California Penal Code § 602.5 PC defines aggravated trespass, which is entering or remaining in a home without permission while the resident or guest is there. A misdemeanor, aggravated trespass carries up to 1 year in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines.
The full text of the statute reads as follows:
602.5 (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.
(b) Every person other than a public officer or an employee acting within the course and scope of his employment in performance of a duty imposed by law, who, without the consent of the owner, his or her agent, or the person in lawful possession thereof, enters or remains in any noncommercial dwelling house, apartment, or other residential place while a resident, or another person authorized to be in the dwelling, is present at any time during the course of the incident is guilty of aggravated trespass 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.
(c) If the court grants probation, it may order a person convicted of a misdemeanor under subdivision (b) to up to three years of supervised probation. It shall be a condition of probation that the person participate in counseling, as designated by the court.
(d) If a person is convicted of a misdemeanor under subdivision (b), the sentencing court shall also consider issuing an order restraining the defendant from any contact with the victim, that may be valid for up to three years, as determined by the court. In determining the length of the straining order, the court shall consider, among other factors, the seriousness of the facts before the court, the probability of future violations, and the safety of the victim and his or her immediate family.
(e) Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under Section 459 or any other provision of law.
PC 602.5 makes it a California crime to enter or stay at a residential location without permission of the owner or tenant. Trespass is a misdemeanor offense.
If no one is at the residence, trespass penalties include up to 6 months in jail and/or up to $1,000 in fines. But if the resident (or resident’s guest) is home during the trespass, then the crime becomes “aggravated trespass.” The punishment includes:
- Up to 1 year in jail, and/or
- Up to $1,000 in fines.1
People convicted of aggravated trespass may be eligible for three years of supervised probation in lieu of jail. But the defendant would have to attend counseling sessions.2
Defendants convicted of aggravated trespass may also have a restraining order taken out against them for up to three years. When determining how long the restraining order should last, the court will consider:
- the seriousness of the case;
- the likelihood the defendant will re-offend;
- the safety of the victim and his or her immediate family.3
Learn more about California trespass laws (PC 602).
- California Penal Code 602.5 PC – Unauthorized entering or remaining in noncommercial residential place; Aggravated trespass; Penalty; Probation; Restraining order. Edgerly v. City & County of San Francisco (9th Cir. Cal., 2010), 599 F.3d 946.
- PC 602.5. People v. Asbury (Cal. App. 2d Dist., 2016) 4 Cal. App. 5th 1222.
- PC 602.5.