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dirtsider
11-16-2009, 08:27 PM
My villian has done a ritual on another person's property. (Mainly because the owners have a large amount of land at this property and he wants to do this in private without being disturbed. He's smart enough not to do it around his own.) He's not related to the owners at all. The property was pretty much chosen at random, although he has a passing acquantance with the owners.

What would he be charged with regarding this? I know he'd be charged with trespassing because he's on private property. It's not breaking and entering since he doesn't actually enter the house.

Also, he's painted some glyphs on walls around town, most notably behind the bar where my MC's work. Most people in the story would consider this graffiti but would this be a misdomeaner and what would the actual charge be?

Duncan J Macdonald
11-16-2009, 09:32 PM
My villian has done a ritual on another person's property. (Mainly because the owners have a large amount of land at this property and he wants to do this in private without being disturbed. He's smart enough not to do it around his own.) He's not related to the owners at all. The property was pretty much chosen at random, although he has a passing acquantance with the owners.

What would he be charged with regarding this? I know he'd be charged with trespassing because he's on private property. It's not breaking and entering since he doesn't actually enter the house.

Also, he's painted some glyphs on walls around town, most notably behind the bar where my MC's work. Most people in the story would consider this graffiti but would this be a misdomeaner and what would the actual charge be?

Trespassing, though if the property wasn't posted with No Trespassing notices, he may be able to talk his way out of it.

As far as the gaffiti goes, it depends. In San Diego, CA, it's Vandalism, in Gainesville he could be facing Criminal Mischief, which can be a felony and not just a misdemeanor.

jclarkdawe
11-16-2009, 09:59 PM
As far as going on someone's land, it depends on federal, state, and local law. Out west there's a lot of federal land that is leased to ranchers and loggers that can complicate this even further.

On the local level, land owners frequently pay property taxes. Owners of large tracts (there is a minimum size) frequently place the property in current use status, which means that the current use will be maintained, such as grazing, haying, woods, whatever. This vastly decreases your property tax bill.

But current use requires certain things to obtain certain statuses. If I let anyone walk over, hunt over, fish on, bike on, et cetera my land in New Hampshire, I can get a very low tax rate (Like less than a dollar an acre.). If I want to post no trespassing signs, then I lose that low rate.

More likely charge then trespassing would be destruction of property. And even that is difficult to prove. Reality is that most cops would just ask the person to leave, unless the destruction was fairly massive. If you set up a fire pit, and cut up a couple of dead trees on a 100 acre lot, how much monetary destruction have you done? How much has the landowner lost?

We have a guy who just got caught cutting trails on other people's property, then mapping it. He's been told to sin no more and that's it.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

dirtsider
11-16-2009, 10:32 PM
Thanks. This does help. The "property" in question isn't out West. It's on the East Coast. I'll ask around a bit since I have a better idea of what to ask people now regarding use laws. The use laws would only come in regarding whether or not the owners could/would call in the police and have something "stick", so to speak. The money aspect is less of an issue since the owners in question have a bit of money. (The property where the ritual takes place is a vacation/second home which is one of the reasons why the villian chooses to work there.)

elfinwriter
11-17-2009, 06:56 PM
My villian has done a ritual on another person's property. (Mainly because the owners have a large amount of land at this property and he wants to do this in private without being disturbed. He's smart enough not to do it around his own.) He's not related to the owners at all. The property was pretty much chosen at random, although he has a passing acquantance with the owners.

What would he be charged with regarding this? I know he'd be charged with trespassing because he's on private property. It's not breaking and entering since he doesn't actually enter the house.

Also, he's painted some glyphs on walls around town, most notably behind the bar where my MC's work. Most people in the story would consider this graffiti but would this be a misdomeaner and what would the actual charge be?
Hello there....I would think the charge would be tresspassing and mischief...the latter because of the drawings or graffiti. That's a Canadian perspective. Not sure about the US though.