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UER Forum > Rookie Forum > Trespassing law (in Washington state) (Viewed 2185 times)
Ganesha 

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Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
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Trespassing law (in Washington state)
< on 5/21/2014 11:34 AM >
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I would hate to get a felony on my record. The Subciety site, http://www.subciety.org/security.html , states "Trespassing can be a felony in most states." However, Washington state law (9A.52 RCW, http://apps.leg.wa...lt.aspx?cite=9A.52 ) says it is a misdemeanor (on property) or gross misdemeanor (inside building). It is a defense that the property has been abandoned.

Cautiously, I looked up the legal definition of "abandonment," http://legal-dicti...ry.com/abandonment . It's not specific to real property (land), and it's not unequivocal. As encouraging as it gets; "A person's intention to abandon his or her property may be established by express language to that effect or it may be implied from the circumstances surrounding the owner's treatment of the property, such as leaving it unguarded in a place easily accessible to the public. The passage of time, although not an element of abandonment, may illustrate a person's intention to abandon his or her property."

Subciety claims they never enter a site that's clearly posted "No Trespassing." That seems reasonable if you want to obey the law; such a sign would indicate that the owner does not intend to abandon the property. I'm guessing that going past the sign would activate the "knowingly" condition in the (Washington) law.

Caution; I'm not a lawyer, just a guy who can google and read.



[last edit 5/21/2014 11:40 AM by Ganesha - edited 1 times]

"The beauty of mediocrity is that anything can make you better." -Jeff Mallett
TunnelRunner33 


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Re: Trespassing law (in Washington state)
< Reply # 1 on 5/21/2014 3:29 PM >
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Yeah, to be honest, I don't anticipate ever being able to use that "abandoned" portion of the law (at least in Seattle). I'm sure almost any building that will be found in the city belongs to SOMEONE, whether it be a property owner, a bank, or so on. And since "No Trespassing" signs are very prolific in this town, it will be very rare to be able to say "I didn't know I couldn't go there."

The one thing that gives me peace is knowing how long it takes SPD to respond to non-emergency calls. I have to call them a lot for my job, and it usually takes them a WHILE to respond to minor situations that are non-violent in nature. And a lot of times when they DO show up, they aren't exactly very eager to do anything that will keep them busy for a long time. My hope is that as long as I am unable to be located and haven't done anything other than trespassing, maybe they will let me go or give up after a cursory drive around the perimeter of the site.

PS... I have seen SPD officers escort people off of properties DOZENS of times without an arrest, but you never know.




If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find him, maybe you can hire... Tunnelrunner33!
Ganesha 

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Location: Seattle, Washington, USA
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Re: Trespassing law (in Washington state)
< Reply # 2 on 5/21/2014 6:04 PM >
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Thanks for the practical, reassuring advice.




"The beauty of mediocrity is that anything can make you better." -Jeff Mallett
TunnelRunner33 


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Re: Trespassing law (in Washington state)
< Reply # 3 on 5/23/2014 10:07 PM >
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After posting my earlier reply, I was thinking a lot more about it, and I wanted to make a clarification on something I said. I made the statement that I have very often seen officers of SPD walk people off of properties they are trespassing on without any arrests, which is true. In many of these instances, the folks being removed were members of the city's homeless population. The only reason I make this distinction is that I have sometimes wondered if they are more lenient about minor offenses committed by homeless folks than by adventurers by us who are just in it for kicks and actually have somewhere we can go to sleep at night.

In general, though, SPD seems to be quite unmotivated to go above and beyond, especially since they have been on the Department of Justice's radar in recent years for too many instances of excessive force. Many of the officers I have interacted with seem a lot more mellow than their counterparts of 5 or 10 years ago.




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UrbanBuck 


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Re: Trespassing law (in Washington state)
< Reply # 4 on 5/24/2014 12:31 AM >
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Talking to a friend of mine on Facebook (I know, a poor example) who's a security guard in Washington state he's just told people 'Don't do it again'. Anyone with arresting powers has to do A LOT of paperwork for the incident, and so does the business that owns the property in question, just for a $500 at the max fine (with other penalties and potential criminal penalties of course), and drags them away from any other bit of work they have to do. So they're taught a lot of ignore their training for arrest and just escort the individual(s) in question out. Of course, if the individual(s) comes back then they'll take the necessary precautions of arresting.
There's also other obvious reasons which will get you arrested such as vandalism, breaking and entering, arson, and stealing.




UER Forum > Rookie Forum > Trespassing law (in Washington state) (Viewed 2185 times)


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