Rural crime starts with trespassing. Whether the crime involves theft, vandalism or other property offenses, a person has to enter a farm or ranch illegally to commit the crime.
Under section 602.8 of the California Penal Code, a trespass on a farm or ranch is an infraction punishable by a $75 fine for a first offense, and by $250 for a second offense. A third or later offense is a misdemeanor that carries a penalty of imprisonment in the county jail for up to six months or a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
To benefit from the law, farmers and ranchers must ensure that "No Trespassing" signs are displayed properly around their lands that are neither cultivated nor fenced. 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 uncultivated and unfenced lands. Signs are not necessary around lands that are cultivated or fenced. Exception: Signs must be posted around all lands—even those that are cultivated or fenced—used for producing livestock for human consumption so a trespass can be prosecuted as a misdemeanor under Penal Code section 602, subdivision (h).
"No Trespassing" signs, in English, Spanish, or both are available to Farm Bureau members from CFBF. Shipping costs will be added to each order.
For more information, call toll-free, 800-698-FARM; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.