Have you been charged with an offence under the Inclosed Lands Protection Act?
The Act is designed to prevent trespassing, and you can be charged under this act if you have been found to be unlawfully on ‘inclosed land’ or a ‘prescribed premises’ or behaving in a manner that constitutes offensive conduct.
What is inclosed land?
Inclosed land is defined as that which is surrounded or partly surrounded by a fence, wall or other structure, and has recognisable boundaries.
If land is occupied or used in connection with a building or structure, it can also be classified as ‘inclosed land’.
What are prescribed premises?
Prescribed premises are defined as land occupied or used in connection with certain types of buildings including childcare centres, schools, hospitals and nursing homes.
This does not include buildings that are nearby, but are not used for the same purpose, or public roads which go through the land.
What are the penalties for trespassing on inclosed land?
Trespassing is not considered a serious offence, and the penalties are generally a small fine, and compensation to the owner for any damage caused to the property.
What are the other offences under the Inclosed Lands Protection Act?
There are a number of other offences listed under the Inclosed Lands Protection Act, which are applicable in specific circumstances. These include:
Offensive conduct on inclosed lands
You may be charged with this offence if you have been trespassing on inclosed lands, and after being asked to leave, acted in a manner that could be considered offensive to a reasonable person.
To be convicted of this offence, the prosecution needs to prove that the way you acted would be considered offensive to a reasonable person under the circumstances, and that you did not have a good reason for acting in this manner.
Leaving gate open on inclosed lands
This offence is relevant if you have entered inclosed lands and ‘wilfully or negligently’ left open a gate, or if you have entered by a road and left open a gate or slip panel, either on purpose or through negligence.
Refusing to give name and address
If you are caught trespassing, it is an offence not to provide your name and address or to provide a false name and address.
If you fail to provide your name and address when required, you can be taken into custody and brought before a magistrate.
Owner may destroy goats
This section of the Act allows landowners to destroy any goats they find on their property, subject to certain provisions.
They are not allowed to destroy any goat that is legibly branded, has a collar with the name and address of the owner around its neck, or has an ear tag or mark.
Refusing to furnish particulars
If the defendant is not informed of the specific details of his or her offence, or if once they get to court they are charged with behaviour which they were not informed about previously, the court can adjourn the hearing or in some cases dismiss the charges.
If you have been charged with an Inclosed Lands Protection Act offence, it is a good idea to seek legal advice.
Sydney Criminal Lawyers offers a free first appointment for trespassing charges.