As used in this article:
(1) “Structure” means any building of any kind, either temporary or permanent, which has a roof over it, together with the curtilage thereof.
(2) “Conveyance” means any motor vehicle, vessel, railroad car, railroad engine, trailer, aircraft or sleeping car, and “to enter a conveyance” includes taking apart any portion of the conveyance.
(3) An act is committed “in the course of committing” if it occurs in an attempt to commit the offense or in flight after the attempt or commission.
(4) “Posted land” is land that has:
(A) Signs placed not more than five hundred feet apart, along and at each corner of the boundaries of the land. The signs shall be reasonably maintained, with letters of not less than two inches in height and the words “no trespassing”. The signs shall be placed along the boundary line and at all roads, driveways and gates of entry onto the posted land so as to be clearly noticeable from outside of the boundary line; or
(B) Boundaries marked with a clearly visible purple painted marking, consisting of one vertical line no less than eight inches in length and two inches in width, and the bottom of the mark not less than three nor more than six feet from the ground or normal water surface. Such marks shall be affixed to immovable, permanent objects that are no more than one hundred feet apart and readily visible to any person approaching the property. Signs shall also be posted at all roads, driveways or gates of entry onto the posted land so as to be clearly noticeable from outside the boundary line.
(C) It is not necessary to give notice by posting on any enclosed land or place not exceeding five acres in area on which there is a dwelling house or property that by its nature and use is obviously private in order to obtain the benefits of this article pertaining to trespass on enclosed lands.
(5) “Cultivated land” is that land which has been cleared of its natural vegetation and is presently planted with a crop, orchard, grove, pasture or trees or is fallow land as part of a crop rotation.
(6) “Fenced land” is that land which has been enclosed by a fence of substantial construction, whether with rails, logs, post and railing, iron, steel, barbed wire, other wire or other material, which stands at least three feet in height. For the purpose of this article, it shall not be necessary to fence any boundary or part of a boundary of any land which is formed by water and is posted with signs pursuant to the provisions of this article.
(7) Where lands are posted, cultivated or fenced as described herein, then such lands, for the purpose of this article, shall be considered as enclosed and posted.
(8) “Trespass” under this article is the willful unauthorized entry upon, in or under the property of another, but shall not include the following:
(A) Entry by the state, its political subdivisions or by the officers, agencies or instrumentalities thereof as authorized and provided by law.
(B) The exercise of rights in, under or upon property by virtue of rights-of-way or easements by a public utility or other person owning such right-of-way or easement whether by written or prescriptive right.
(C) Permissive entry, whether written or oral, and entry from a public road by the established private ways to reach a residence for the purpose of seeking permission shall not be trespass unless signs are posted prohibiting such entry.
(D) Entry performed in the exercise of a property right under ownership of an interest in, under or upon such property.
(E) Entry where no physical damage is done to property in the performance of surveying to ascertain property boundaries, and in the performance of necessary work of construction, maintenance and repair of a common property line fence, or buildings or appurtenances which are immediately adjacent to the property line and maintenance of which necessitates entry upon the adjoining owner’s property.
If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon while in the structure or conveyance, with the unlawful and felonious intent to do bodily injury to a human being in said structure or conveyance at the time the offender knowingly trespasses, such offender shall, notwithstanding the provisions of section one, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code, be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars, or be confined in the county jail for a period not to exceed twelve months, or both such fine and imprisonment.
§61-3B-3. Trespass on property other than structure or conveyance.
(a) It is an unlawful trespass for any person to knowingly, and without being authorized, licensed or invited, to enter or remain on any property, other than a structure or conveyance, as to which notice against entering or remaining is either given by actual communication to such person or by posting, fencing or cultivation.
(b) First offense conviction. — Upon a first trespassing conviction pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500.
(c) Second offense conviction. — Upon a second trespassing conviction pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1,000.
(d) Third offense conviction. — Upon a third and subsequent trespassing conviction pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than $1,000 nor more than $1,500.
(e) If the offender defies an order to leave, personally communicated to him or her by the owner, tenant or agent of such owner or tenant, or if the offender opens any door, fence or gate, and thereby exposes animals, crops or other property to waste, destruction or freedom, or causes any damage to property by such trespassing on property other than a structure or conveyance, he or she is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $500, confined in jail for not more than six months, or both fined and confined.
(f) If the offender is armed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon with the unlawful and felonious intent to do bodily injury to a human being during his or her commission of the offense of trespass on property other than a structure or conveyance, such offender, notwithstanding section one, article seven, chapter sixty-one of this code, is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be confined in jail for not more than six months, fined not more than $100, or both confined and fined.
(g) Notwithstanding and in addition to any other penalties provided by law, any person who performs or causes damage to property in the course of a willful trespass shall be liable to the property owner in the amount of twice the amount of such damage. However, this article shall not apply in a labor dispute.
(1) "Residence hall" means housing or a unit of housing provided primarily for students as a temporary or permanent dwelling place or abode and owned, operated or controlled by an institution of higher education.
(2) "Student facility" means a facility owned, operated or controlled by an institution of higher education at which alcoholic liquor or nonintoxicating beer is purchased, sold or served to students enrolled at such institution, but does not include facilities at which athletic events are regularly scheduled and an admission fee is generally charged.
(3) "Institution of higher education" means any state university, state college or state community college under the control, supervision and management of the West Virginia board of trustees or West Virginia board of directors, or any other university, college or institution of higher education in the state subject to rules for accreditation under the provisions of section seven, article four, chapter eighteen-b of this code.
(4) "Person authorized to have access to a residence hall or student facility" means:
(A) A student who resides or dwells in the residence hall; or
(B) An invited guest of a student who resides or dwells in the residence hall; or
(C) A parent, guardian or person who has legal custody of a student who resides or dwells in the residence hall; or
(D) An employee of the institution of higher education who is required by such employment by such institution to be in the residence hall or student facility and who is acting within the scope of his or her employment; or
(E) A delivery person, repair person or other such person who is not an employee of the institution of higher education but who nonetheless has a legitimate commercial reason to be in the residence hall or student facility and who is acting pursuant to such legitimate commercial reason.
(b) If a person authorized to have access to a residence hall or a student facility enters such residence hall or student facility and by such presence or acts interferes with the peaceful or orderly operation of such residence hall or student facility, such person may be asked to leave such residence hall or student facility. If a person not authorized to have access to a residence hall or student facility enters such a residence hall or student facility, that person may be asked to leave such residence hall or student facility notwithstanding the fact that he or she has not interfered with the peaceful or orderly operation of such residence hall or student facility or otherwise committed a breach of the peace or violated any statute or ordinance. Such request to leave may be made by the president or other administrative head of the institution of higher education, an employee designated by the president to maintain order in the residence hall or student facility, a campus police officer appointed pursuant to the provisions of section five, article four, chapter eighteen-b of this code, or a municipal police officer, a sheriff or deputy sheriff, or a member of the West Virginia state police.
(c) It shall be unlawful for a person to remain in a residence hall or student facility after being asked to leave as provided for in subsection (b) of this section.
(d) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (c) of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined fifteen dollars. For any second or subsequent conviction for a violation occurring within one year after a previous violation for similar conduct, such person shall be fined an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars.
(e) This section shall not be construed to be in derogation of the common law, nor shall the provisions of this section contravene or infringe upon existing statutes related to the same subject.
(b) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section with the intent to commit a crime which constitutes a misdemeanor is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be confined in a county or regional jail for not more than one year or fined not more than one thousand dollars, or both.
(c) Any person who violates the provisions of subsection (a) of this section with the intent to commit a crime which constitutes a felony is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be incarcerated in a state correctional facility for not less than one nor more than five years or fined not more than five thousand dollars, or both.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2016 Regular Session
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