What is the Difference Between Criminal Trespass and Civil Trespass Under US Law?

The main distinction between criminal trespass and civil trespass is who enforces the law. In the case of a home invasion, police and prosecutors, whether state or local, are responsible for upholding the law. If you are found guilty of breaking and entering, you may face jail time or have to pay fines. On the other hand, if you are accused of civil trespass, a private citizen enforces the law by filing a lawsuit.

Breaking and entering is when someone enters a property or stays on a property without being invited or welcomed by the landlord or property manager. If a property owner lets one of the parties know that they are not welcome on their property by telling them that they are entering without authorization and ordering them to leave, and they ignore this warning and remain or enter the property anyway, they are committing an act of criminal trespass. In summary, breaking and entering is when someone enters or stays on a property when they know they are not welcome; burglary is when someone enters without authorization with the intention of committing a crime; and theft is when someone steals someone else's property. The severity of the crime depends on the defendant's criminal record, what they were doing on the property, and the property of the person who entered.