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C.G.S. § 53a-185 – Loitering on School Grounds


No loitering signThe Connecticut legislature has consistently acted to safeguard children by protecting school zones and schools as areas that need additional protection. One of the legislative enactments that reflect these concerns is Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-185, which criminalizes the loitering around school grounds without a legitimate purpose to be there.

Elements of the Offense Which Must be Proven by The State's Attorney

To establish that the accused is guilty of loitering on school grounds in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-185, the state must be able to prove the following elements of the crime:

  1. The defendant loiters or remains in or around a school building or school grounds;
  2. The defendant has no relationship to any student in the school and no other license or privilege to be there

The police apprehend a man in the playground of an elementary school on the weekend. The man has no child attending the school and had no reason for being on the school playground other than he was "chilling out." The man could be prosecuted for loitering on school grounds in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-185 because the man did not have a student attending the school and had no license or privilege to be there. The man could also be charged with criminal trespass in the second degree in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-108.

A man was in jail for several years. While he was in jail, the mother of his son terminated his parental rights. When the man is released from custody, he goes to visit his son as his school. The front desk advises the man to leave and calls the police. The man could be arrested for loitering on school grounds in violation of Connecticut General Statutes § 53a-185 because the man's parental rights were terminated. Therefore, he has no custody or responsibility to visit his son.

Related Offenses Defenses to Connecticut General Statutes C.G.S. § 53a-185 - Loitering on School Grounds

You can't be convicted on loitering on school grounds if you are a parent of a student or have custody of a student who attends the school. Similarly, you can't be convicted of this offense if you had a legitimate reason to be on the school grounds, such as being asked to pick up your friend's child after school or attending an afterschool PTA meeting.


The penalty for a violation of Connecticut General Statutes Section § 53a-185 loitering on school grounds is a class c misdemeanor punishable by up to three months in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Criminal Defense for Loitering on School Grounds

Courts and state's attorneys take any offense that occurs on or near school grounds very seriously. If you or a loved one has been charged with loitering on school grounds, it is important that you speak with an experienced Connecticut criminal defense attorney. Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman has over 30 years of experience defending loitering allegations.

For more information about defending loitering on school grounds allegations in violation of C.G.S. § 53a-185, contact Stamford criminal lawyer Allan F. Friedman at The Law Offices of Allan F. Friedman to arrange your free, no-obligation, initial consultation. Our offices are located at 1100 Summer St #306, Stamford, CT 06905. Mr. Friedman can be reached 24/7 at (203) 357-5555, or you can contact us online for a prompt response.

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