Saint Francis, MN asked in Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets and Juvenile Law for Minnesota

Q: Some friends and I went to an old abandoned school in Minnesota near where we're from.

We didn't see any no trespassing signs and we weren't planning on causing any damage, so we went in to explore a piece of history. However, the cops showed up and we all received citations. Is there such thing as a trespassing citation and were we even breaking the law by exploring the completely abandoned place?

2 Lawyer Answers
Jonathan Matthew Holson
Jonathan Matthew Holson
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Rogers, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: Of course there is such such thing as a trespassing citation. Whether what you did qualifies as trespassing is a different question. Was the building locked? Was it posted? Did you refuse to leave after being asked to? There are a lot of other questions here that need answering. You should speak directly with a criminal defense attorney.

Thomas C Gallagher
Thomas C Gallagher
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Licensed in Minnesota

A: Minnesota Statutes 609.605 TRESPASS, makes trespassing a crime. A police officer may issue a citation as a Summons to court, instead of arrest. Traditionally, core features of trespassing include: 1) presence on property without permission or right to be there; and 2) fair notice that you should not be there, or should leave upon request. So whether a person is in violation of that criminal statute is also a question of fact. "No trespassing" signs posted, visible to a "reasonable person" in that situation, would be fact evidence supporting the prosecution. For a juvenile, the juvenile will need to contact the court about when to appear in court. A free, Public Defender may be available to help as defense attorney. Most people want to keep their record as clean as possible.

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