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The State of Washington recognizes two degrees of criminal trespassing, both of which can mean jail time and fines if convicted. Criminal Trespass in the First Degree is a gross misdemeanor. Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree is a misdemeanor.
The primary difference between first- and second-degree trespassing is the location where you were charged with trespassing. If your trespassing was in a building then it’s considered first-degree. However, if your trespassing was just on the premises (outdoors), it’s considered second-degree.
|1st Degree||2nd Degree|
|Jail||Up to 1 year||Up to 90 days|
|Fines and Penalties||Up to $5,000||Up to $10,000|
A number of statutory defenses can apply when a person is charged with either Criminal Trespass 1 or 2. First, it is not trespassing if the building at issue is abandoned. Second, it is not trespassing if, at the time of entering or remaining, the premises were open to the public and the actor complied with whatever conditions were imposed on access to or remaining in the premises. Third, it is not trespassing if the actor reasonably believed that he or she would have been given permission had they asked.
Regardless of the degree charged the goal remains the same. We will help you avoid conviction on a criminal charge, but perhaps more importantly, keep you out of jail.
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