Can an officer detain you to issue a trespass warning?

Can a law enforcement officer detain you to issue a trespass warning?


This is not legal advice, only my interpretation of the law and experience in Florida specifically the 5th district. 


I was recently asked about the legalities of detaining you to issue a trespass. Since I had been trespassed from a public place and refused to provide identification based off of the Florida statute 901.151 (stop and ID statute) I know this all too well.

Florida has no criminal statute that directs or otherwise allows officers to detain you for to issue a trespass warning, only if you are trespassing after warning.

Terry v. Ohio allows for the detainment if a criminal offense has been, is being, or is about to be committed. Many states have statutes that direct police officers when they can detain for an investigatory stop.


The 3 Types of Police Encounters in Florida: 

  • Consensual – Consensual encounters of law enforcement officers and citizens involves consent.

  • Investigatory Stops– Investigatory stops occur when an officer may reasonably detain a citizen “temporarily” but only if the officer has reasonable suspicion.

  • Arrests (either verbal, written or physical).

Absent of any other criminal charge or articulatable suspicion, I do not see why a police officer can detain you to issue a trespass warning. The act of being told to leave, and leaving is not a crime. Entering or remaining on the property after being told to leave is where the FSS is violated and now a criminal offense is committed.

The Florida Statute indicates that to be guilty, or charged with trespass you have to meet specific elements.
 (See Trespassing Florida Statute)


The Orlando Police have a Trespass Warning Policy specifically outlining and citing that issuing a trespass is a consensual encounter. It states that even photos can not be forced unless other criminal activity is present. 

 

Other cases mentioning trespass is consensual:

https://caselaw.findlaw.com/fl-district-court-of-appeal/1037068.html
https://caselaw.findlaw.com/fl-district-court-of-appeal/1525208.html


Even a state attorney has issued a legal bulletin: http://www.sa15.state.fl.us/stateattorney/ResourceInformation/_content/LegalEagle2013/February2013.pdf


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