Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 39: Criminal Offenses

Chapter 14: Offenses Against Property

Part 4: Burglary and Related Offenses

TCA 39-14-405: Criminal trespass.

(a)  A person commits criminal trespass if the person enters or remains on property, or any portion of property, without the consent of the owner. Consent may be inferred in the case of property that is used for commercial activity available to the general public or in the case of other property when the owner has communicated the owner's intent that the property be open to the general public.

(b)  It is a defense to prosecution under this section that:

     (1)  A person entered or remained on property that the person reasonably believed to be property for which the owner's consent to enter had been granted;

     (2)  The person's conduct did not substantially interfere with the owner's use of the property; and

     (3)  The person immediately left the property upon request.

(c)  The defenses to prosecution set out in subsection (b) shall not be applicable to a person violating this section if the property owner posts the property with signs that are visible at all major points of ingress to the property being posted and the signs are reasonably likely to come to the attention of a person entering the property.

(d)  For purposes of this section, "enter" means intrusion of the entire body.

(e)  Entering or remaining on railroad or utility right-of-way property by an adjoining landowner for usual and customary activities of the type defined in §§ 1-3-105(2)(A)(i) and (ii), (B) and (C) and 43-1-113(a), (b)(1)(A) and (B), (b)(2) and (b)(3) shall not be considered trespass under this section. This subsection (e) shall not apply if the railroad or utility right-of-way owner, by a personal communication or posting at the site by someone with either actual authority or apparent authority to act for the railroad or utility right-of-way owner, has communicated to the adjoining landowner that the activity is not permitted.

(f)  Criminal trespass is a Class C misdemeanor.

History: [Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 1; 2005, ch. 297, §§ 1-3; 2009, ch. 510, § 1.]