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Trespassing Issues

It's a repeated truism that all agricultural crime begins with trespassing. Whether the crime involves theft, vandalism, or other violations, a person has to enter property illegally to commit the crime.

Section 602.8 of the California Penal Code sets the penalty for people who trespass on farms and ranches. The penalty is $75 for a first offense of trespass and $250 for a second offense. A third or any subsequent offense would constitute a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of imprisonment in the county jail not exceeding six months or a fine of up to $1,000, or both.

For farmers and ranchers to benefit from the law, they must ensure that "No Trespassing" signs are displayed properly. Signs must be displayed at intervals of not less than three signs per mile along all exterior boundaries and at all roads and trails entering the land.

"No Trespassing" signs, in English and Spanish, are available to Farm Bureau members from the San Diego County Farm Bureau office for a nominal fee.