Trespass After Notice

There is no crime of “trespass” in South Carolina – there is only: “trespass after notice.”

The trespass law in South Carolina requires that you have notice that you are trespassing before you can be arrested. In some cases, an individual can have you served with a formal "trespass notice," which will later serve as evidence that you were warned to stay off the property.

Sometimes, signs are clearly posted that prohibit trespassers. In other cases, a person may be arrested when they are verbally told to leave, and they refuse to do so.

All too often, trespass charges result from disagreements between individuals, where one will call the police and press charges against the other for trespassing, even when there has been no notice. Magistrates will sometimes let individuals sign their own “courtesy” warrants if the police do not pursue the charges.

What are the Penalties for Trespassing in SC?

Trespass after notice is a misdemeanor in the magistrate or municipal court that is punishable by a fine or up to 30 days in jail.

I’ve Been Charged with Trespass in SC – What Should I Do?

First, call your criminal defense lawyer.

You get an initial court date when you are arrested – that day will be your bench trial unless you request a jury trial in advance.

In most cases, we will request a jury trial before the initial court date – once the jury trial has been requested:

  • You do not have to appear on the initial court date;
  • Your case is moved to what is called the “jury trial roster;”
  • We request discovery from the officer or prosecutor;
  • We will have time to conduct our own investigation and talk to any witnesses; and
  • Your next trial date will be set at a roster meeting or pretrial conference.

If the case is not dismissed or resolved before your trial date (or on the morning of your trial date), we will try the case to a jury.

SC Trespass Defense Attorney in Myrtle Beach, Columbia, and Lexington

Lacey Thompson accepts only criminal defense cases in SC courts, including trespass after notice charges.

If you have been charged with trespass after notice in Horry County, Richland County, Lexington County, or anywhere in South Carolina, contact the Thompson & Hiller Defense Firm now at 843-444-6122 or contact us online to find out what your rights are under SC law.