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I'm going to have to look at the Georgia Penal Code regarding criminal trespass.
Please standby and I'll be back shortly with an answer.
Georgia Criminal Code § 16-7-21. Criminal trespass
(b) A person commits the offense of criminal trespass when he or she knowingly and without authority:
(2) Enters upon the land or premises of another person or into any part of any vehicle, railroad car, aircraft, or watercraft of another person after receiving, prior to such entry, notice from the owner, rightful occupant, or, upon proper identification, an authorized representative of the owner or rightful occupant that such entry is forbidden
So the police are correct that you have to give a warning. Now I'm checking the case law to see if there is any indication whether a No Trespassing sign is enough.
Does it matter that my gates were locked and they damaged them entering my property?
I'm still reading through some of the cases
If they damaged your property, then you definitely have a criminal trespass.
Ok, The case law confirms that if you have a no trespassing sign and a locked gate that this is criminal trespass. Also, since you are saying that the trespasser actually broke the gate down, this is trespass along with breaking and entering, which is trespass with a criminal intent. This should be enough to obtain an arrest warrant.
The question is, do you know who committed the trespass?
You need to explain to the police that this is not an open path that the person is coming onto and that the trespasser has actually damaged your property by breaking your gate.
The no trespass sign along with a locked gate make this a different story. It's not as if you have an open field and have simply posted "no trespassing" (in which case you would have to give an explicit verbal warning to the trespasser). This is a locked gate which the trespasser has broken. Breaking the lock alone is a criminal offense.
Does this answer your question?
I'm sorry. I am not able to see what you have posted.
Did you write anything?
Yes this is just what i needed. Thank you!!
Great. Glad I can help.
The person even admitted seeing the signs & the police said it was a civil matter & I would have to deal wi it in civil court.