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Aggravated Trespass - PC 601 Lawyer in OC

Aggravated Trespass (Penal Code 601) Defense Attorney 

California defines aggravated trespass in TITLE 14 of California Penal Code as  MALICIOUS MISCHIEF:

"601  

(a) Any person is guilty of trespass who makes a credible threat to cause serious bodily injury, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 417.6, to another person with the intent to place that other person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family, as defined in subdivision (l) of Section 646.9, and who does any of the following:

(1) Within 30 days of the threat, unlawfully enters into the residence or real property contiguous to the residence of the person threatened without lawful purpose, and with the intent to execute the threat against the target of the threat.

(2) Within 30 days of the threat, knowing that the place is the threatened person's workplace, unlawfully enters into the workplace of the person threatened and carries out an act or acts to locate the threatened person within the workplace premises without lawful purpose, and with the intent to execute the threat against the target of the threat.

(b) Subdivision (a) shall not apply if the residence, real property, or workplace described in paragraph (1) or (2) that is entered is the residence, real property, or workplace of the person making the threat.

(c) This section shall not apply to any person who is engaged in labor union activities which are permitted to be carried out on the property by the California Agricultural Labor Relations Act, Part 3.5 (commencing with Section 1140) of Division 2 of the Labor Code, or by the National Labor Relations Act.

(d) A violation of this section shall be punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment."

How does the district attorney prove aggravated trespass (threat to cause serious bodily injury)?

The district attorney has to prove all of the following things beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction of aggravated trespass in California:

  • There was a credible threat to cause serious bodily injury to someone other than the defendant
  • The accused made the threat with the intent to place the person in reasonable fear for her/his safety or the safety of his/her family, and 
  • Within 30 days after making the threat, the accused unlawfully (without permission) entered the person's residence or workplace with the intent to carryout the threat

How does the police determine credible threat?

Credible threat means that it is more likely than not that a threat was made by the person accused.  This can be determined by his/her oral statements, written statements or electronic statements via texts, social media posts, emails or fax.  

How is "reasonable" defined by police or district attorney?

Reasonableness standard is based on the what the average person in the community would do under the same or similar situation.

What are the defenses to aggravated trespass?  

  • There was no threat or at least no credible threat.  This means an average person would not deem the threat as being reasonable or credible.  
  • The accused had no intent to cause fear, serious bodily injury, and/or
  • The accused did not have the intent to carryout the actual threat

Is Aggravated Trespass (PC 601) a misdemeanor or felony?

In California, aggravated trespass is a "wobbler."  This means the district attorney could charge it as either a misdemeanor or felony. 

What are the penalties for a charge of aggravated trespass in California?

Misdemeanor PC 601 Penalties:

  • Up to 1 Year in County Jail
  • And/or up to $2,000 in Fines
  • Crime of Moral Turpitude (Immigration Consequences)

Felony PC 601 Penalties:

  • 1 Year 4 Months, or 2 Years or 3 Years (0 Days - 1 Year with probation)
  • And/or up to $2,000 in Fines
  • Crime of Moral Turpitude (Immigration Consequences)
  • Ineligible for Voting, Jury Service, Holding Public Office
  • Firearms Restrictions 

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