42-year-old woman (name withheld in order to protect the privacy of the accused) tried to get into the maternity ward at Mercy Medical Center Merced before she was arrested for trespassing. Once, she entered the hospital alone, then a second time with a male companion. Both times, however, she pretended that the life-like baby doll was a real child, even going so far as to change its diapers and pose for pictures with it. So what was this woman playing at? Some local law enforcement officials believe that she was attempting to enter the maternity ward with the doll in order to abduct a child, leaving the fake baby in its place. She, however, says that she was simply trying to gain access to the ward in order to sell new mothers the life-like doll as a ‘training tool.’
Forget for a moment what her real intentions might have been, prosecutors will claim that she was rightfully arrested on charges of criminal trespass (CA Penal Code 602). In California, the crime of trespassing can occur in a varied number of circumstances, basically, if you enter or remain anywhere that you do not have permission to do so, barring other rights, you could be arrested.
Usually, violations of CA PC 602 are treated as misdemeanors. If convicted of misdemeanor trespassing, you could end up paying a maximum $1,000 fine and spending 6 months or so in county jail. There are even instances in which trespassing is considered an even less serious offense and the alleged perpetrator end up only having to pay a small fine. However, ‘aggravated trespass’ is a different matter altogether; if you threaten anyone and then enter their residence or place of work without permission, you face more serious penalties, namely, up to 3 years in jail and an additional fine.
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