Washington Appeals Court Upholds Juvenile Criminal Trespass Adjudication

Washington second degree criminal trespass is a misdemeanor. To convict a person of second degree criminal trespass, the state must show that they knowingly entered or remained unlawfully on someone else’s property.  A juvenile recently challenged a guilty adjudication for second degree criminal trespass, arguing there was insufficient evidence that he had knowingly entered and unlawfully remained on Port property.

According to the appeals court’s opinion, the police received a complaint from a Port employee that the thirteen-year-old juvenile was skateboarding on Port property.  The property was posted with several signs prohibiting skateboarding.  The employee stated Port employees has contacted the juvenile and asked him to stop, but he had responded with profanity.

The officer issued the juvenile a no trespassing notice and told him he was trespassed from Port property for life.  The juvenile, the officer, and the employee all signed the notice.

The employee saw the juvenile skateboarding on Port property again a couple of months later and contacted the police.

The state charged the juvenile with second degree criminal trespass.  The juvenile testified he only knew the marina was Port property.  The court found him guilty of second degree criminal trespass.  The trial court found that the first officer served the juvenile with a trespass notice on November 12, 2020 stating he was trespassed from all Port property “forever.”  The juvenile signed, acknowledging the notice.  The officer answered his questions.  The trial court also found the marina adjacent to the administrative building was Port property.  The juvenile testified that he thought the marina was Port property.  Port employees saw the juvenile on Port property on January 14.  The court found that the juvenile was skateboarding in the marina area and had been seen on sidewalks around the administration building.  The court concluded he had “knowingly and unlawfully entered and remained on Port. . . property” on January 14, 2021.

The trial court sentenced the juvenile to 24 hours of community service and six months of community supervision.  The court prohibited him from being on Port property as a condition of the supervision.

The juvenile appealed, arguing there was insufficient evidence to support the conclusion he knowingly entered and unlawfully remained on Port property. The juvenile argued he did not have adequate notice of what areas were prohibited by the initial trespass notice.  He argued he had not been informed what areas belong to the Port and what areas belonged to the City.  He also argued that his age made it hard for him to determine what constituted Port property.

The appeals court noted, however, that the trial court had found the Port employees saw him on the sidewalks around their building and in the marina area.  The juvenile had testified that he thought the marina was Port property. The appeals court found the trial court’s findings supported its conclusion.

The appeals court affirmed the adjudication of guilt.

The state must prove all elements of a crime, including the intent element.  In this case, the appeals court considered the previous trespass notice in determining whether the juvenile had knowingly entered and unlawfully remained on Port property, but slightly different facts could lead to a different result.  If your child has been charged with trespass, you need a knowledgeable Seattle juvenile defense attorney on your side.  Schedule a consultation with Blair & Kim, PLLC, by calling (206) 622-6562.


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