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What Would Happen if you Actually Stormed Area 51?

Sep 22, 2019Blog, Legal Tips

Earlier this year, a Facebook event that originated as a joke about Storming Area 51 turned serious. Organizers wrote in a tongue-in-cheek manner that security couldn’t possibly stop all of them if they charged Area 51, and as the post gained traction, creators started planning Alienstock—an alien lover’s Woodstock—to be hosted in Rachel, Nevada. While the festival—and event—was ultimately cancelled, it raised the question of what would actually have happened if two million+ UFO enthusiasts actually stormed Area 51. Today, we’re going to look at that question from a legal standpoint. In this post, we’ll examine Nevada trespassing laws, how laws change in areas with heightened security, and how a bail bondsman could help you if you ever were arrested for trespassing.

Nevada Trespassing Laws

In the state of Nevada, it is against the law to trespass. According to Nevada State Laws (NRS 207.200), trespassing is defined as circumstances—excluding burglary or worse crimes taking precedent over charges of trespassing—in which:

Any person[…] goes upon the land or into any building of another with intent to vex or annoy the owner or occupant[…] or to commit any unlawful act[…] or willfully goes or remains upon any land or in any building after having been warned by the owner or occupant thereof not to trespass[…]

The law goes on to state that certain things, including “No Trespassing” signs, fluorescent orange paint that can be seen around the property line, or fences around non-agricultural land, count as warnings even if the owner of the property isn’t physically there to give a verbal warning against trespassing.

Trespassing is considered a misdemeanor. This is less severe than a felony, and is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and/or a fine up to $1,000.

Heightened Trespassing Laws

Under certain circumstances, trespassers would face higher consequences based on where or how they trespassed. Nevada trespassing laws stipulate that trespassing is a lesser crime, and that charges of burglary, armed trespassing, and stalking, for example, could carry heftier sentences. So, for example, trespassing with a camera carries more severe consequences than trespassing empty-handed, as does trespassing with a weapon.

In addition to Nevada State Laws, anyone trespassing on Area 51 would be subject to federal laws. Area 51 is a top secret military facility, meaning that armed personnel would be waiting to apprehend you if you attempted to enter by ground or by air. Because it’s a protected military base, government officials would be within their rights to treat any invasion as a terrorist attack and shoot intruders on sight.

Making Bail in Nevada

If thousands—or millions—of US citizens actually tried to storm Area 51, they may or may not make bail. The likely result would be that a majority of people would be killed in the attempt and that many more would wind up in jail under suspicion of terrorism. Though the Facebook group that started the wave of interest in raiding area 51 was created in a tongue-in-cheek manner, government officials would not see an invasion of a military base as a joke, and there would be no Naruto-running to escape federal consequences.

If, on the other hand, you wandered into the restricted area because you got lost in the vast Nevada desert, while you would certainly still be charged with a misdemeanor, there’s a chance you could make bail. In that situation, your best option would be to contact 8-Ball Bail Bonds to advocate for you and help you make bail.

However, don’t think of heading to Area 51 and pretending to have gotten lost. The Nevada desert is no joke. There are precious few gas stations in that part of the state, and countless tourists have found themselves stranded in the desert and calling for help. Motion sensors and highly alert military officers prevent entry into Area 51, and even if you managed to cross the border, there would be miles and miles of open desert between you and anything potentially interesting on the base.