Trespassing is entry onto land without permission. Michigan state law forbids trespassing and contains provisions for trespassing in specific situations. In addition, townships and cities generally have ordinances prohibiting trespassing that are not covered here.
Charged With Trespassing? Call (734) 883-9584 to Fight Your Case.
Below is a list of Michigan criminal trespassing laws.General Trespassing
It is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $250 fine, or both, to;
- Enter the land or premises of another without lawful authority after having been forbidden to do so by the land’s owner,
- Remain on the land of another after having been notified to depart by the land’s owner, or
- Enter or remain on posted farmland with the owner’s permission except for entry, by the most direct route, to contact the owner. MCL 750.552
Trespassing upon the property of a state correctional facility is a felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison, a $2,000 fine, or both. MCL 750.552bKey Facilities
Trespassing on the property of a key facility is a felony, punishable by up to 4 years in prison, a $2,500 fine, or both. MCL 750.552c. A key facility is a structure completely enclosed by a physical barrier of any kind, including a barrier made of water designed to impede entrance. A key facility also includes;
- Chemical manufacturing plant
- Electric utility facility, such as a power plant
- Water treatment center
- Natural gas utility facility, not including a gas pipeline that is not completely enclosed
- Gasoline, propane, or liquid natural gas fuel terminal or storage facility
- Transportation facilities such as a port, railroad switching yard, or trucking terminal
- Pulp or paper manufacturing facility
- Pharmaceutical manufacturing facility
- Hazardous waste storage, treatment, or disposal facility
- Telecommunication facility, including a central office or cellular telephone tower
- Any facility substantially similar to the above facilities
A key facility must have signs posted in a conspicuous manner against entry. The minimum letter height on the posting signs must be 1 inch. Each posting sign must be no less than 50 square inches. The signs must be spaced to enable a person to observe not less than 1 sign at any point of entry upon the property.
The prohibition against trespassing at a key facility does not prohibit lawful assemblies or a peaceful and orderly petition for the redress of grievances, such as a labor dispute between an employer and its employeesSpecific Trespassing Laws
The following are all misdemeanors:
- Trespass by cutting or destroying property. MCL 750.546
- Trespass upon the improved land of another with the intent to injure or destroy. MCL 750.547
- Trespass upon Cranberry Marshes – A person may not enter a cranberry marsh and taking any cranberries or destruction of the plants. MCL 750.548
- Trespass upon Huckleberry and Blackberry Marshes – A person may not enter such marshes and take or destroy the berries without the permission of the owner. The owner must have posted a conspicuous notice in at least three locations that trespass is forbidden. MCL 750.549
- Trespass on Vineyards, Orchards, or Gardens – A person may enter such areas without the consent of the owner and pick, take away, or destroy any of the fruits. MCL 750.5510
- Trespass; Injuring and Destroying Medicinal Plants – A person may not trespass upon areas where plants such as ginseng are growing and take or destroy the plants or their seeds. MCL 750.551
- Trespass in order to unlawfully dump, deposit, or place on the property of another trash or refuse. MCL 750.552a
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Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Attorney in Ann Arbor.