Mississippi criminal law makes trespassing illegal. A person can be charged with trespassing in Mississippi when he “willfully or maliciously” trespasses upon the property of another person. Trespassing is a misdemeanor, and carries a potential sentence of up to six (6) months in jail and a $500.00 fine.
Mississippi law further makes trespassing upon “enclosed land” a crime. To be charged with trespassing in Mississippi under the enclosed land statute, the accused must have entered the land without the owner’s consent, and after being warned not to enter the property. This warning can be either by personal notice from the landowner, or by “POSTED” signs. Under a separate statute, Mississippi criminal law makes it illegal to deface, remove, alter or destroy “POSTED” signs, even if the accused did not actually trespass on the land.
Even where a person has the owner’s consent to enter property, he can be charged with trespassing if he does not leave when the owner of the property requests that he do so.
There are defenses to trespassing. For example, if a person reasonably believes that he is on his own property, and mistakenly trespasses on the property of another, then he is not guilty of trespassing. This most often arises when a person is in the woods or pasture land and goes onto someone else’s land by mistake.
If you have been charged with a crime in Mississippi, please contact us to discuss your options. You can call Mississippi criminal defense lawyer Curt Crowley at 601.944.1984 for a free consultation.