Trespassing is a crime that may be committed by both characters and the player. Trespassing is when you (or another unwelcome character) refuse to leave a home or store after being told to by the owner. Being seen picking a locked door is considered trespassing as well. Some doors you have already picked the lock of will not display that it is trespassing (because it is open and just shows [Enter: -Store/Person's Name-]), but being seen entering those doors is still a crime. This can be avoided with the Quick Hands perk (Skyrim only).
Once you have been spotted, even if you manage to get out of sight and hide in the house or store you are trespassing in, the character will still know exactly where you are and call the guards, who also always know your location.
When trespassing, characters will always give two warnings for the player to leave before calling for the guards. After they call for the guards, they may flee out of their home. Stopping them may prevent the guards from becoming aware, but sometimes the guards will hear from outside the home and come inside.
Characters may also follow the player around during the warning phase and even after calling the guards, making it more difficult to commit other crimes such as Stealing.
Sleeping characters have an increased awareness and will wake up easier while someone is trespassing than in most circumstances.
- "You're not supposed to be in here."
- "You're not supposed to be here..."
- "Can't a woman get a moment to herself? Leave me!"
- "Can't a man have a bit of privacy? Get out of here!"
- "You, of all people. Get out!"
- "Last warning. Leave, now."
- "This is the last time I'll say it. Get out!"
- "I'm not going to warn you again. Get out, or I'll call the guards!"
- "Guards! Trespasser!"
- "You should have listened. Guards! Help! Trespasser!"
- "Leave or be removed."
- "You need to leave." (if the character is about to leave their home)
As a character, your follower will exhibit conflicting behaviors. They will follow you around when you trespass, but when you speak with them they will repeatedly say "You're not supposed to be in here..." and you cannot issue them any commands whatsoever.
The only way that you can issue commands while trespassing is by holding down the "Activate" button (PS3: X; Xbox: A) from a distance that is too far to open up a dialogue menu. You can issue the standard "wait, sit, attack, take, etc.," but be careful not to order your follower to 'wait,' or issue them any commands that will result in them waiting, whilst trespassing as this will very likely result in them being unable to leave the building with you. This is because it is impossible to issue a "Follow me" command when you are trespassing, meaning that your follower will be stuck waiting.
Should you find yourself in this predicament, a possible solution is to have your follower wait near the exit (directly in front of the door is preferable), exit yourself and wait for three days. This will cause your follower to "become tired of waiting..." and they will stop being your follower at that point and will begin walking to wherever their default location is, you can catch them and reenlist them as your follower at this point. Note: they will have switched back to their default equipment at this point, but they will still be carrying the gear they had before — it will just be unequipped.
The fine for committing trespassing is 5 Septims. Sometimes, when trespassing, if the owner of the house is still inside they may assault the trespasser. If you refuse to pay the fine the guards will attempt to kill the player. If it is another character, such as a Thief, trespassing, assault and murder is always the punishment. After the guards have killed them nobody will retrieve stolen items from the corpse and you are free to loot it without punishment. If this is the only crime the player has committed, your bounty will be so low that the guards will not pursue you if you can escape the building before they come. They will, however, recognize you as wanted if you speak to them, but you can usually just back out of conversation and they will ignore it. Sometimes there will be a speech option to bribe the guard, or convince them that it is not worth their time. This only works on individual guards to get out of that one conversation. Speaking with the same guard will cause them to recognize you as a wanted person again.
Committing other crimes
Often when performing an act of theft you will find yourself trespassing. You may also trespass in mines where you will mine ore from a vein that is owned, which is considered theft (this is a rare occurrence).
When attempting to murder or beat up a character (occasionally even quest related) you may find yourself trespassing.
Sometimes, you will find characters in the place you are trespassing, usually owners of the location, their guests or guards that were just called because you have been caught. If they are sleeping, you may pickpocket them with an increased success rate.
Sometimes, you will be asked to change the records of a store for the Thieves Guild. You may be trespassing while performing this task.
Sometimes, you will be asked to frame somebody for a crime they did not commit to have them penalized by the guards after they are tipped off about the "thief". This is a side quest for the Thieves Guild.
Pros and cons
There are many advantages and disadvantages of trespassing.
- Characters will be sleeping, making items easier to steal.
- Pickpocketing will usually have a higher success chance (Night Thief required if playing Skyrim).
- Lockpicking can be done without needing Quick Hands because the character will not be present.
- Assassination is much easier, which can make Dark Brotherhood quests easier.
- Fast leveling of Sneak is easier because you are in a hostile presence if a sleeping character is around.
- If you are friends with the owner of the place, they may not call the guards if trespassing (may be a bug).
- Sleeping characters are much easier to wake when trespassing.
- Some characters (usually guests and children) do not sleep ever, making trespassing very difficult.
- Shop keepers will not sell you items when trespassing.
- Conversation options will not be available if trespassing.
- You cannot wait while trespassing.
- You cannot sleep while trespassing.
- Some characters give you very little time between warnings to leave before calling the guards.
- When in a house or store and you are not trespassing, the characters inside may act as though you are. Sometimes you will receive a bounty and others you will not.
- Sometimes it lets you wait while trespassing.
- Sometimes people will still talk to you while trespassing.
- Some places will not be marked as trespassing when they should be.
- Sometimes people will act like you are trespassing when you are outside, even nowhere near their home.