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If You Refuse to Leave a Restaurant or Bar, You Could Be Charged With Criminal Trespass

If the owner or an employee of a bar or restaurant asks you to leave the premises because of your conduct and you refuse to leave, you could be charged with criminal trespass.

Presuming that you are not being asked to leave for legally prohibited reasons such as your race, sex, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation, the establishment can ask that you leave even if you believe they are acting unreasonably or without justification.

California Penal Code Section 602 PC (together with related sections of the California Penal Code) list over 30 different kinds of conduct which can constitute criminal trespass. Among that conduct is refusing to leave private property after you’ve been asked to do so.

California trespassing charges are unique in that they can be filed as

  • infractions,
  • misdemeanors, OR
  • in very limited circumstances, felonies.

The vast majority of trespass casesare charged as misdemeanors under California law. This would include refusing to leave a restaurant or bar, unless you have engaged in additional conduct such as threatening the owner, employees, or other customers or damaging property. Potential penalties can include:

  • Misdemeanor (summary) probation,
  • Up to six (6) months in county jail, and/or
  • A fine of up to one thousand dollars ($1,000).

Call us today to discuss your situation

Gerald Schwab, Jr.


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Law Office of Gerald Schwab, Jr.
Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney
5588 N Palm Ave,
Fresno, CA 93704 View Map
Phone: 559.441.1418