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Daniel v. State

Facts:

After the Circuit Court of Harford, in the state of Maryland denied defendant’s motion to suppress his arrest and evidence seized therefrom, defendant pled not guilty on an agreed statement of facts, the State entered a nolle prosequi to all counts except possession of cocaine, and defendant was convicted of that offense. He appealed the denial of his motion to suppress. Defendant said an officer had no probable cause to arrest him for trespassing on posted property, under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 6-402(a) (2002), because the officer did not know if he was barred from entering the property. The officer had reasonable suspicion to believe he was trespassing on posted property because the officer (1) saw him enter posted property, (2) knew he did not own it, and (3) knew he was not likely visiting a resident, so the officer could detain him to investigate the circumstances. The officer then had probable cause to arrest him because the officer confirmed the suspicion that he did not live on the property, as the officer’s inquiry on this subject, and defendant’s lack of response, could be considered, since this occurred when defendant was detained, rather than arrested. The officer did not have to determine that he was told he was barred from entering the property because this was not an element of the crime, but was only an element of wanton trespass, under Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 6-403(a), so the fact that defendant may have had permission to enter the property did not negate probable cause. The trial court’s judgment was affirmed.

Trespassing Laws In The State Of Maryland Attorneys Harford Evidence Arrested
Trespassing Laws In The State Of Maryland Attorneys Harford Evidence Arrested

Holdings:

The Maryland Court made the following holding:
  • In a criminal trespass prosecution, the exception for a good faith claim of right to enter or cross private property appears only in the wanton trespass statute, Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 6-403(a), not in the trespass on posted property statute, Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law § 6-402(a) (2002). Consequently, although a police officer may ask a suspect about any right or permission to be on the subject property, there is no requirement to do so in order to establish probable cause for arrest for trespass on posted property. A claim of right or permission to enter onto private property posted against trespassing is, at most, a defense to be raised at trial.

If you are concerned about the punishment for violating trespassing laws in the state of Maryland, contact our law firm immediately for help.

If you are facing a criminal case in Maryland, contact a SRIS Law Group lawyer for help.  You can reach us at 888-437-7747

We have client meeting locations in Montgomery County (Rockville) and Baltimore.

Contact our law firm today to speak with a lawyer today .  An attorney from our firm will do his best to help you.

We will do our absolute best to help you get the best result possible based on the facts of your case. Our law firm has the necessary experience to assist you with this matter

Harford County, Maryland Court House

Harford County Circuit Court

20 West Courtland Street,
Bel Air, MD 21014.

Harford County District Court

2 South Bond Street,
Suite 100
Bel Air, MD 21014-3737.

Article written by A Sris
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Disclaimer:

These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.