Do we have to be warned that we are trespassing before we are charged? 3 Answers as of May 26, 2011

We do High School dance party events in the state of Minnesota. We have flyers at various High Schools in the area. Normally the high schools simply do not care, but occasionally they ask us not to or issue us a trespassing warning. At which point we comply. Last week we flyered a small school out in the country and they got enraged. The officer who contacted us stated that he was going to charge us with trespassing and several ordinance laws violating, though he wasn't specific. Despite the fact that we never flyered there before nor received a warning not too. We went after hours and could not check in but there were other events going on and the school was open. Most of the other schools have told us they have to give us warnings before charging us. But this school is claiming they can charge us immediately. Do they have to give a warning first?

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Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
No. Trespassing may be charged if a person enters property without the consent of the owner or lawful possessor. However, intent is an element of the offense. As a result, it must be reasonably clear from the nature of the property or sign postings that the land is private. Based on the facts provided, it would be difficult for a prosecutor to charge trespass for placing fliers on cars without some sign posting. However, there may be an ordinance against the practice of using such fliers in many cities.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/26/2011
Vermeulen Law office P.A.
Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Jacob T. Erickson
The school is not required to give you a warning before having you arrested for trespassing. The presumption is that you may not be on school property. Minnesota law makes is a crime to be on school property, unless you are a student, parent of a student, guardian of a student, a school employee, have permission or an invitation to be on the school property, or have reported your presence to the required officials. The relevant statute is Minnesota Statute 609.605, Subdivision 4. Trespasses on school property. (a) It is a misdemeanor for a person to enter or be found in a public or nonpublic elementary, middle, or secondary school building unless the person: (1) is an enrolled student in, a parent or guardian of an enrolled student in, or an employee of the school or school district; (2) has permission or an invitation from a school official to be in the building; (3) is attending a school event, class, or meeting to which the person, the public, or a student's family is invited; or (4) has reported the person's presence in the school building in the manner required for visitors to the school. A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000.00 fine. It is a gross misdemeanor if three or more people violate the statute. A gross misdemeanor is punishable by up to 365 days in jail and a $3,000.00 fine. (c) It is a gross misdemeanor for a group of three or more persons to enter or be found in a public or nonpublic elementary, middle, or secondary school building unless one of the persons: (1) is an enrolled student in, a parent or guardian of an enrolled student in, or an employee of the school or school district; (2) has permission or an invitation from a school official to be in the building; (3) is attending a school event, class, or meeting to which the person, the public, or a student's family is invited; or (4) has reported the person's presence in the school building in the manner required for visitors to the school.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/26/2011
Vermeulen Law office P.A.
Vermeulen Law office P.A. | Cynthia J.Vermeulen
Under Minnesota law, under the circumstances you described, there has to be a warning not to come on the premises which you violated prior to being charged with trespassing.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 5/26/2011
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