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What, Exactly, is Wanton Trespass Under Maryland Law?

Maryland law states that only wanton trespass, after being warned that you are not welcome, is prohibited. “Wanton” means extremely reckless, or showing complete disregard for the rights of others. Griffin v. State, 225 ME 422. A criminal defense lawyer in Baltimore MD will advise his or her clients that entering property that one has been warned off, or staying there after a warning, subjects you to penalty for trespass. A warning to stay off private land is good for all time, whereas a warning to leave public property is effective for only the occasion in issue. Johnson v. State, 356 MD 498. Trespass is a commonly charged crime. The State has a Voluntary Exclusion Program for casinos. The literature fails to advise of the consequences. The penalties can be surprisingly steep. 90  days and $500 for a first offense, and 6 months and $1,000 for subsequent offenses., and a year in jail for a third offense occurring within 2 years. 

     -This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 2/6/20. 

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