California Criminal Trespass Laws
Penal Code 602 PC

California Penal Code 602 PC prohibits the crime known as criminal trespass. Put very simply, you may commit the California crime of trespassing when you enter . . . or remain on . . . someone else's property without permission or a right to do so.1

California trespass law sets out literally dozens of situations in which the offense of trespass may take place...some that are common, and some that are highly unusual or even a bit bizarre.2

Here are some examples of behavior that can lead to criminal trespass charges under Penal Code 602 PC:

  • Because of a personal grudge against a restaurant's owner, entering the restaurant and creating a disturbance that drives other patrons away;
  • Entering another person's unused garage without their consent, setting up a sleeping bag, and sleeping there for several nights; and
  • Threatening to beat up an ex-girlfriend and then, a few weeks later, going to her office, apparently intending to behave violently toward her.
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Penalties

In most cases, California trespass is a misdemeanor . . . which means it can lead to penalties of up to six (6) months in county jail and/or a fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).3

However, certain kinds of trespass in California law may lead only to infraction charges . . . with penalties consisting only of a small fine.4

And if you commit what is known as "aggravated trespass" -- in which you threaten to injure someone physically and then enter their home or workplace without permission, as in the third example above -- you may even face felony trespass charges.5 This could mean a jail sentence of sixteen (16) months, or two (2) or three (3) years.6

Legal Defenses

If you are charged with trespass in California, you are not out of luck. An experienced California criminal defense attorney can help . . . by raising relevant legal defenses that may help you get your charges reduced or dismissed.

Some potentially helpful legal defenses include:

  • You had the right to be on the property;
  • You had consent to be on the property;
  • You didn't "occupy" the property (for certain kinds of trespass) . . . or you didn't actually obstruct or interfere with activity on the property (for other kinds); and
  • The property was not fenced or signed (for trespass as an infraction).

In order to help you better understand how the crime of trespassing and trespass charges work in California, our California criminal defense attorneys will address the following:

1. The Legal Definition of Penal Code 602 PC "Trespass" in California
2. Penalties for Criminal Trespass Convictions in California (Penal Code 601, 602
and 602.8 PC)

2.1. Penal Code 602 PC misdemeanor trespass

2.2. Penal Code 602.8 PC trespass as an infraction

2.3. Penal Code 601 PC "aggravated" (felony) trespass

2.4. Expungement of your criminal record after a trespass conviction

3. Legal Defenses to California Criminal
Trespass Charges
4. Penal Code 602 PC Trespass and
Related Offenses

4.1. Penal Code 459 PC burglary

4.2. Penal Code 594 PC vandalism

4.3. California theft crimes

4.4. California domestic violence offenses

4.5. Trespass as a plea bargain

If, after reading this article, you would like more information, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group.

You may also find helpful information in our related articles on Legal Definition of a Misdemeanor in California Law; Misdemeanor (Summary) Probation in California; The Legal Definition of an Infraction in California Law; Legal Definition of a "Wobbler" in California Law; Legal Definition of a California Felony; How Felony (Formal) Probation Works in California; Expunging Your Criminal Record in California; Common Legal Defenses to California Crimes; Penal Code 459 PC Burglary; Penal Code 594 PC California's Vandalism Law; California Theft Crimes; California Domestic Violence Offenses; Penal Code 646.9 PC California's Stalking Law; and Penal Code 422 PC California's Criminal Threats Law; "Crimes Involving Moral Turpitude" in California Criminal Law; and California Criminal & Immigration Law.

1. The Legal Definition of Penal Code 602 PC "Trespass" in California

Penal Code 602 PC (together with related sections of the California Penal Code) describes over thirty activities that are considered criminal trespass.7

The most common acts that are prohibited by California trespassing laws include:

  • entering someone else's property with the intent to damage that property,8
  • entering someone else's property with the intent to interfere with or obstruct the business activities that are conducted there,9
  • entering and "occupying" another person's property without permission,10 and
  • refusing to leave private property after you've been asked to do so.11
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And other, more specific...and even bizarre...forms of trespass in California include things like:

  • taking soil, dirt, or stone off of someone else's land without permission,12
  • taking oysters or other shellfish off of someone else's land,13 and
  • refusing screening at an airport or courthouse.14

Because of this, the legal definition of "trespass" in California is extremely complicated.  But there are certain "elements of the crime" that make up the legal definition of most forms of California trespass.

These "elements" are facts that the prosecutor must prove for you to be guilty of the offense of California trespass.  They are:

  1. you willfully entered someone else's property,
  2. you had the specific intent to interfere with that person's property rights, and
  3. you actually did interfere with that person's property rights (by damaging their property, interfering with their business, etc.).15

Let's flesh out these terms to gain a better understanding of what they mean for the legal definition of trespass.

Willfully

The term "willfully" means deliberately or on purpose.16 Acting "willfully" doesn't necessarily mean that you intended to break the law. It just means that you intended to perform the act that you performed.

Specific intent

"Specific intent" is a particular mental state.  When you act with specific intent, it means not only that you intend your act . . . but also that you also specifically intend the consequences of your act.17

Example: Noah is homeless man. After panhandling on the street, he takes his earnings to buy a sandwich at an expensive sandwich shop where office workers usually eat. Noah enters the restaurant and eats his sandwich there. His shabby clothes and body odor drive most of the other patrons away.
Noah willfully entered the restaurant, and his entry into the restaurant interfered with the business carried out there. But because he did not specifically intend to interfere with the business, he is not guilty of criminal trespass.18

Actual damage to property rights or business

You are not guilty of two of the most common forms of trespass -- damaging someone else's property, or interfering with the business on their property -- unless the prosecutor can prove that actual damage or interference occurred.19

In other words, if you just entered the property intending to cause damage -- or to interfere with business operations -- and you didn't actually succeed, you are not criminally liable for trespass.

Example: Wally, an activist for farmworkers' rights, goes to a county fair to hand out leaflets protesting the treatment of farmworkers. He stands in front of a display of a piece of farm equipment and attempts to give leaflets to visitors who want to view the equipment. Anyone who wants to avoid him and go straight to the equipment is physically able to do so.
Not long after he begins handing out leaflets, Wally is arrested. But he is found not guilty of trespass. Even though his intent may have been to disrupt the business activities (the equipment display) at the fair . . . he didn't actually do so, since any patrons who wanted to ignore him could have.20

BUT

Example: David sets up a table in a Disneyland parking lot to collect signatures for a petition. He does this without Disneyland's permission. And the location of his table interferes with passengers getting off a tram taking them to the entrance, so that the tram has to be diverted to another entrance.
David is guilty of trespass because the tram was not able to operate normally thanks to his activities.21
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"Occupying" property

One commonly-prosecuted form of California trespass is the act of "occupying" someone else's property without their consent.22

In this context -- the legal definition of trespass by occupying property -- the word "occupy" means to remain in a place continuously for a significant amount of time.23

Example: Four friends enter a very large privately-owned ranch, without the owner's permission, and camp there overnight. They are not guilty of trespass by occupying the property because they were only there for one night.24

BUT

Example: The same four friends enter a very large privately-owned ranch and build a small cabin there. They set up a temporary home in the cabin and remain there for over two months. In this case, they may be guilty of trespass by occupying the property...because they have been staying there continuously for a long time.
2. Penalties for Criminal Trespass Convictions in California (Penal Code 601, 602 and 602.8 PC)

California trespassing charges are unique in that they can be filed as

  • infractions,
  • misdemeanors, OR
  • in very limited circumstances, felonies.25

2.1. Penal Code 602 PC misdemeanor trespass

The vast majority of trespass cases are charged as misdemeanors in California law.26 Potential penalties can include:

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However, certain forms of misdemeanor trespass (for example, refusing to leave a battered women's shelter after being asked to do so by a manager) carry a potential county jail sentence of up to one (1) year.28

2.2. Penal Code 602.8 PC trespass as an infraction

One very simple -- and common -- form of California trespass is often charged as an infraction in California law.

Specifically, if

  1. you willfully enter someone else's land without permission, and
  2. that land is enclosed by a fence OR has "no trespassing" signs posted at intervals of no less than three (3) to a mile,

you would be charged initially with an infraction, under Penal Code 602.8 PC.29

The penalties would be:

  • A seventy-five dollar ($75) fine for a first offense, and
  • A two hundred fifty dollar ($250) fine for a second offense on the same land.30

However, for a third offense on the same land, you will be charged with misdemeanor trespass.31

2.3. Penal Code 601 PC "aggravated" (felony) trespass

California "aggravated" criminal trespass under Penal Code 601 PC is a special form of California trespass. It occurs when you:

  1. Make a credible (that is, believable) threat to seriously injure another person, intending to make that person fear for his/her safety (or that of his/her family), and
  2. Within 30 days after making the threat, enter the person's property or workplace intending to carry out the threat.32

Aggravated trespass is actually what is known as a wobbler in California law . . . meaning that it can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a California felony, depending on

  1. the circumstances of the offense, and
  2. your criminal history.33

Misdemeanor penalties for aggravated trespass include up to one (1) year in county jail and/or a fine of up to two thousand dollars ($2,000).34

But if you are charged with aggravated trespass as a felony, you may face sixteen (16) months, two (2) years, or three (3) years in prison.35 Alternatively, you may be sentenced to felony (formal) probation.

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2.4. Expungement of your criminal record after a trespass conviction

If you are sentenced to probation for a California trespass conviction . . . then after successfully completing probation, you may be able to expunge your California criminal record.36

However, the judge can deny you an expungement if you suffer a probation violation, or fail to adhere to all the terms and conditions of your probation.37

3. Legal Defenses to California Criminal
Trespass Charges

Fortunately, there are a number of legal defenses that an experienced California criminal defense lawyer could present on your behalf in an effort to reduce or dismiss your California trespass charges.

As San Bernardino criminal defense lawyer Michael Scafiddi38 explains:

"Even if it looks like you are guilty of a California trespass offense, don't despair.  People get wrongfully cited for trespassing all the time when they had no intention of breaking the law. A good criminal attorney can often get the charge reduced to an infraction or dismissed."

Depending on the circumstances of your case...and the subsection of Penal Code 602 PC under which you were charged...potential legal defenses include the following:

You had a right to be on the property

You cannot be convicted of trespass if you had a legal right to be on the property. The most common source of a legal right to be on someone else's property is participation in lawful union or labor organizing activity.39

Example: Dave is a representative of a construction worker's union. He enters a construction site to inspect safety conditions and refuses to leave when the landowner requests that he do so.
Dave is not guilty of trespass because his union activities gave him a legal right to be on the property.40

A skilled criminal defense attorney can also help you determine whether you had a right to be on the property because you were engaging in "constitutionally protected activities"—such as free expression protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

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You had consent to be on the property

If you are being prosecuted for "occupying" another person's property without permission under Penal Code 602 PC . . . you may be able to show that you are not guilty IF you initially had the owner's consent to enter the property.41

In other words, if you entered with consent -- but then "occupied" the property (that is, remained there for a long time) without consent -- you are not guilty under the California trespass statute.42

However, if the property owner specifically asked you to leave, you are required to leave in order to avoid criminal liability...unless you were engaging in labor organizing or other constitutionally protected activities.43

You didn't "occupy" the property

As we discussed in Section 1 above, in order to be convicted of California criminal trespass for "occupying" someone else's property, you must actually

  • deprive the owner of the use or enjoyment of his property in some way, and
  • do so for a substantial, continuous period of time.44

So if you are charged with trespass for a brief stay on someone else's property without their permission, you may be able to argue successfully that you are not guilty because you did not enter and occupy the property.

You didn't actually obstruct or interfere with the activities that took place on the property

If you are charged under the section of Penal Code 602 PC that forbids entering someone else's property with the intent to interfere with or obstruct business activities, . . . then you must have actually interfered with or obstructed that business.  If you didn't, then you haven't committed criminal trespass.45

So simply engaging in activities "frowned upon" by the property owner does not make you guilty of trespass...unless the activities created an actual obstruction or interference with the business.

The land wasn't enclosed or signed (for trespass as an infraction)

As we discussed in Section 2.2 above, you may be charged with California trespass as an infraction under Penal Code 602.8 PC for entering property without consent if it is either

  • fenced or otherwise enclosed, or
  • marked by "no trespassing" signs displayed at specified intervals (no less than 3 to every mile along all boundaries of the property, and at every road and trail entering the property).46
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Perhaps the property was not actually fully enclosed with a fence.   Or perhaps signs were not posted in all the places they should have been.  If this is the case, you may be able to get your charges dismissed.

4. Penal Code 602 PC Trespass and
Related Offenses

California trespassing charges often get filed along with...or instead of...certain other related offenses.  Some of the most common include:

4.1. Penal Code 459 PC burglary

Under Penal Code 459 PC, California burglary law applies when you enter someone else's property with the intent to commit a felony or petty theft once inside.47

So, for example...if you enter another person's property intending to commit Penal Code 601 PC aggravated trespass (as described in Section 2.3 above) . . . you could be charged with both aggravated trespass and burglary.

But...depending on the circumstances of your arrest...criminal trespass may even be a "lesser included offense" of a burglary charge.  In this situation, you can be punished for only one of these offenses...NOT both.

California burglary is a felony if it is committed in someone's home, and a wobbler if it is committed in any other kind of structure.48 The potential jail sentence ranges from one (1) year in county jail for non-residential burglaries charged as misdemeanors...to six (6) years in state prison for felony burglary of a home.49

4.2. Penal Code 594 PC vandalism

Penal Code 594 PC, California's vandalism law, prohibits defacing, damaging, or destroying someone else's property.50 If you vandalize someone else's property while you are unlawfully on that property, prosecutors could charge you with both trespassing and vandalism.

The penalties for California vandalism depend on the value of the property that is damaged.  Vandalism is a misdemeanor if the value is less than $400...but becomes a wobbler if the damage is worth $400 or more.51

4.3. California theft crimes

If you unlawfully enter another person's property in violation of California's trespassing laws...and then steal something while on that property...prosecutors could charge you with both trespass and one of several California theft crimes.

The exact circumstances of the offense would determine which theft crime -- for example, grand theft or petty theft -- applies.

4.4. California domestic violence offenses

A number of California domestic violence laws frequently get charged in connection with criminal trespass.

For example, Penal Code 646.9 PC, California's stalking law, prohibits harassing or threatening another person to the point where that person fears for his or her safety.52 And Penal Code 422 PC, California's criminal threats law, prohibits making credible, violent threats against another person.53

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Stalking is one of several domestic violence crimes that can be charged along with California criminal trespass.

If you are accused of either of these crimes...and also are accused of illegally entering the place where that person lives or works...you could face trespass charges as well as domestic violence charges

Example: Tom has been following and threatening his ex-girlfriend, Mary. He repeatedly goes to her house, even though she asks him to leave every time. On one visit, instead of leaving, Tom threatens to kill Mary if she doesn't get back together with him.
Given these facts, prosecutors might charge Tom with Penal Code 602 PC trespass (or aggravated trespass if he returned to carry out the threat), Penal Code 646.9 PC stalking, and Penal Code 422 PC criminal threats.

4.5. Trespass as a plea bargain

In some cases, it may make sense for a criminal defense attorney to offer or request a California criminal trespass charge during a plea bargain negotiation. For example, a trespass charge could replace a burglary or domestic violence charge.

This could be a good thing for a defendant because a trespass conviction

  1. does not carry as much social stigma on a criminal record as more serious offenses do, and
  2. usually carries lesser penalties.

Immigration consequences of a trespass plea

However, defendants who are not U.S. citizens need to be careful when bargaining for a trespass plea. That is because it could be considered a "crime involving moral turpitude" when you commit trespass either

  1. with the intent to damage someone else's property or property rights, or
  2. with the intent to interfere with the conduct of business on the property.54

Crimes of moral turpitude can have serious consequences for your immigration status.

This doesn't mean that non-citizens should never plea bargain to a trespass charge. Certain forms of trespass--for example, entering and occupying property without the owner's consent, with no intent to do anything harmful to the property--are not crimes of moral turpitude.

It is important to consult with an attorney who understands California criminal and immigration law before pleading guilty to a Penal Code 602 PC trespass charge.

Call us for help...
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If you or loved one is charged with Penal Code 602 PC trespass and you are looking to hire an attorney for representation, we invite you to contact us at Shouse Law Group. We can provide a free consultation in office or by phone. We have local offices in Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, Pasadena, Long Beach, Orange County, Ventura, San Bernardino, Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside, San Diego, Sacramento, Oakland, San Francisco, San Jose and throughout California.

For more information on trespass laws in Nevada, please visit our page on trespass laws in Las Vegas Nevada.

Legal References:

1 Penal Code 602 PC – Trespasses constituting misdemeanors; enumeration [California's criminal trespassing law].  ("Except as provided in paragraph (2) of subdivision (v), subdivision (x), and Section 602.8, every person who willfully commits a trespass by any of the following acts is guilty of a misdemeanor: (a) Cutting down, destroying, or injuring any kind of wood or timber standing or growing upon the lands of another. (b) Carrying away any kind of wood or timber lying on those lands. (c) Maliciously injuring or severing from the freehold of another anything attached to it, or its produce. (d) Digging, taking, or carrying away from any lot situated within the limits of any incorporated city, without the license of the owner or legal occupant, any earth, soil, or stone. (e) Digging, taking, or carrying away from land in any city or town laid down on the map or plan of the city, or otherwise recognized or established as a street, alley, avenue, or park, without the license of the proper authorities, any earth, soil, or stone. (f) Maliciously tearing down, damaging, mutilating, or destroying any sign, signboard, or notice placed upon, or affixed to, any property belonging to the state, or to any city, county, city and county, town or village, or upon any property of any person, by the state or by an automobile association, which sign, signboard or notice is intended to indicate or designate a road, or a highway, or is intended to direct travelers from one point to another, or relates to fires, fire control, or any other matter involving the protection of the property, or putting up, affixing, fastening, printing, or painting upon any property belonging to the state, or to any city, county, town, or village, or dedicated to the public, or upon any property of any person, without license from the owner, any notice, advertisement, or designation of, or any name for any commodity, whether for sale or otherwise, or any picture, sign, or device intended to call attention to it. (g) Entering upon any lands owned by any other person whereon oysters or other shellfish are planted or growing; or injuring, gathering, or carrying away any oysters or other shellfish planted, growing, or on any of those lands, whether covered by water or not, without the license of the owner or legal occupant; or damaging, destroying, or removing, or causing to be removed, damaged, or destroyed, any stakes, marks, fences, or signs intended to designate the boundaries and limits of any of those lands. (h)(1) Entering upon lands or buildings owned by any other person without the license of the owner or legal occupant, where signs forbidding trespass are displayed, and whereon cattle, goats, pigs, sheep, fowl, or any other animal is being raised, bred, fed, or held for the purpose of food for human consumption; or injuring, gathering, or carrying away any animal being housed on any of those lands, without the license of the owner or legal occupant; or damaging, destroying, or removing, or causing to be removed, damaged, or destroyed, any stakes, marks, fences, or signs intended to designate the boundaries and limits of any of those lands. (2) In order for there to be a violation of this subdivision [of California's trespass law], the trespass signs under paragraph (1) must be displayed at intervals not less than three per mile along all exterior boundaries and at all roads and trails entering the land. (3) This subdivision shall not be construed to preclude prosecution or punishment under any other provision of law, including, but not limited to, grand theft or any provision that provides for a greater penalty or longer term of imprisonment. (i) Willfully opening, tearing down, or otherwise destroying any fence on the enclosed land of another, or opening any gate, bar, or fence of another and willfully leaving it open without the written permission of the owner, or maliciously tearing down, mutilating, or destroying any sign, signboard, or other notice forbidding shooting on private property. (j) Building fires upon any lands owned by another where signs forbidding trespass are displayed at intervals not greater than one mile along the exterior boundaries and at all roads and trails entering the lands, without first having obtained written permission from the owner of the lands or the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession. (k) Entering any lands, whether unenclosed or enclosed by fence, for the purpose of injuring any property or property rights or with the intention of interfering with, obstructing, or injuring any lawful business or occupation carried on by the owner of the land, the owner's agent or by the person in lawful possession. (l) Entering any lands under cultivation or enclosed by fence, belonging to, or occupied by, another, or entering upon uncultivated or unenclosed lands where signs forbidding trespass are displayed at intervals not less than three to the mile along all exterior boundaries and at all roads and trails entering the lands without the written permission of the owner of the land, the owner's agent or of the person in lawful possession, and (1) Refusing or failing to leave the lands immediately upon being requested by the owner of the land, the owner's agent or by the person in lawful possession to leave the lands, or (2) Tearing down, mutilating, or destroying any sign, signboard, or notice forbidding trespass or hunting on the lands, or (3) Removing, injuring, unlocking, or tampering with any lock on any gate on or leading into the lands, or (4) Discharging any firearm. (m) Entering and occupying real property or structures of any kind without the consent of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession. (n) Driving any vehicle, as defined in Section 670 of the Vehicle Code, upon real property belonging to, or lawfully occupied by, another and known not to be open to the general public, without the consent of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession. This subdivision [of Penal Code 602 PC, California's trespass law] shall not apply to any person described in Section 22350 of the Business and Professions Code who is making a lawful service of process, provided that upon exiting the vehicle, the person proceeds immediately to attempt the service of process, and leaves immediately upon completing the service of process or upon the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession. (o) Refusing or failing to leave land, real property, or structures belonging to or lawfully occupied by another and not open to the general public, upon being requested to leave by (1) a peace officer at the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession, and upon being informed by the peace officer that he or she is acting at the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession, or (2) the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession. The owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession shall make a separate request to the peace officer on each occasion when the peace officer's assistance in dealing with a trespass is requested. However, a single request for a peace officer's assistance may be made to cover a limited period of time not to exceed 30 days and identified by specific dates, during which there is a fire hazard or the owner, owner's agent or person in lawful possession is absent from the premises or property. In addition, a single request for a peace officer's assistance may be made for a period not to exceed six months when the premises or property is closed to the public and posted as being closed. However, this subdivision [under Penal Code 602 PC, California's criminal trespassing law] shall not be applicable to persons engaged in lawful 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. For purposes of this section, land, real property, or structures owned or operated by any housing authority for tenants as defined under Section 34213.5 of the Health and Safety Code constitutes property not open to the general public; however, this subdivision shall not apply to persons on the premises who are engaging in activities protected by the California or United States Constitution, or to persons who are on the premises at the request of a resident or management and who are not loitering or otherwise suspected of violating or actually violating any law or ordinance. (p) Entering upon any lands declared closed to entry as provided in Section 4256 of the Public Resources Code, if the closed areas shall have been posted with notices declaring the closure, at intervals not greater than one mile along the exterior boundaries or along roads and trails passing through the lands. (q) Refusing or failing to leave a public building of a public agency during those hours of the day or night when the building is regularly closed to the public upon being requested to do so by a regularly employed guard, watchman, or custodian of the public agency owning or maintaining the building or property, if the surrounding circumstances would indicate to a reasonable person that the person has no apparent lawful business to pursue. (r) Knowingly skiing in an area or on a ski trail which is closed to the public and which has signs posted indicating the closure. (s) Refusing or failing to leave a hotel or motel, where he or she has obtained accommodations and has refused to pay for those accommodations, upon request of the proprietor or manager, and the occupancy is exempt, pursuant to subdivision (b) of Section 1940 of the Civil Code, from Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1940) of Title 5 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code. For purposes of this subdivision, occupancy at a hotel or motel for a continuous period of 30 days or less shall, in the absence of a written agreement to the contrary, or other written evidence of a periodic tenancy of indefinite duration, be exempt from Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 1940) of Title 5 of Part 4 of Division 3 of the Civil Code. (t) Entering upon private property, including contiguous land, real property, or structures thereon belonging to the same owner, whether or not generally open to the public, after having been informed by a peace officer at the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession, and upon being informed by the peace officer that he or she is acting at the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession, that the property is not open to the particular person; or refusing or failing to leave the property upon being asked to leave the property in the manner provided in this subdivision. This subdivision [under Penal Code 602 PC, California's trespass law] shall apply only to a person who has been convicted of a violent felony, as specified in subdivision (c) of Section 667.5, committed upon the particular private property. A single notification or request to the person as set forth above shall be valid and enforceable under this subdivision unless and until rescinded by the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession of the property. (u)(1) Knowingly entering, by an unauthorized person, upon any airport or passenger vessel terminal operations area if the area has been posted with notices restricting access to authorized personnel only and the postings occur not greater than every 150 feet along the exterior boundary, to the extent, in the case of a passenger vessel terminal, as defined in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (3), that the exterior boundary extends shoreside. To the extent that the exterior boundary of a passenger vessel terminal operations area extends waterside, this prohibition shall apply if notices have been posted in a manner consistent with the requirements for the shoreside exterior boundary, or in any other manner approved by the captain of the port. (2) Any person convicted of a violation of paragraph (1) [of California Penal Code 602 PC, California's trespassing law] shall be punished as follows: (A) By a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100). (B) By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both, if the person refuses to leave the airport or passenger vessel terminal after being requested to leave by a peace officer or authorized personnel. (C) By imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both, for a second or subsequent offense. (3) As used in this subdivision the following definitions shall control: (A) "Airport operations area" means that part of the airport used by aircraft for landing, taking off, surface maneuvering, loading and unloading, refueling, parking, or maintenance, where aircraft support vehicles and facilities exist, and which is not for public use or public vehicular traffic. (B) "Passenger vessel terminal" means only that portion of a harbor or port facility, as described in Section 105.105(a)(2) of Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations, with a secured area that regularly serves scheduled commuter or passenger operations. For the purposes of this section [under Penal Code 602 PC, California's criminal trespassing law], "passenger vessel terminal" does not include any area designated a public access area pursuant to Section 105.106 of Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations. (C) "Authorized personnel" means any person who has a valid airport identification card issued by the airport operator or has a valid airline identification card recognized by the airport operator, or any person not in possession of an airport or airline identification card who is being escorted for legitimate purposes by a person with an airport or airline identification card. "Authorized personnel" also means any person who has a valid port identification card issued by the harbor operator, or who has a valid company identification card issued by a commercial maritime enterprise recognized by the harbor operator, or any other person who is being escorted for legitimate purposes by a person with a valid port or qualifying company identification card. (D) "Airport" means any facility whose function is to support commercial aviation. (v)(1) Except as permitted by federal law, intentionally avoiding submission to the screening and inspection of one's person and accessible property in accordance with the procedures being applied to control access when entering or reentering a sterile area of an airport or passenger vessel terminal, as defined in Section 171.5. (2) A violation of this subdivision  [under Penal Code 602 PC, California's trespass law] that is responsible for the evacuation of an airport terminal or passenger vessel terminal and is responsible in any part for delays or cancellations of scheduled flights or departures is punishable by imprisonment of not more than one year in a county jail if the sterile area is posted with a statement providing reasonable notice that prosecution may result from a trespass described in this subdivision. (w) Refusing or failing to leave a battered women's shelter at any time after being requested to leave by a managing authority of the shelter. (1) A person who is convicted of violating this subdivision [of California Penal Code 602 PC] shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year. (2) The court may order a defendant who is convicted of violating this subdivision to make restitution to a battered woman in an amount equal to the relocation expenses of the battered woman and her children if those expenses are incurred as a result of trespass by the defendant at a battered women's shelter. (x)(1) Knowingly entering or remaining in a neonatal unit, maternity ward, or birthing center located in a hospital or clinic without lawful business to pursue therein, if the area has been posted so as to give reasonable notice restricting access to those with lawful business to pursue therein and the surrounding circumstances would indicate to a reasonable person that he or she has no lawful business to pursue therein. Reasonable notice is that which would give actual notice to a reasonable person, and is posted, at a minimum, at each entrance into the area. (2) Any person convicted of a violation of paragraph (1) [of Penal Code 602 PC, California's trespassing law] shall be punished as follows: (A) As an infraction, by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars ($100). (B) By imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or both, if the person refuses to leave the posted area after being requested to leave by a peace officer or other authorized person. (C) By imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine not exceeding two thousand dollars ($2,000), or both, for a second or subsequent offense. (D) If probation is granted or the execution or imposition of sentencing is suspended for any person convicted under this subdivision, it shall be a condition of probation that the person participate in counseling, as designated by the court, unless the court finds good cause not to impose this requirement. The court shall require the person to pay for this counseling, if ordered, unless good cause not to pay is shown. (y) Except as permitted by federal law, intentionally avoiding submission to the screening and inspection of one's person and accessible property in accordance with the procedures being applied to control access when entering or reentering a courthouse or a city, county, city and county, or state building if entrances to the courthouse or the city, county, city and county, or state building have been posted with a statement providing reasonable notice that prosecution may result from a trespass described in this subdivision.")

2 See same, California's criminal trespassing law.

3 See same, California's criminal trespassing law.

See also Penal Code 19 PC – Punishment for misdemeanor; punishment not otherwise prescribed. ("Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both.")

4 Penal Code 602.8 PC – Lands under cultivation, enclosed by fence or posted; entry without written permission; punishment; exemption [Trespass as an infraction]. ("(a) Any person who without the written permission of the landowner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession of the land, willfully enters any lands under cultivation or enclosed by fence, belonging to, or occupied by, another, or who willfully enters upon uncultivated or unenclosed lands where signs forbidding trespass are displayed at intervals not less than three to the mile along all exterior boundaries and at all roads and trails entering the lands, is guilty of a public offense. (b) Any person convicted of a violation of subdivision (a) shall be punished as follows: (1) A first offense is an infraction punishable by a fine of seventy-five dollars ($75). (2) A second offense on the same land or any contiguous land of the same landowner, without the permission of the landowner, the landowner's agent, or the person in lawful possession of the land, is an infraction punishable by a fine of two hundred fifty dollars ($250). (3) A third or subsequent offense on the same land or any contiguous land of the same landowner, without the permission of the landowner, the landowner's agent, or the person in lawful possession of the land, is a misdemeanor.")

5 Penal Code 601 PC – Trespass by credible threat to cause serious bodily injury with intent to place another in reasonable fear and unlawful entry within 30 days into residence or contiguous real property or workplace of threatened person [Aggravated trespass]. ("(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.")

6 See same, Aggravated trespass.

See also Penal Code 1170(h) PC. ("(h)(1) Except as provided in paragraph (3), a felony punishable pursuant to this subdivision where the term is not specified in the underlying offense shall be punishable by a term of imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months, or two or three years.")

7 Penal Code 602 PC, California's criminal trespassing law, endnote 1, above.

8 See same, California's criminal trespassing law.  ("(k) Entering any lands, whether unenclosed or enclosed by fence, for the purpose of injuring any property or property rights or with the intention of interfering with, obstructing, or injuring any lawful business or occupation carried on by the owner of the land, the owner's agent or by the person in lawful possession.")

9 See same, California's criminal trespassing law.

10 See same, California's criminal trespassing law.  ("(m) Entering and occupying real property or structures of any kind without the consent of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession.")

11 See same, California's criminal trespassing law.  ("(o) Refusing or failing to leave land, real property, or structures belonging to or lawfully occupied by another and not open to the general public, upon being requested to leave by (1) a peace officer at the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession, and upon being informed by the peace officer that he or she is acting at the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession, or (2) the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession.")

See also Penal Code 602.5 PC – Unauthorized entry of property.  ("(a) Every person other than a public officer or employee acting within the course and scope of his or her employment in performance of a duty imposed by law, who enters or remains in any noncommercial dwelling house, apartment, or other residential place without consent of the owner, his or her agent, or the person in lawful possession thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor.")

12 See same, California's criminal trespassing law.  ("(d) Digging, taking, or carrying away from any lot situated within the limits of any incorporated city, without the license of the owner or legal occupant, any earth, soil, or stone. (e) Digging, taking, or carrying away from land in any city or town laid down on the map or plan of the city, or otherwise recognized or established as a street, alley, avenue, or park, without the license of the proper authorities, any earth, soil, or stone.")

13 See same, California's criminal trespassing law. ("(g) Entering upon any lands owned by any other person whereon oysters or other shellfish are planted or growing; or injuring, gathering, or carrying away any oysters or other shellfish planted, growing, or on any of those lands, whether covered by water or not, without the license of the owner or legal occupant; or damaging, destroying, or removing, or causing to be removed, damaged, or destroyed, any stakes, marks, fences, or signs intended to designate the boundaries and limits of any of those lands.")

14 See same, California's criminal trespassing law. ("(v)(1) Except as permitted by federal law, intentionally avoiding submission to the screening and inspection of one's person and accessible property in accordance with the procedures being applied to control access when entering or reentering a sterile area of an airport, passenger vessel terminal, as defined in Section 171.5, or public transit facility, as defined in subdivision (u), if the sterile area is posted with a statement providing reasonable notice that prosecution may result from a trespass described in this subdivision, is a violation of this subdivision, punishable by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) for the first offense. A second and subsequent violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of not more than one year, or by a fine not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. . . . (y) Except as permitted by federal law, intentionally avoiding submission to the screening and inspection of one's person and accessible property in accordance with the procedures being applied to control access when entering or reentering a courthouse or a city, county, city and county, or state building if entrances to the courthouse or the city, county, city and county, or state building have been posted with a statement providing reasonable notice that prosecution may result from a trespass described in this subdivision.")

15 Judicial Council of California Criminal Jury Instructions ("CALCRIM") 2930 – Trespass: To Interfere With Business. ("The defendant is charged [in Count  ] with trespassing [in violation of Penal Code section 602(k)]. To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant willfully entered (land/ [or] a building) belonging to someone else; 2 When the defendant entered, (he/she) intended (to damage someone else's property [or property right]/ [or] to interfere with, obstruct, or damage a lawful business or occupation carried on by the (owner of the land[,]/ [or] owner's agent[,]/ [or] person in lawful possession of the land)); AND 3 The defendant actually did (damage someone else's property [or property right]/ [or] interfere with, obstruct, or damage a lawful business or occupation carried on by the (owner of the land[,]/ [or] owner's agent[,]/ [or] person in lawful possession of the land)).")

See also CALCRIM 2931 – Trespass: Unlawfully Occupying Property. ("To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant willfully entered (land/ [or] a building) belonging to someone else without the consent of the (owner[,]/ [or] owner's agent[,]/ [or] person in lawful possession of the property); 2 After the defendant entered, (he/she) occupied the (land/ [or] building) without the consent of the (owner[,]/ [or] owner's agent[,]/ [or] person in lawful possession of the property); 3 The defendant occupied some part of the (land/ [or] building) continuously until removed.")

See also CALCRIM 2932 – Trespass: Entry Into Dwelling. ("1 The defendant willfully entered or remained in a noncommercial (dwelling house[,]/ [or] apartment[,]/ [or other] residential place) belonging to someone else; [AND] 2 The defendant entered or remained without the consent of the (owner[,]/ [or] owner's agent[,]/ [or] person in lawful possession of the property)(;/.) <Give element 3 if evidence shows defendant may have been public officer. > [AND 3 The defendant was not a public officer or employee acting in the lawful performance of (his/her) duties as a public officer or employee.]")

16 Penal Code 7 PC – Words and phrases.  ("1. The word "willfully," when applied to the intent with which an act is done or omitted, implies simply a purpose or willingness to commit the act, or make the omission referred to. It does not require any intent to violate law, or to injure another, or to acquire any advantage.")

See also CALCRIM 2930 – Trespass: To Interfere With Business. ("Someone commits an act willfully when he or she does it willingly or on purpose.")

17 People v. Battin, (1978) 77 Cal.App.3d 635, 659 (overruled on other grounds).  (""Specific intent" crimes are those wherein the defendant is aware of and desires the consequences of his actions.")

18 CALCRIM 2930 – Trespass: To Interfere With Business, endnote 15, above.

19 See same.

20 Based on In re Wallace, (1970) 3 Cal.3d 289.

21 Based on In re Ball, (1972) 23 Cal.App.3d 380, 386. ("The testimony that it was necessary to divert offloading of the tram into another area because of petitioner's activities constitutes substantial evidence that he did interfere with Disneyland's lawful business [in violation of Penal Code 602 PC, California's criminal trespassing law]. That petitioner knew that his conduct was substantially certain to result in such interference, the requisite intent, may be inferred from his deliberately entering the parking lot and engaging in the conduct disclosed after having requested and been denied permission to do so and from his refusal to leave when asked to do so. (See Pen. Code, §21.)")

22 CALCRIM 2931 – Trespass: Unlawfully Occupying Property, endnote 15, above.

23 People v. Wilkinson, (1967) 248 Cal.App.2d Supp. 906, 910-11. ("The purpose of the legislature in passing subdivision (l) of the trespass law is quite clear. It intended the word ‘occupy' to mean a non-transient, continuous type of possession. Surely the transient overnight use of four 3 7 foot areas in a very large ranch for sleeping bags and campfire purposes was not the type of conduct which the legislature intended to prevent when it used the word ‘occupy'. Had this been so, many another verb could have been used in place of ‘occupy' to express an intention of preventing such transient use of so small an area, e.g., be, remain, loiter, tarry, camp, stay, and probably many more. Having in mind the legislative purpose in passing subdivision (l) of Section 602, it is rather obvious that some degree of dispossession and permanency be intended.")

24 Based on the facts of the same.

25 Penal Code 602 PC, California's criminal trespassing law, endnote 1, above.

See also Penal Code 601 PC – Aggravated trespass, endnote 5, above.

26 Penal Code 602 PC, California's criminal trespassing law, endnote 1, above.

27 Penal Code 19 PC – – Punishment for misdemeanor; punishment not otherwise prescribed [including misdemeanor trespass]. ("Except in cases where a different punishment is prescribed by any law of this state, every offense declared to be a misdemeanor is punishable by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months, or by fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both.")

28 Penal Code 602 PC, California's criminal trespassing law.  ("(w) Refusing or failing to leave a battered women's shelter at any time after being requested to leave by a managing authority of the shelter. (1) A person who is convicted of violating this subdivision shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year. (2) The court may order a defendant who is convicted of violating this subdivision to make restitution to a battered woman in an amount equal to the relocation expenses of the battered woman and her children if those expenses are incurred as a result of trespass by the defendant at a battered women's shelter.")

29 Penal Code 602.8 PC – Trespass as an infraction, endnote 4, above.

30 See same, Trespass as an infraction.

31 See same, Trespass as an infraction.

32 Penal Code 601 PC – Aggravated trespass, endnote 5, above.

See also CALCRIM 2929 – Trespass After Making Credible Threat. ("To prove that the defendant is guilty of this crime, the People must prove that: 1 The defendant made a credible threat to cause serious bodily injury to another person; 2 The defendant made the threat with the intent to place the other person in reasonable fear for (his/her) safety [or for the safety of (his/her) immediate family]; AND <Alternative 3A—entered home> [3 Within 30 days of making the threat, the defendant unlawfully entered the threatened person's residence[, or the real property next to the residence of the threatened person,] without a lawful purpose and with the intent to carry out the threat against the target of the threat.] <Alternative 3B—entered workplace> [3 Within 30 days of making the threat, the defendant unlawfully entered the workplace of the threatened person, knowing that the place (he/she) entered was the threatened person's workplace, and tried to locate that person without a lawful purpose and with the intent to carry out the threat.]")

33 Penal Code 601 PC – Aggravated trespass, endnote 5, above.

34 See same.

35 See same.

36 Penal Code 1203.4 PC – Change of plea. This section outlines the procedures by which a defendant can expunge a Penal Code 602 PC trespass conviction from his/her criminal record.

37 See same.

38 San Bernardino criminal defense lawyer Michael Scafiddi, a former police officer and sergeant, represents clients accused of violating Penal Code 602, California's trespassing law, throughout the Inland Empire. He is well-known at the criminal courts in Palm Springs, Hemet, Riverside, Barstow and Victorville.

39 In re Catalano, (1981) 29 Cal.3d 1, 9. ("A union representative who remains on a jobsite to complete lawful union activity although requested to leave by the owner does not violate [California's trespassing law under Penal Code] section 602, subdivision (k)(1).")

See also Penal Code 602 PC – California's criminal trespassing law. ("(o) Refusing or failing to leave land, real property, or structures belonging to or lawfully occupied by another and not open to the general public, upon being requested to leave by (1) a peace officer at the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession, and upon being informed by the peace officer that he or she is acting at the request of the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession, or (2) the owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession. The owner, the owner's agent, or the person in lawful possession shall make a separate request to the peace officer on each occasion when the peace officer's assistance in dealing with a trespass is requested. However, a single request for a peace officer's assistance may be made to cover a limited period of time not to exceed 30 days and identified by specific dates, during which there is a fire hazard or the owner, owner's agent or person in lawful possession is absent from the premises or property. In addition, a single request for a peace officer's assistance may be made for a period not to exceed six months when the premises or property is closed to the public and posted as being closed. However, [italics added] this subdivision shall not be applicable to persons engaged in lawful 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. For purposes of this section, land, real property, or structures owned or operated by any housing authority for tenants as defined under Section 34213.5 of the Health and Safety Code constitutes property not open to the general public; however, this subdivision shall not apply to persons on the premises who are engaging in activities protected by the California or United States Constitution, or to persons who are on the premises at the request of a resident or management and who are not loitering or otherwise suspected of violating or actually violating any law or ordinance.")

See also Penal Code 552.1 PC – Exemptions; union activities.  ("This article [prohibiting trespassing on or near posted industrial property] does not prohibit: (a) Any lawful activity for the purpose of engaging in any organizational effort on behalf of any labor union, agent, or member thereof, or of any employee group, or any member thereof, employed or formerly employed in any place of business or manufacturing establishment described in this article, or for the purpose of carrying on the lawful activities of labor unions, or members thereof.")

40 Based on In re Catalano, endnote 39, above, 29 Cal.3d at 4. ("We conclude that because defendants were engaged in lawful union activities, they did not violate [Penal Code] section 602.")

41 People v. Wilkinson, endnote 23, above, at 910.  ("Nor is it a violation [of California Penal Code 602 PC] to occupy without consent if the entry be made with consent.")

42 See same.

43 Penal Code 602 PC – California's criminal trespassing law, endnote 39, above.

44 See People v. Wilkinson, endnote 23, above, at 910-11.  ("The purpose of the legislature in passing subdivision (l) of the trespass law is quite clear. It intended the word ‘occupy' to mean a non-transient, continuous type of possession. Surely the transient overnight use of four 3 7 foot areas in a very large ranch for sleeping bags and campfire purposes was not the type of conduct which the legislature intended to prevent when it used the word ‘occupy'. Had this been so, many another verb could have been used in place of ‘occupy' to express an intention of preventing such transient use of so small an area, e.g., be, remain, loiter, tarry, camp, stay, and probably many more. Having in mind the legislative purpose in passing subdivision (l) of Section 602 [California's trespassing law], it is rather obvious that some degree of dispossession and permanency be intended.")

45 In re Wallace, endnote 20, above.  This case holds that actual damage...an obstruction or interference with the property's business...is required before a Penal Code 602 PC California criminal trespass charge may be sustained.

46 Penal Code 602.8 PC – Trespass as an infraction, endnote 4, above.

47 Penal Code 459 PC – California's burglary law [may be charged along with Penal Code 602 PC trespass].  ("Every person who enters any house, room, apartment, tenement, shop, warehouse, store...with intent to commit grand or petit larceny or any felony is guilty of burglary.")

48 Penal Code 461 PC – Punishment [for burglary—may be in addition to penalties for criminal trespass]. ("Burglary is punishable as follows: (a) Burglary in the first degree: by imprisonment in the state prison for two, four, or six years. (b) Burglary in the second degree: by imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding one year or imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.")

49 See same.

50 Penal Code 594 PC – Vandalism [may be charged along with California trespass].  ("(a) Every person who maliciously commits any of the following acts with respect to any real or personal property not his or her own, in cases other than those specified by state law, is guilty of vandalism: (1) Defaces with graffiti or other inscribed material. (2) Damages. (3) Destroys.")

51 See same – Vandalism [may be charged along with California trespass]. ("("(b)(1) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is four hundred dollars ($400) or more, vandalism is punishable by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170 or in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or if the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or more, by a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. (2) (A) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is less than four hundred dollars ($400), vandalism is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. (B) If the amount of defacement, damage, or destruction is less than four hundred dollars ($400), and the defendant has been previously convicted of vandalism or affixing graffiti or other inscribed material under Section 594, 594.3, 594.4, 640.5, 640.6, or 640.7, vandalism is punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment.")

52 Penal Code 646.9 – Stalking [may be charged along with California trespass].  ("(a) Any person who willfully, maliciously, and repeatedly follows or willfully and maliciously harasses another person and who makes a credible threat with the intent to place that person in reasonable fear for his or her safety, or the safety of his or her immediate family is guilty of the crime of stalking, punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment, or by imprisonment in the state prison.")

53 Penal Code 422 -- Criminal threats [may be charged along with California trespass].  ("Any person who willfully threatens to commit a crime which will result in death or great bodily injury to another person, with the specific intent that the statement, made verbally, in writing, or by means of an electronic communication device, is to be taken as a threat, even if there is no intent of actually carrying it out, which, on its face and under the circumstances in which it is made, is so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate, and specific as to convey to the person threatened, a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution of the threat, and thereby causes that person reasonably to be in sustained fear for his or her own safety or for his or her immediate family's safety, shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by imprisonment in the state prison.")

54 See Matter of Esfandiary, (BIA 1979) 16 I&N Dec. 659.

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