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Washington State’s legal framework includes a critical statute, RCW 9A.52.080, designed to uphold public order and safeguard property rights through defining and penalizing second-degree criminal trespass. This law outlines the legal boundaries of unauthorized entry onto premises, ensuring a comprehensive approach to property protection alongside its counterpart, first-degree criminal trespass, but with a focus on less severe violations.

Defining Second-Degree Criminal Trespass

Under RCW 9A.52.080, second-degree criminal trespass occurs when an individual knowingly enters or remains unlawfully on premises that do not involve entering a building, which would escalate the offense to first-degree. This includes trespassing on outdoor spaces or unenclosed lands. The statute underscores the requirement for the trespasser’s awareness of their unauthorized presence, highlighting the intentional nature of their act.

Classified as a misdemeanor, second-degree criminal trespass carries significant legal consequences, though less severe than those for first-degree trespass. Penalties can range from fines and community service to jail time, varying based on the specifics of the incident and the individual’s prior criminal record. This classification aims to balance the need for penalizing unlawful entry without excessively taxing the judicial system for minor infractions.

You can read the text of RCW 9A.52.080 here:

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