Q: I walked on train tracks and Port Authority police were called because I was told to get off due to a trolley coming. I got off but got back on after it passed. I was depressed and confused. They told me I wasn’t getting charged, until I got papers in the mail and found out. I’m 18 and people are scaring me saying I might be put in jail for this. It is considered defiant trespass. I was a bad juvenile when I was younger with a record but this is the first thing I’ve gotten charged with at 18. Do you think it’s likely I’ll be put in jail? I went to talk to a psychiatrist at a hospital that night because I knew that’s what I needed. I’m just worried because Port Authority is serious and has good lawyers. (Pittsburgh, PA)
A: One cannot be convicted of “Defiant Trespass” unless there is prior notice to the defendant such as a previous verbal warning or posting of a sign. This should not be a jail case if defended properly, which will be accomplished better with legal representation. If you were my client, my goal would be to get you out of this with no conviction. It would require you to get a mental health evaluation and follow any recommended treatment before your court date.