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Trespassing and Fines: A Frustrating Experience

The Incident

I recently went to the backyard of an empty house that was up for rent to get a sense of the size and fencing, as I have a dog. The side gate was closed but not locked, and the house was advertised online with no signs indicating that it was private property. I walked past the gate, which had a big handle to use, and entered the backyard, which was approximately 7 meters from the gate. I took a quick look around, focusing on the fencing, and then left within 10 seconds when the neighbor saw me and started screaming that I was trespassing. I feared she might throw something at me or my car, so I didn’t immediately leave.

The Consequences

The neighbor called the police, and two days later, they came to my home. I explained the situation, showed them my notes and emails about the property, and apologized for any inconvenience caused. The police understood my perspective, but told me that I had to be more careful in the future and that they might send me a fine. I cooperated fully, providing my details and all.

The Fine

However, the next day, the neighbor returned with a $350 fine! The police officer explained that they had no choice but to fine me, as the trespass was demonstrated (which I admitted). I found this unusual, as I expected a caution for a small offense like this, especially considering my good behavior and the fact that I caused no damage.

Challenging the Fine

I’m wondering if the fine was necessary and if I can challenge it. The fine seems steep for a 5-minute entry into an empty home that I was potentially interested in renting. I’m also an immigrant on a visa, which might affect the situation. In my home country, France, you wouldn’t get fined for trespass unless you cause damage.

How AI Legalese Decoder Can Help

AI Legalese Decoder can assist in understanding the legal implications of the situation and help you challenge the fine. Here are some ways it can help:

  1. Legal Analysis: AI Legalese Decoder can analyze the relevant laws and regulations, such as the Inclosed Lands Protection Act, to determine if the fine was issued correctly.
  2. Error Identification: The tool can identify errors in the penalty notice, such as the incorrect offence code, and provide guidance on how to address these issues.
  3. Challenge Strategies: AI Legalese Decoder can suggest strategies for challenging the fine, including the possibility of appealing the decision or seeking a review of the penalty notice.
  4. Legal Terminology: The tool can provide explanations of legal terminology, such as "CIN type" and "prescribed land," to help you better understand the fine and the legal process.

Best Approach

In conclusion, I’m seeking guidance on the best approach to take in this situation. I’m hoping that AI Legalese Decoder can help me understand the legal implications and provide strategies for challenging the fine.

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7 Comments

  • aries_inspired

    But you did trespass? You had no right to be there or to enter the backyard. It doesn’t matter that the house is listed for rent. You had no permission or right to enter, so yes, you were trespassing.

    I’m not sure there is much that you can do to dispute that. I think that you’d be risking the fine/penalty being increased if you take it to court.

  • Successful_Eye9423

    They did have to fine you, the cameras in the building probably got handed over to police that showed you trespassing. Unfortunately for you, the trespass laws in Australia are very different to France.
    Not worth fighting it.

  • Particular-Try5584

    Double check the details again, and see if they are correct, if there’s absolutely an error then you can weigh up whether it’s worth it to contest in court (costs!) and take the risk of the judge saying “yeah, but you still did it so suck up this other cost instead”… technically you can appeal it if there’s an error, but it’s clear you did it and judges aren’t going to be impressed with you weaseling your way out on a technicality when you openly did it.

    *Bit steep for a 5mn entry into an empty home that I potentially wanted to rent (well not anymore with such a crazy neighbour).*

    Nope. WTF are you doing climbing through houses like that for? That’s out of line. I know, I know… In France this might be normal, but here it’s not. Here if it’s not yours, you don’t touch it. You weren’t causing damage but it’s not uncommon for people (even small females) to jump fences and break into places. You can have your reasons to want to know more but this isn’t the way to get your answers.

  • [deleted]

    Pay the fine, the matter gets closed without admission of guilt or recorded conviction. If you go to court you would either prove you’re not guilty, or you would have to admit guilt and ask for leniency. Even if not conviction is recorded, it will affect you in parts of life like international travel, where you’ll get asked questions like if you’ve ever been found guilty of a crime.

  • PeriganFire

    You are right, Police have discretion when enforcing certain offences, but a Police Officer choosing to not use discretion and issue the fine is not a reason you can contest it. There is no right to be issued a warning.

    If she is indeed a junior police officer, as the incorrect offence code would also indicate, it’s likely what she meant by “no choice but to issue the fine” was that a senior officer instructed her it was appropriate to issue. She may have even attempted to write the event off as a warning but had it resubmitted back to her with instructions to issue the fine.

  • Retard_On_Tapwater

    Just take it to court.

    Accept your fault, explain your defence, and flip ya coin.

    If you got a lawyer, it would be dismissed, but $350 is fuck all comparison to a day off with a lawyer.

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