Trespass Offences in Victoria

In Victoria, the Summary Offences Act 1966 contains offences relating to trespass. This page sets out the trespass offences in Victoria and the penalties that apply.


Under section 9(1) of the Summary Offences Act 1966, it is an offence to do any of the following:

  • wilfully trespass in any public place and neglect or refuse to leave after being warned to do so;
  • wilfully enter a private or Scheduled public place without express or implied authority from the owner or occupier;
  • fail to leave a private place or Scheduled public place after being warned to do so and without a lawful excuse;
  • enter a place in a way likely to cause a breach of the peace without a lawful excuse.

These offences are punishable by a fine of up to 25 penalty units or imprisonment for six months.

What is a Scheduled place?

Under Schedule 1 of the Summary Offences Act 1966, a Scheduled place includes:

  • land used for government schools
  • land used for children’s services;
  • premises that are residential services or residential treatment facilities;
  • premises that are designated mental health services;
  • land held or managed by a cemetery trust of a public cemetery;
  • premises where publicly funded education and care services are provided.

Trespass on land used for primary production

Under section 50A of the Summary Offences Act, it is an offence to ferret on land used for primary production without the consent of the occupier of that land. This offence is punishable by a fine only, with one penalty unit for a first offence and five penalty units for a second or subsequent offence.


The above offences are summary offences and can only be dealt with in the Magistrates Court and Children’s Court.

Penalty for trespass offences

A person found guilty of one of the above offences may be sentenced to a fine, a good behaviour bond, a community corrections order or a term of imprisonment.

Will I get a conviction?

Under section 8 of the Sentencing Act 1991, courts have a discretion as to whether to record a conviction against a person who has been found guilty of an offence. In making this decision, a court must consider:

  • the nature of the offence;
  • the character and history of the offender;
  • the impact that a conviction is likely to have on their economic or social wellbeing or employment prospects.

Self-defence and trespass

Under section 322K of the Crimes Act 1958, a person is entitled to use reasonable force to defend themselves or their property against an unlawful attack in Victoria. This includes defending property against a trespasser.

A person acts in self-defence if they believe their actions are necessary in self-defence and their actions are a reasonable response in the circumstances as they perceive them.

A person must not use lethal force to defend property.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Go To Court Lawyers.


Fernanda Dahlstrom

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws from Latrobe University, a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the College of Law, a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Arts (Writing and Literature) from Deakin University. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory. She also practised in family law after moving to Brisbane in 2016.
7am to midnight, 7 days
Call our Legal Hotline now