If you have been charged with trespassing in Idaho you should contact an attorney at your first opportunity. Trespass is a misdemeanor criminal offense in Idaho, which means that you will be required to appear in court before a magistrate judge to answer the charges. Contact Martens Law Office, P.C. at (208) 344-0994 for a free intitial consultation regarding your Idaho Trespass charge.
There are several varieties of trespass laws in Idaho and there are multiple ways to violate the Idaho trespass statutes. The three most common varieties of trespass laws in Idaho are "trespass to privacy" and "criminal trespass" and "recreational trespass". Ironically, all are criminal violations. Recreational trespass is an Idaho Fish and Game violation, so we will not address it here.
Trespass of Privacy deals with the "peeping tom" cases, and it is a misdemeanor crime in Idaho. It is against the law and a misdemeanor to intentionally look, peer, peak in the door, window or any other transparent opening of any inhabited building or structure without a lawful purpose. The Idaho Legislature has determined that the punishment for this crime should be up to six (6) months in jail and up to a one thousand dollar ($1000.00) fine or both six months in jail and a one thousand dollar fine.
Of the trespass cases, trespass to privacy is not the most common variety charged. However, the charge does occur from time to time. We know of one instance where an individual was charged with trespass of privacy when his cow got out, went into a ladies yard and looked in her window. The case was ultimately dismissed by the prosecutor after months of litigation. We commonly refer to this case as the "peeping cow case". This was a classic instance of the prosecution attempting to stretch the statute for an unintended purpose.
Criminal Trespass is the most common variety of trespass charges lodged by prosecutors within the State of Idaho. It is illegal to enter the property of another without the consent and permission of the landowner or the landowner's agent if the land is fenced and/or posted with no trespassing signs every 660 feet or at reasonable points of entry (gates). Illegal entry includes yourself or your property including vehicles, dogs, horses, etc.
Anyone who has received notice in writing or verbally from a property owner or an agent of the property owner to immediately depart must do so. In addition, the individual who was notified to depart may not return to the property for one year unless given permission or an invitation to return by the property owner or the property owner's agent. An example of this would be a patron at a bar who is asked to leave by the bartender. If the individual does not immediately leave they could be charged with trespass. In addition, they cannot return to that bar for a year unless given permission or an invitation to return.
The penalties for criminal trespass in Idaho include a minimum fine of twenty five dollars, a maximum fine of one thousand dollars and up to six months in jail, or both the maximum fine and maximum jail sentence.
If you have been charged with trespass to privacy or criminal trespass Contact Martens Law Office, P.C. in Boise, Idaho at (208) 344-0994 for a free initial consultation with an experienced criminal defense attorney.