What Does Trespassing Mean in Virginia? How Can I Be Charged with Trespassing in the City of Norfolk?

Under the Code of Virginia, If any person without authority of law goes upon the lands, buildings or premises of another, or any portion or area thereof, after having been forbidden to do so, either orally or in writing, by the owner, lessee, custodian, or the other person lawfully in charge thereof, or after having been forbidden to do so by a sign or signs posted by or at the direction of such persons or the agent of any such person or by the holder of any easement or other right-of-way authorized by the instrument creating such interest to post such signs on such lands, structures, premises or portion or area thereof or otherwise entitled to the use of such land, building or upon such land, building, or remains upon such land, building or premises after having been prohibited from doing so by a court of competent jurisdiction by an order issued, he or she shall be guilty of trespassing.

Trespassing is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor.

There are additional provisions creating separate offenses for trespassing in violation of preliminary protective orders, preliminary protective orders for allegations of family abuse, emergency protective orders, and protective orders for allegations of abuse, neglect, and abandonment of children.

Under the Norfolk City Code, trespassing is similarly defined:

(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to enter or remain in any city-owned facility who is not a patron or passenger. This section does not apply to law enforcement officers or employees of the division while engaged in employment by the city during their working hours.

(b) A violation of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

While there are several defenses to trespassing charges, many courts consider this type of crime to be a serious violation of an individual owner or business’ right of ownership.

If you are charged with trespassing in Norfolk or are going to court for trespassing in Hampton Roads, be sure to contact an experienced attorney before you go to court.