Each state has its own laws making trespassing a crime. Generally, trespassing requires you to have some intent to enter or stay on someone else's property, so accidentally wandering onto someone else's property isn't usually a crime. However, if you're asked to leave or if there's a visible "No Trespassing" sign, it may be classified as criminal trespass.
In Ohio there are three statutes that address conduct that is considered criminal trespass. While each statute addresses specific circumstances, they generally prohibit entering or staying on another person's property without permission. It's important to note that the property being owned or controlled by a public agency or gaining permission through deception isn't a defense to a criminal trespass charge under section 2911.21.
Ohio Criminal Trespass Laws Overview
Below you will find key provisions of criminal trespass laws in Ohio.
Ohio Revised Code Title XXIX. Crimes Procedure § 2911.21, et seq.
Criminal Trespass (§ 2911.21): It's unlawful to:
- Knowingly enter or remain on someone else's property;
- Recklessly enter or remain on someone else's property when notice against unauthorized access/presence has been provided.
- Negligently fail or refuse to leave upon being notified by a visible sign or other means of notice provided by the owner, occupant, or agent or servant of either.
Aggravated Trespass (§ 2911.211): It's unlawful to enter or remain on someone else's property with the purpose of committing a misdemeanor that involves physical harm or causing someone to believe the offender will cause physical harm.
Criminal Trespass on a Place of Public Amusement (§ 2911.23): It's unlawful to knowingly enter or remain on any restricted portion of a place of public amusement* and interrupt/cause the delay of the performance/event. In order to violate this statute, a written notice informing people that the area is restricted to the general public is required.
*Place of public amusement: stadium, theater, or other facility 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.
Charges and Penalties
Conviction under Ohio's criminal trespass laws can result in jail time and fines:
- § 2911.21: Violation is a fourth degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to 30 days in jail and not more than $250. If a person used a snowmobile, off-highway motorcycle, or all-purpose vehicle, the court will impose a fine that is twice the amount usually imposed for the violation.
- § 2911.211: Violation is a first degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to 180 days in jail and not more than $1,000.
- § 2911.23: Violation is first degree misdemeanor, which can result in up to 180 days in jail and not more than $1,000. A court may additionally require an offender to perform 30 to 120 hours of supervised community service work.
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Ohio Criminal Trespass Laws: Related Resources
If you'd like more information related to this topic, you can click on the links below:
Get Legal Help with Your Criminal Trespass Case in Ohio
Although criminal trespass is a misdemeanor under Ohio's laws, conviction can still result in jail time and/or fines. If you've been charged with criminal trespass in Ohio, you may want to consult with a qualified criminal defense attorney in Ohio to discuss your case.