You want everyone who enters your property to be clear on the rules with a sign: you don't welcome trespassers. Suppose you've invested in a few no trespassing signs, but you don't know how far apart they should be. Luckily enough, we have done extensive research and have the answers!
The rules for the distance between no trespassing signs vary by state in the United States. For example, some states require as little as 100 feet between signs like New Hampshire.
However, the distance can be far greater, too, as it's up to 500 feet in Florida.
This article will examine the state laws on no trespassing sign distance. We'll also discuss concerns like how many signs you need and what happens if someone ignores the signs on your property. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
How Far Apart Do No Trespassing Signs Need To Be?
Going back to our point from the intro, the amount of space for no trespassing signs is different on a state-by-state basis.
We're not going to go over every state's law on no trespassing signs, only the ones that mention the distance between signs.
In Florida, a no trespassing sign can be up to 500 feet from another sign but no further than that. The sign must be installed "in a noticeable place" on agricultural land.
The bottom of the sign must be three to five feet over the ground, while the sign itself cannot be any smaller than two inches.
Furthermore, the sign must include the words "no trespassing" as well as the name of the landowner.
Although Idaho's no trespassing law doesn't specify distance, the law does state that the signs should be placed "at all property concerns and boundaries where the property intersects navigable streams, roads, gates, and rights-of-way entering the land."
The sign must have fluorescent or bright orange paint.
Maine requires you to install no trespassing signs no further than 100 feet from one another on a public road. You should post the signs on every vehicular access point.
The signs must also state that a person cannot trespass without the landowner's permission.
If posting a no trespassing sign on private property in Montana, the sign must go on "normal points of access" and outer gates.
You want to also install the signs on natural objects, structures, and posts with 50 or more square inches of orange fluorescent paint.
Although it varies by land, Nevada's recommended distance for no trespassing signs is 200 feet apart. The signs must include orange fluorescent paint.
A no trespassing sign, which can also include a no-hunting sign in New Hampshire, should be spaced 100 feet from another sign of the same nature.
The signs must include the landowner's name and address in block letters more than two inches high.
When in doubt, many state laws require that a no trespassing sign be installed in a conspicuous location to ward off intruders.
That's a good rule of thumb if your state doesn't have specific requirements on sign distance.
What Are The Benefits Of Having A No Trespassing Sign?
No trespassing signs are allowed for landowners in many parts of the US. Thus, if you're considering installing one or more around your property, you should do it.
Here are the advantages of having the signs mounted on your private property:
Makes Your Point
As the last section indicates, a no trespassing sign must meet certain standards, so it's easily visible from a distance.
The sign might need to be a specific size, or perhaps the lettering has size restrictions. The sign could even need bright orange fluorescent paint.
This is to warn trespassers that you are not permitting strangers to enter your property.
If your name and address are on the no trespassing signs like some laws require, then that makes the mistake of the trespasser even more egregious.
That's also true if several signs are posted around the property regularly. A trespasser can't say they missed the signs when they're obvious and plentiful.
Provides You Legal Recourse
If you had a no trespassing sign on your private property and someone invaded that property, you should call the police.
You would have some legal rights since it is your property and all, but not as many compared to having a no trespassing sign or several signs.
The sign is a warning but not an empty threat. No one should be on your property except those you willingly invite.
If someone trespassed on your private property and got injured and then tried to sue you, they would have no legal basis for a lawsuit.
Could Deter Trespassing
Many homeowners and landowners do what they can to deter criminals and trespassers by posting "beware of dog" signs to installing high-tech camera equipment.
These deterrents do work, and so too can a no trespassing sign.
Some trespassers might genuinely not see the signs (although that excuse is flimsy at best), and others might not care.
Most who think of trespassing will change their minds after spotting your sign.
How Many No Trespassing Signs Can You Post In Your Yard?
Is there such a thing as too many no-trespassing signs? Well, yes, of course.
If you're following the state guidelines we discussed earlier, there should be little question about the appropriate number of signs.
For instance, let's say you can post your no trespassing sign once every 500 feet, as in Florida.
Well, your property is only so big based on the square footage.
Since you can't post trespassing signs on property that doesn't belong to you, there will be a clearly defined start and end point for your signposting.
Even if you can post signs every 100 feet, you'd be able to post more signs, but only a finite amount. The risk would be posting signs closer to what your state law allows.
State laws exist for a reason. Flooding an area with no trespassing signs can be confusing at best and dangerous at worst.
What Happens If Someone Trespasses On Your Property Despite The Sign?
It's a regular night on your property, and you hear the distinct sound of snapping twigs and branches followed by heavy footfalls.
Despite your no trespassing signs posted at regular intervals, it appears that someone has indeed gone ahead and trespassed on your property.
According to Nolo Law, there are three specific criteria for their crime to count as trespassing.
- Committing an act that your state deems as criminal trespassing (these acts vary by state, so know the rules in your state).
- Failing to post a no trespassing sign on the property.
- Having intent and knowingly trespassing.
In other words, if a person was lost and accidentally wound up on your property but took a back route and didn't see your no trespassing signs, they don't intend to trespass.
While it's up to the court of law, many courts might deem this behavior, not trespassing.
If a person intends to trespass, sees the signs, misses them, or willingly ignores them, then Nolo Law says that person can be charged with criminal trespass.
Although criminal trespass is in the same crime school as burglary, technically, it's not burglary. Thus, criminal trespass doesn't carry nearly as heavy a penalty.
The charge could be an infraction or a misdemeanor, but many states deem criminal trespassing a felony.
The punishment is often more severe when trespassing on a residential property like someone's home than on nonresidential property.
So what kind of punishment can the trespasser face? At the very least, they could be fined several hundred dollars, especially if the trespassing is deemed only a violation or an infraction.
If the crime is a misdemeanor or a felony, the trespasser could face jail time and have to pay a fine.
The prescribed distance for no trespassing signs varies by state. No trespassing signs on your property can protect you against lawsuits and allow you to push forward with a possible criminal trespass case.
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