Trespassing is serious business. You might not think there is very much wrong with traipsing onto someone’s land for one reason or another, but I’m willing to bet you’ll feel very differently if someone is on your land.
Whether you think it is a proper crime or just more like disrespect, the law tells us that trespassing is indeed punishable with fines and jail time.
Accordingly, it is in your best interest to learn the trespassing law from front to back in your home state.
This is the only way you’ll know the precise extent of your rights, and also know what is expected of you when it comes to respecting the property of others.
But the law is different concerning trespassing in every single state, sometimes by a little and sometimes by a lot.
Wyoming is a state with few and entirely clear statutes concerning trespassing. Even so, you definitely need to know what they are.
Keep reading and we will tell you everything that you should know about Wyoming’s trespassing laws.
Wyoming Trespassing Law Overview
- Trespassing is almost always a misdemeanor in Wyoming.
- Trespassing can be a felony in only one instance: unlawful entry of an occupied structure intending to commit battery against the occupants.
- Wyoming has few statutes concerning trespassing compared to other states.
What Constitutes Trespassing in Wyoming?
The specific definition of trespassing matters from state to state, and you should never assume that they give in the state uses the common definition in a legal context.
Knowing the illegal definition of trespassing, or unlawful entry, is the only way to make sense of the statutes.
In Wyoming, criminal trespass is defined as entering in or remaining upon the land or premises belonging to another person with a person entering knowing that they are not authorized to do so or have been notified that they cannot enter.
Notification, in this context, can be direct personal communication from the owner or the owner’s agent or the presence of a posted signage that shows the property is off-limits to trespassers.
Definitely, a mouthful compared to the common definition, but you can read this for yourself in section 6-3-303:
6-3-303. Criminal trespass; penalties.
(a) A person is guilty of criminal trespass if he enters or remains on or in the land or premises of another person, knowing he is not authorized to do so, or after being notified to depart or to not trespass. For purposes of this section, notice is given by:
(i) Personal communication to the person by the owner or occupant, or his agent, or by a peace officer; or
(ii) Posting of signs reasonably likely to come to the attention of intruders.
(b) Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both.
(c) This section does not supersede W.S. 1-21-1003.
Does Wyoming Require “No Trespassing” Signs?
No. No-trespassing signs are not truly required in Wyoming, but they are a very good idea considering they serve as notice against trespassing when posted around a property in places reasonably likely to come to the intention of intruders.
Considering your alternative is to directly and personally notify trespassers or potential trespassers, you are duly advised to put up signage!
Is Fencing Required to Protect Property?
No. Fencing is not required to protect property in Wyoming.
What Other Marks Indicate “No Trespassing”?
None. Some states have implemented “purple paint” laws for posting property against trespassing, often used as an alternative to posting signage or erecting fences.
These laws get their name, as you might expect, because they typically prescribe the use of vivid purple paint on tree trunks, fence posts, and other terrain features to let people know they are approaching the boundary of someone else’s property and that trespassing is forbidden.
Not the case in Wyoming, though: You’ll have to put up signs.
Can Solicitors Ignore “No Trespassing” Signs?
No. Solicitors are wise to obey posted no-trespassing signage in Wyoming, particularly since so much of the state is truly rural.
Now, solicitors who are feeling pretty bold might ignore a no-trespassing sign posted in a suburban neighborhood or even an urban area in a larger city since they are, in a way, asking the property owner for permission to be there. But this is not advisable.
In any case, no solicitor can ignore a closed or locked gate or other barriers to entry across your driveway or sidewalk.
Can Trespassing Result in Arrest in Wyoming?
Absolutely. Wyoming is pretty serious when it comes to trespassing, and flagrant trespass in defiance of signage or direct notification, trespassing in a building or vehicle, and other similar crimes can result in pretty serious misdemeanor charges with multi-hundred dollar fines and a jail stay of up to 6 months.
You can see for yourself in a section 6-3-302, covering criminal entry penalties:
6-3-302. Criminal entry; penalties; affirmative defenses.
(a) A person is guilty of criminal entry if, without authority, he knowingly enters a building, occupied structure, vehicle or cargo portion of a truck or trailer, or a separately secured or occupied portion of those enclosures.
(b) It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that:
(i) The entry was made because of a mistake of fact or to preserve life or property in an emergency;
(ii) The enclosure was abandoned;
(iii) The enclosure was at the time open to the public and the person complied with all lawful conditions imposed on access to or remaining in the enclosure; or
(iv) The person reasonably believed that the owner of the enclosure, or other person empowered to license access to the enclosure, would have authorized him to enter.
(c) Criminal entry is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both.
Can You Take Someone to Court for Trespassing?
Yes, you can. If someone is a flagrant trespasser, a repeat offender, or is trespassing with the intention of harassing, threatening, or stalking you then you definitely have a case for hauling them into court.
Similarly, any trespasser who causes damage to fencing, land, or any other property during the course of their trespassing, or who just substantially violates your privacy or right to quiet domain, might likewise find themselves the target of a lawsuit.
Keep that in mind, too, if you are a hunter, hiker, or anyone else who spends a lot of time working and traveling outdoors so that you don’t accidentally trespass on someone else’s property and wind up in the same situation.
Special Instances of Trespassing in Wyoming
Wyoming has only a few statutes covering trespassing, and fewer covering special instances of trespassing, but one important one is found in 6-3-202, altering landmarks and the penalties for doing so.
In short, anyone who interferes with any marker, installation, monument, or tree that is used to designate the corner or boundary of a parcel of land is facing another stiff misdemeanor charge.
You can read an excerpt from 6-3-202 just below:
6-3-202. Altering landmarks; penalties.
(a) A person is guilty of altering landmarks if, with intent to destroy or deface the mark on a monument, landmark or bearing-tree designating the corner or boundary of a tract of land, he knowingly:
(i) Displaces the monument or landmark;
(ii) Defaces or alters the mark; or
(iii) Breaks, cuts down or removes the monument, landmark or bearing-tree.
(b) Altering landmarks is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both.
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