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  • Writer's pictureShaun Pascoe

The Offence of Trespass in Victoria, Australia

Updated: Aug 9, 2023

The offence of Trespass is a summary offence and is frequently charged as an alternative offence to the more serious and indictable offence of burglary. This is because the two offence share common elements.

In this article we explain the elements, defences and penalties of the offence of Trespass in Victoria, Australia.

Table of Contents


The Elements of the Offence

To prove the offence of Trespass the prosecution must establish several elements.The offence of Trespass is prosecuted under 3 subsections of Section 9 (subsections (e), (f), and (g).

The elements of the offence are:

  • a person enters any private or Scheduled public place; and

  • enters without the express or implied authority of the owner or occupier; or

  • refuses to leave a private place or Scheduled public place after being warned to leave; and

  • does not have a legitimate purpose to enter or lawful purpose to remain.

The Penalty for Offence of Trespass in Victoria

The maximum penalty for Trespass under Section 9 of the Summary Offences Act 1966 (Vic) is 25 penalty units or imprisonment for 6 months.

Defences to Trespass

The defences to trespass are varied and include:

Sentencing Outcomes for Trespass

The offence of Trespass is a summary offence, and for this reason is predominantly heard and determined in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria.

As a guide only to the sentencing outcomes available for this offence, reference may be had to the Sentencing Advisory Council statistics for the period 1 July 2016 - 30 June 2019:

See our case studies for a case involving Trespass.


Require Further Advice and or Representation for an allegation of Trespass?

If you are facing an allegation of Trespass, prompt legal advice is important. For an obligation free consultation contact us for a case assessment.


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