Jesse Tolbert was arrested by Georgia State Patrol after allegedly throwing objects at vehicles driving on the express lanes for over five hours on Monday.
The fourth charge he is facing is criminal trespass which can be a confusing criminal charge based on the circumstances. As a Georgia Criminal Defense Lawyer, I will focus on the law behind criminal trespass in our state and explain just how Tolbert has been charged with this offense based on the facts reported above.
Criminal Trespass in Georgia
The Georgia Code defines criminal trespass in Georgia in O.C.G.A. §16-7-21. The statute outlines five different ways that a person can commit criminal trespass.
- When he or she intentionally damages any property of another without consent of that other person and the damage thereto is $500.00 or less.
- When he or she knowingly and maliciously interferes with the possession or use of the property of another person without consent of that person.
- When he or she knowingly and without authority enters on the land or premises or into any part of any vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person for an unlawful purpose.
- When he or she knowingly and without authority enters onto the land or premises of another person or into any part of any vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person after receiving notice from the owner that such entry is forbidden.
- When he or she knowingly and without authority remains on the land or premises of another person or within the vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person after the owner has asked the person to leave.
Tolbert allegedly committed criminal trespass by causing damage to vehicles passing on the Northwest Corridor Express Lanes. This is a confusing concept because most people believe that someone can only trespass if they are caught on private property. As you can see from the statute, that is not always the case.
Criminal trespass is considered a misdemeanor offense in Georgia. This means that the penalty can include up to twelve months in jail and a fine of $1,000.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime in Georgia, contact our offices today. You need the help of a Georgia Criminal Defense Attorney. We can walk you through your options every step of the way and make sure that you have the best line of defense for your case.