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Criminal Trespass

Entering a property when you’re not permitted to is a crime in Iowa known as trespassing. The offense can range from peeping toms taking photos or recordings on someone else’s property to blatantly stepping onto private property despite the proper signage. In either scenario, the person could be charged with a crime and could face life changing penalties.

Trespassing onto another person’s property is a crime with serious consequences including fines, restitution costs, probation, and incarceration. That is why it’s vital you have legal representation to fight these allegations. If you or someone you know has been charged with criminal trespass, it’s imperative you seek an experienced criminal defense attorney now.

Criminal Trespass Defense Attorney in West Des Moines, IA

Entering another’s property without their permission can land you in some hot water. Iowa legislators have implemented steep penalties for those who have trespassed onto another’s property. For these reasons and more, we suggest you hire legal counsel immediately. 

Find an criminal defense attorney with years of property crime experience with McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. Our team of property crime defense lawyers have been practicing collectively for decades and want to utilize our resources and knowledge for your case. Call (515) 279-9700 now so you can set up your first consultation free. 

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. represents people throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area such as Altoona, Ankeny, Waukee, Perry, and De Soto.

Overview of Criminal Trespass in Iowa


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Legal Definitions for Iowa’s Trespassing Statute

To have a full grasp on Iowa’s trespassing laws, you must first learn several important legal definitions. These terms may have a different meaning colloquially than they do in a court setting. These terms include the following:


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What Constitutes as Trespassing in Iowa?

Trespassing is a criminal offense in the state of Iowa with harsh penalties. The crime itself is defined under Iowa Code 716.7 and states a person is committing trespass if they:

The Iowa Code states certain scenarios cannot be considered trespassing. Those include:


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Penalties for Trespassing Under Iowa Law

Violation of Iowa’s trespassing statute will result in criminal penalties. The consequences for the crime are determined by the circumstances of the case including how much damage was sustained if any. A standard trespassing charge is a simple misdemeanor, which can lead to a fine between $65 and $625 as well as up to 30 days in jail. It’s important to note an officer can arrest you if you refuse to leave the property after receiving a citation. 

If injury or damage amounting to over $300 occurs, then you’ll face a serious misdemeanor. You can also be charged with a serious misdemeanor if you trespassed with intent to commit a hate crime. “Peeping” into another person’s home to videotape, photograph, or view them without their consent when they are expected to have reasonable amount of privacy is also a serious misdemeanor. The penalties for a serious misdemeanor include the following:

If you had intent to commit a hate crime and an injury arose from the event, then you should expect to be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor. The penalties for an aggravated misdemeanor include a fine between $625 and $6,2500 and a jail sentence of up to two years.

Trespassing onto a public utility property without authorization is considered a class D felony. The consequences for a class D felony under the Iowa Code includes:


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Additional Resources

Prison Activist Resource Center – Visit the official site for the Prison Activist Resource Center to learn more about mass incarceration, the long-term effects it has had on society, and what you can do to battle the U.S.’s problem with recidivism.  

Trespassing Laws in Iowa – Visit the official website for the Iowa Code to learn more about trespassing legislation. Access the site to learn the penalties, elements, defenses, and other related property crimes that are illegal in Iowa. 


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Defense Lawyer for Trespassing in Polk County, IA

If you or someone you know has been charged with trespassing in the West Des Moines area, it’s imperative you seek legal representation. Find excellent and experienced trespassing and property crime attorneys at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. Our attorneys have defended numerous people from the statutory penalties for trespassing and can do the same for you. Start your defense early by having our trusted legal team guide you.

Do what’s best for you and call us today at (515) 279-9700.  We offer services throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area in Iowa including Altoona, Ankeny, Perry, Minburn, De Soto, West Des Moines and Polk City.


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Tell Us About Your Case

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This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.

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