Friday, October 30, 2015

Public or Private

A public place is anywhere a member of the public could generally go and not be stopped or challenged.  If a person could be there and not be trespassing, then they are in a public place.  A public place can be private property, even a private residence and still be a public place.

The walkway up to the front door of a house can be a public place, as long as there is not a fence that prevents public entry.  Even the driveway and the front lawn is accessible to the public unless there is a fence to keep them out, and those spots may be considered a public place.

If a person lawfully going door to door selling products or soliciting religion is able to go there, without entering gates or doors or otherwise entering a private area, then it is likely a public place.  This is important when trying to determine if a person who is in possession of a gun or is intoxicated is in a public place or a private place.  People usually have more rights in private than they do in public.  Your local laws or case law my vary and always follow your agency policy; that's what the SGT Says.

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