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In law, unlawful entry onto land. Trespass was formerly defined as wrongful conduct causing injury or loss; today it is generally confined to issues involving real property (seereal and personal property). Once a trespass is proved, the trespasser is usually held liable for any damages resulting, regardless of whether the trespasser was negligent or the damage was foreseeable. Criminal trespass, trespass to property that is forbidden by statute, is punishable as a crime.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on trespass, visit Britannica.com.