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Thread: All they can get you for is trespass

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    Regular Member Springfield Smitty's Avatar
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    I have seen this statement many times on various threads and have been thinking about it for a while now. If LE wanted to really press the issue, could they not get you for committing a crime while in possession of a firearm?

    Would this not be a more serious charge than a simple trespass?

    Would this be a felony?
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    Regular Member Generaldet's Avatar
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    You're only trespassing if you are on private property and do not leave when asked.
    i.e. your shopping at Meijer, the manager asks you to leave and you refuse and continue to shop. In that case I suppose they probably could charge you with it, but the police can charge you with just about anything. Doesn't mean that It'll stick as we have found out with some previous incidents.

    But I don't think any of us here would stay somewhere that we were asked to leave only b/c we were exercising our rights. I'd gladly spend my money elsewhere.

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    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    I have seen this statement many times on various threads and have been thinking about it for a while now. If LE wanted to really press the issue, could they not get you for committing a crime while in possession of a firearm?

    Would this not be a more serious charge than a simple trespass?

    Would this be a felony?
    Good question, I'm not sure of the answer, but my opinion is that they could. But as was mentioned, the making it stick part would be harder to prove.

    Technically an LEO can charge you for trespass without a warning. They can make the charge themselves and don't need a property owner to do it. But USUALLY they won't. They have a rule of thumb in these cases. They have the 3 strikes. There reason it makes a better case for them. First they have the owner ask you twice to leave. Then the officer will ask. If you don't changes are greater you will be charged.

    So as smitty suggests I believe an LEO could charge you with trespass, and maybe add on other charges. That's why it's good advice to record any LEO interactions.
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    Regular Member Springfield Smitty's Avatar
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    I am just concerned that there seems to be a sort of "overconfidence" with some of the posts I've seen on the site. It is hard to determine what kind of tone people are using online, but seems to me like most are implying that they may be willing (in certain situations) to try and "make a statement" by not leaving when asked and saying, "ALL you can do is get me for trespass."

    I think I would rather be safe than sorry and I am even careful about so much as jaywalking when I OC for the simple fact that somewhere along the way if someone is against OC they will make a statement by charging you with all that they can. It would suck to have a felony charge for simply not walking down the street the right way.

    Again, I still do not know if this is something that is valid in Michigan, but it does seem like if you are in posession of a firearm during the commission of ANY crime (regardless of how minor) and if the DA / Sheriff / LEO wanted it bad enough he could and would make it stick.

    One should always remember that while the "system" is great when it works it doesn't always work like it should. There seems to be more politics involvedwith LE in this state (at least in this county - Manistee)than any other I have heard of. I am one who is not willing to take the chance on deing defiant in the trespass situation. Some may be and that is fine.

    You have to go with your comfort level. Just like OC is not for everybody, we all play our part. I just wanted to put the advice out there from my point of view.
    -U.S. Army Veteran (2002-2005) 11BVB4 (Infantry, Airborne, Ranger, some other stuff) SGT (E-5)
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    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    I am just concerned that there seems to be a sort of "overconfidence" with some of the posts I've seen on the site. It is hard to determine what kind of tone people are using online, but seems to me like most are implying that they may be willing (in certain situations) to try and "make a statement" by not leaving when asked and saying, "ALL you can do is get me for trespass."

    I think I would rather be safe than sorry and I am even careful about so much as jaywalking when I OC for the simple fact that somewhere along the way if someone is against OC they will make a statement by charging you with all that they can. It would suck to have a felony charge for simply not walking down the street the right way.

    Again, I still do not know if this is something that is valid in Michigan, but it does seem like if you are in posession of a firearm during the commission of ANY crime (regardless of how minor) and if the DA / Sheriff / LEO wanted it bad enough he could and would make it stick.

    One should always remember that while the "system" is great when it works it doesn't always work like it should. There seems to be more politics involved¬*with LE in this state (at least in this county - Manistee)¬*than any other I have heard of. I am one who is not willing to take the chance on deing defiant in the trespass situation. Some may be and that is fine.

    You have to go with your comfort level. Just like OC is not for everybody, we all play our part. I just wanted to put the advice out there from my point of view.
    If I'm asked to leave, I leave. After the fact, I contact the store asking for their official policy on OC (if they're a chain store that I know allows for OC). This generally causes the manager to become aware of the policy, and they then retrain their staff. Then I am welcomed back to the store.

    If they're not a chain store, I write them, signifying my distaste for their policy, and letting them know which competitors I have chosen to shop at in the future should the policy remain.

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    Regular Member DanM's Avatar
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    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    . . . seems to me like most are implying that they may be willing (in certain situations) to try and "make a statement" by not leaving when asked and saying, "ALL you can do is get me for trespass."
    I haven't felt a sense from what I've read that anyone here is saying, or even implying that it is acceptable,that they wouldtrespassin order to "make a statement" (where, and about what?). But please quote someone, because maybe I missed it. I would be HIGHLY SURPRISED if one of the regulars here said something like that, becausetrespass is a criminal act and wearen't criminals.

    Now, if you're talking about a situation whereBOGUS trespass charges are threatened againstOC'ers wholawfully are allowed to enter and remain in a certain place, then you are talking about OC'ers challenging illegal infringement of liberty, and that is a noble cause I fully agree with.
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

    ďHe who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.Ē--M. K. Gandhi

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --M. K. Gandhi

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    DanM wrote:
    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    . . . seems to me like most are implying that they may be willing (in certain situations) to try and "make a statement" by not leaving when asked and saying, "ALL you can do is get me for trespass."
    I haven't felt a sense from what I've read that anyone here is saying, or even implying that it is acceptable,¬*that they would¬*trespass¬*in order to "make a statement" (where, and about what?).¬* But please quote someone, because maybe I missed it.¬* I would be HIGHLY SURPRISED if one of the regulars here said something like that, because¬*trespass is a criminal act and we¬*aren't criminals.

    Now, if you're talking about a situation where¬*BOGUS trespass charges are threatened against¬*OC'ers who¬*lawfully are allowed to enter and remain in a certain place, then you are talking about OC'ers challenging illegal infringement of liberty, and that is a noble cause I fully agree with.
    A "for instance" is when a member was told by the city police that she was "forever banning" a member from entering a public park for OC'ing there, and to violate this would be tresspassing.

    This member responded that the only way he could be banned from that park was by court order, as his tax dollars fund that park, and it's still public property.

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    Regular Member DanM's Avatar
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    zigziggityzoo wrote:
    DanM wrote:
    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    . . . seems to me like most are implying that they may be willing (in certain situations) to try and "make a statement" by not leaving when asked and saying, "ALL you can do is get me for trespass."
    I haven't felt a sense from what I've read that anyone here is saying, or even implying that it is acceptable,that they wouldtrespassin order to "make a statement" (where, and about what?). But please quote someone, because maybe I missed it. I would be HIGHLY SURPRISED if one of the regulars here said something like that, becausetrespass is a criminal act and wearen't criminals.

    Now, if you're talking about a situation whereBOGUS trespass charges are threatened againstOC'ers wholawfully are allowed to enter and remain in a certain place, then you are talking about OC'ers challenging illegal infringement of liberty, and that is a noble cause I fully agree with.
    A "for instance" is when a member was told by the city police that she was "forever banning" a member from entering a public park for OC'ing there, and to violate this would be tresspassing.
    That's a threat of a bogus trespass arrest/charge, which is quite nobly challenged.

    Smitty was talking about reading someone here saying or implying they wouldtrespassin order to "make a statement", which is criminal. I want a quote from him.
    "The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi . . ."--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr

    ďHe who cannot protect himself or his nearest and dearest or their honor by non-violently facing death, may and ought to do so by violently dealing with the oppressor. He who can do neither of the two is a burden.Ē--M. K. Gandhi

    "First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --M. K. Gandhi

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    When I was stopped outside of Target in Jackson after OCing in their store (Taget Security called the police on me, but never approached me in the store about) the officers were talking with each other and one officer asked another "could we charge him with trespassing?" the other officer said "No. They never asked him to leave". I saw/heard this discussion after watching the videos from the squad cars that I aquired through FOIA.

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    Michigan Moderator DrTodd's Avatar
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    "Trespass" is the venturing onto the lands of another without permission.
    There are two types of trespass and related legal remedies - criminal trespass and civil trespass.

    Criminal trespass There are potentially three laws available whereby a trespasser can be prosecuted.

    Under state law, trespass is illegal pursuant to several statutes. MCL 750.552 is the general state statute for trespass. This statute prevents anyone from trespassing upon the premises of another after having been forbidden to do so. Violation of the statute is a criminal misdemeanor offence, punishable by a fine of up to $50.00 and 30 days in jail or both.

    The reason I would ever state that a certain incident becomes a ‚ÄúTrespass‚ÄĚ issue is not meant to be unconcerned about the charge; just it is very difficult to enforce. Many police agencies and prosecutors are reluctant to prosecute trespassers. Many LEOs will tell a property owner that they cannot prosecute a trespasser until the offender trespasses a second time. Although it is not technically true that someone has to trespass a second time before they can be prosecuted, it is true that generally the law requires some type of prior notice. For example, MCL 750.552 requires that the trespass occur after the trespasser has been "forbidden to do so by the owner or occupant" or that the trespasser neglects or refuses to leave when requested by the owner or occupant. I have never advocated refusing to leave and think that if someone does refuse, they can be successfully prosecuted.

    In the case of a business or service open to the public, the difficulty also lies in that legally, certain persons have rights and are not to be considered trespassers. For example, if I enter a business during normal business hours, I would be considered an "invitee". I am ‚Äúinvited‚ÄĚ because they are open for business and, if I refuse to leave because I am no longer allowed to be there, it is only at that point that I have potentially violated the trespass statute..

    Other forms of Criminal Trespass not really germane here:
    Several statutes make it illegal to trespass and to damage property, cut trees, destroy or take crops, etc.(MCL 600.2919,750.546 and 750.547) or to trespass while hunting or fishing (Michigan Recreational Trespass Act MCL 324.73101 et seq.) Some local governments have their own trespass ordinances; these may or may not require prior notification.

    Civil trespass The other remedy for trespass is a civil lawsuit. In civil cases, law enforcement is not involved and the individual property owner must initiate a lawsuit against a trespasser at his or her own expense. Oftentimes, the property owner can recover damages, even where little harm has been done to the property involved. In most civil lawsuits for trespass the usual outcome is that the property owner is able to obtain a court order prohibiting the defendant from trespassing again. If trespass occurs pursuant to the court order, this could result in a charge of contempt of court and possibly jail.
    Giving up our liberties for safety is the one sure way to let the violent among us win.

    "Though defensive violence will always be a 'sad necessity' in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men." -Saint Augustine

    Disclaimer Ė I am not a lawyer! Please do not consider anything you read from me to be legal advice.

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    Regular Member Springfield Smitty's Avatar
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    DanM wrote:
    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    . . . seems to me like most are implying that they may be willing (in certain situations) to try and "make a statement" by not leaving when asked and saying, "ALL you can do is get me for trespass."
    I haven't felt a sense from what I've read that anyone here is saying, or even implying that it is acceptable,that they wouldtrespassin order to "make a statement" (where, and about what?). But please quote someone, because maybe I missed it. I would be HIGHLY SURPRISED if one of the regulars here said something like that, becausetrespass is a criminal act and wearen't criminals.

    Now, if you're talking about a situation whereBOGUS trespass charges are threatened againstOC'ers wholawfully are allowed to enter and remain in a certain place, then you are talking about OC'ers challenging illegal infringement of liberty, and that is a noble cause I fully agree with.
    I was simply stating my opinion. ("seems to me") I should have said, "some" rather than "most".

    I also said that it is hard to tell someone's tone online. I sense mine was misinterpreted as well. But when you begin the sentence with "all" it seems that you are implying that this is no big deal and you would be willing to take some kind of chance.

    I am also challenging the fact that "all" they can charge is trespass. I still feel that you could be charged with more serious crimes involving the firearm.

    In short, I am accusing no one in particular of causing or trying to cause problems. Just trying to help folks avoid possibly worse situations if they indeed want to try and make a point and only end up making things worse. Guess I'll just keep to myself about these types of things in the future.

    Peace.
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    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    DanM wrote:
    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    . . . seems to me like most are implying that they may be willing (in certain situations) to try and "make a statement" by not leaving when asked and saying, "ALL you can do is get me for trespass."
    I haven't felt a sense from what I've read that anyone here is saying, or even implying that it is acceptable,¬*that they would¬*trespass¬*in order to "make a statement" (where, and about what?).¬* But please quote someone, because maybe I missed it.¬* I would be HIGHLY SURPRISED if one of the regulars here said something like that, because¬*trespass is a criminal act and we¬*aren't criminals.

    Now, if you're talking about a situation where¬*BOGUS trespass charges are threatened against¬*OC'ers who¬*lawfully are allowed to enter and remain in a certain place, then you are talking about OC'ers challenging illegal infringement of liberty, and that is a noble cause I fully agree with.
    I was simply stating my opinion. ("seems to me") I should have said, "some" rather than "most".

    I also said that it is hard to tell someone's tone online. I sense mine was misinterpreted as well. But when you begin the sentence with "all" it seems that you are implying that this is no big deal and you would be willing to take some kind of chance.

    I am also challenging the fact that "all" they can charge is trespass. I still feel that you could be charged with more serious crimes involving the firearm.

    In short, I am accusing no one in particular of causing or trying to cause problems. Just trying to help folks avoid possibly worse situations if they indeed want to try and make a point and only end up making things worse. Guess I'll just keep to myself about these types of things in the future.

    Peace.
    Generally, people become concerned with being charged with anything for fear of losing their right to carry. When we say "all you can be charged with..." it's because criminal trespass does not revoke your CPL. And even then, you can't be charged with criminal trespass until you're actually asked to leave (or they can prove you should have reasonably known you weren't invited to carry on the premesis, i.e. a reasonably placed sign with large enough lettering).

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    Regular Member Springfield Smitty's Avatar
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    But the question is, is that really all you can be charged with?

    Can it not be escalated due to the fact that you are carrying a firearm?

    If so, then you may risk losing your CPL, correct?
    -U.S. Army Veteran (2002-2005) 11BVB4 (Infantry, Airborne, Ranger, some other stuff) SGT (E-5)
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    They can charge you with anything hypothetically BUT usually only charge what the prosecutor feels he con convict on. That said it is unlikely they would even charge you with trespass if there was evidence that the property owner asked you to leave.
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    But the question is, is that really all you can be charged with?

    Can it not be escalated due to the fact that you are carrying a firearm?

    If so, then you may risk losing your CPL, correct?
    There's no "trump" charge listed for trespassing while armed.

    There's a "trump" charge listed for trespassing with criminal intent, though.

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    Regular Member autosurgeon's Avatar
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    zigziggityzoo wrote:
    Springfield Smitty wrote:
    But the question is, is that really all you can be charged with?

    Can it not be escalated due to the fact that you are carrying a firearm?

    If so, then you may risk losing your CPL, correct?
    There's no "trump" charge listed for trespassing while armed.

    There's a "trump" charge listed for trespassing with criminal intent, though.
    so as long as you haven't shown criminal intent... IE broken other laws or been shoplifting while on private property they can't escalate!
    Anything I post may be my opinion and not the law... you are responsible to do your own verification.

    Blackstone (1753-1765) maintains that "the law holds that it is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer."

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