Someone is trespassing on my property. What can I do?
Trespass can mean several things. The most common meaning is someone coming onto your property without permission. But it also includes someone not leaving your property when you ask them to, or someone doing something on your property that is not allowed. Common examples of trespass include your neighbour damaging your fence or cutting down one of your trees.
There is more than one legal punishment for trespassing. A trespasser can:
- get a ticket that has to be dealt with in Provincial Offences Court
- be charged with a criminal offence that has to be dealt with in criminal court
- be sued in civil court, like Small Claims Court
For most cases of trespass, the trespasser will get a provincial offences ticket. They may be fined, but won't go to jail. Sometimes they might be charged with a criminal offence, especially if the trespass happens at night. This is much more serious and can mean jail time.
Get legal help
Trespass cases can be complicated, so you may want to get legal advice from a lawyer or paralegal about your options.