I have been charged with trespassing. What do I need to know?
Question & AnswerI have been charged with trespassing. What do I need to know?
1. Know what kind of ticket you have
There are 3 different kinds of trespassing offences under provincial law:
- entering a place when it is prohibited, for example going onto property with a “no trespassing” sign
- doing something that is not allowed on the property, for example walking your dog where there is a “no dogs” sign
- not leaving someone’s property when you are told to leave
All of these offences can be punished with a Notice of Offence or a Summons. A Notice of Offence is a less serious kind of trespass ticket that can be paid without going to court. A Summons is the most serious kind of trespass ticket that must be dealt with in court. Check the top of the ticket to see which kind it is.
You can’t get jail time for these tickets, but you may have to pay a fine between $50 and $10,000.
The property owner can also request money for any damage you caused from trespassing. There is no limit on the amount of damages they can ask for, but the property owner must prove that the amount reflects the actual damages caused. For example, the property owner can get estimates or invoices of work done to fix the property.