public is restricted from access to that restricted portion of the place of public amusement. A restricted portion of a place of public amusement may include, but is not limited to, a playing field, an athletic surface, or a stage located at the place of public amusement.

A place of public amusement is defined as “a stadium, theater, or other facility, whether licensed or not, at which a live performance, sporting event, or other activity takes place for entertainment of the public and to which access is made available to the public, regardless of whether admission is charged.” In addition to any jail term, fine, or other sentence, penalty, or sanction imposed upon the alleged offender, a court can also require an alleged offender who violates this statute to perform not less than 30 and not more than 120 hours of supervised community service work.

Criminal Trespass on a Locomotive, Engine, Railroad Car, or Other Railroad Vehicle, Ohio Revised Code § 2909.10(B)

An alleged offender commits a first-degree misdemeanor offense if he or she, without privilege to do so, climbs upon or into any locomotive, engine, railroad car, or other vehicle of a railroad company when it is on a railroad track.

Criminal Trespass on the Land or Premises of a Railroad Company, Ohio Revised Code § 2909.10(D)

An alleged offender commits a fourth-degree misdemeanor offense if he or she, without privilege to do so, knowingly enters or remains on the land or premises of a railroad company.


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Criminal Trespass Penalties in Cincinnati

Convictions for criminal trespass violations are punishable as follows, depending on how the alleged offense has been classified:

  • Fourth-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 30 days in jail and/or fine of up to $250; or
  • First-Degree Misdemeanor — Up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

While misdemeanor offenses are not as serious as felony charges, convictions or guilty pleas can still have a variety of long-term consequences. Misdemeanor convictions can impact eligibility for professional licenses, financial aid, and public housing.


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Ohio Resources for Criminal Trespass Offenses

Trespass Prevention | Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) — The FRA was created by the Department of Transportation Act of 1966 and has the mission “to enable the safe, reliable, and efficient movement of people and goods for a strong America, now and in the future.” On this section of the FRA website, you can learn more about trespassing along railroad rights-of-way, which the FRA claims is responsible for more than 400 trespass fatalities and nearly as many injuries every year. You can also download a Community Trespass Prevention guide.

State v. Logsdon, 160 Ohio App.3d 517, 2005-Ohio-1875 — On October 28, 2003, Joseph Logsdon was engaged in “sidewalk counseling” in front of Cincinnati Women’s Services, an abortion clinic. Debi Jackson, the president and executive director of the clinic took a sign that had been posted between two fences—the clinic’s chainlink fence and a privacy fence belonging to the hotel next door to the clinic. Logsdon entered the clinic property and confronted Jackson, asking Jackson to return the sign. When she did not, he grabbed the sign from her and returned to the public sidewalk with his sign. Logsdon was charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct, and the trial court found him not guilty of the disorderly-conduct charge but found that he had trespassed on clinic property without any privilege to do so and sentenced Logsdon to 30 days of suspended confinement, 30 days of probation, and a $100 fine. On April 22, 2005, the First District Court of Appeals held that there was insufficient evidence to support Logsdon’s conviction for criminal trespass and it reverses the trial court’s judgment and discharged Logsdon from any further prosecution in this case. In its opinion Judge Mark P. Painter wrote:

Sometimes, the criminal law should not intervene in minimal transgressions. This event was less than minimal. Though the issue underlying the incident is great, the incident itself was small.


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Joslyn Law Firm | Cincinnati Criminal Trespass Defense Attorney

Were you arrested in southwest Ohio for allegedly trespassing? You should not make any kind of statement to authorities until you have legal counsel. Contact Joslyn Law Firm today.

Brian Joslyn is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Cincinnati who represents residents of and visitors to Hamilton County, including people arrested in Reading, Springfield, Symmes, Blue Ash, Colerain, Forest Park, Miami, Montgomery, and several other nearby communities. Call (513) 399-6289 or submit an online contact form to have our attorney review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free, confidential consultation.


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