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Just today, a man came partially up my driveway and into my yard with two dogs (on leashes). I asked him to please not allow the dogs to urinate in my yard, and he said he isn't in my yard. I have a stream that cuts it approximately 1/3, and so I figured he was confused, but didn't want to get into an altercation so I let him be. He followed the creek past his fence, then crossed into his own yard. A family member went out on the porch to hear him raving (by their account) about how awful I am. I do not have much experience, but on hindsight he appears to have been highly intoxicated. He was here about a week ago and one of his dogs scared a family member, but there was no interaction between us.

We have no "no trespassing" signs, but in the circumstances, can he be incriminated for third degree trespassing if he enters our yard again?

EDIT: This is based on Georgia, United States law.

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Once you asked the person to leave your property (if you did) and he refused, he was trespassing. Georgia Code § 16-7-21 (b)(3) applies. If you had a fence and "No trespassing" signs, subsection (b)(2) would also have applied.

If you did not ask him to leave, and there were no signs notifying him to do so, then he wasn't legally trespassing unless he did at least $500 worth of damage, which it does not sound as if he did

If you (being an owner or occupant) notify a person in some other way than by a sign not to enter a property, it is still trespass if that person then enters without lawful authority.

In some US states, including Arizona, there are degrees of trespass, but as far as I could find there is no such thing as "third degree trespass" in Georgia.

(See also Property Owners & Injury Liability w/ Signage (US, WV) and the Wikipedia article on Tresspass)

Once an owner, rightful occupant, or an authorized representative of an an owner or rightful occupant asks someone to leave, they must do so (unless hey have some lawful authority to be present), and failing to do so is criminal trespass.

One can call the police to deal with a criminal trespasser.

According to Georgia Code § 16-7-21 - Criminal trespass:

(a) A person commits the offense of criminal trespass when he or she intentionally damages any property of another without consent of that other person and the damage thereto is $500.00 or less or knowingly and maliciously interferes with the possession or use of the property of another person without consent of that person.

(b) A person commits the offense of criminal trespass when he or she knowingly and without authority:

(1) Enters upon the land or premises of another person or into any part of any vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person for an unlawful purpose;

(2) Enters upon the land or premises of another person or into any part of any vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person after receiving, prior to such entry, notice from the owner, rightful occupant, or, upon proper identification, an authorized representative of the owner or rightful occupant that such entry is forbidden; or

(3) Remains upon the land or premises of another person or within the vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person after receiving notice from the owner, rightful occupant, or, upon proper identification, an authorized representative of the owner or rightful occupant to depart.

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  • I didn't ask him to leave my property; I asked him to not let his dogs urinate in my yard.
    – nerdguy
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 22:15
  • Then the man wasn't trespassing, but would have been had you asked him to leave. I have edited the answer tio include that. Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 22:21

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