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Criminal trespass to dwellings is a misdemeanor in Wisconsin.  Contact a top criminal defense attorney today. (414) 270-0202

Criminal trespass to dwellings is a crime in Wisconsin.  Although it doesn’t carry penalties as aggravated as a burglary or robbery charge, this offense still carries with it a potential 9 months in jail and a $10,000.00 in fines.  Typically, criminal trespass to dwellings cases revolve around simply entering a home, apartment, or condominium without the owner’s consent.  A burglary hasn’t quite occurred.  And certainly neither has a robbery.

For example, in State v. Carls, 186 Wis.2d 533, 534, 521 N.W.2d 181 (Ct. App. 1994), the defendant and his wife were in the middle of a divorce.  Wife obtained an injunction prohibiting the defendant from entering the home (even though it was joint marital property).  The defendant no longer lived at the home prior to the order.  Upon his subsequent entry into the home, prosecutors charged the defendant with criminal trespass to dwelling.  He didn’t steal anything.  He didn’t attack his wife.  The defendant wasn’t supposed to be in the house.  The Court of Appeals found that, “according the the plain meaning of the statute, the home was not [the defendant’s] dwelling but the dwelling of another.”

Criminal defense attorneys Matthew R. Meyer and Benjamin T. Van Severen are familiar with the issues involved in criminal trespass to dwellings cases.  If you are charged with any criminal offense, certainly it’s a good idea to get a top criminal defense lawyer working on your case as soon as possible.  Call Meyer Van Severen, S.C. at (414) 270-0202 regarding your charges.  We answer the phones 24/7.  And importantly, we focus 100% of our resources on defending criminal charges.


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What is criminal trespass to dwellings?

Criminal trespass to dwellings is prohibited by section 943.14 of the Wisconsin Statutes.  That criminal law says it’s a crime when an individual “intentionally enters the dwelling of another without the consent of some person lawfully upon the premises, under circumstances tending to create or provoke a breach of peace…”  In order for the prosecution to succeed in proving the defendant committed the offense, four separate elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. Firstly, the defendant intentionally entered the dwelling of another; and
  2. Secondly, the defendant entered without the consent of someone lawfully upon the premises; and
  3. Thirdly, the defendant entered under circumstances tending to create or provoke a breach of the peace; and finally
  4. The defendant knew that the entry into the dwelling was made without consent and under circumstances tending to create or provoke a breach of the peace.

Definitions relevant to criminal trespass to dwellings:

A few different definitions are important in understanding the preceeding elements:

Dwelling means the apartment, room, building, or other structure, in which a person makes a home.  2015 Wisconsin Act 176 (effective March 2, 2016) provides: “For the purpose of this section, a dwelling meets the definition regardless of whether the dwelling is currently occupied by the resident.”  In other words, the dwelling need not be currently occupied by the owner.

Breach of the peace includes all violations of peace and order.  It may consist of an act of violence or an act likely to produce violence.  Or alternatively, it may consist of profane and abusive language by one toward another.  It may consist of acts that put the victim in fear of bodily harm or otherwise disturb or disrupt the peace and sanctity of the home.


A man commits criminal trespass to dwellings.
Criminal trespass to dwellings is a misdemeanor in Wisconsin.

Contact Meyer Van Severen, S.C. regarding your criminal case: (414) 270-0202

At Meyer Van Severen, S.C. we believe it’s certainly important to hire a top Milwaukee criminal defense attorney to defend your criminal trespass to dwellings case.  Our criminal defense law firm practices just that: criminal defense.  We don’t handle other areas of law, like contracts or wills, that has nothing to do with this specific area of law.  And we don’t do that because it doesn’t help you.

Our defense attorneys are consistently recognized amongst the best in Wisconsin.  To speak with criminal defense attorney Matthew Meyer or Benjamin Van Severen, call us today.  We answer phones 24/7 at (414) 270-0202.