The trespass offering was to atone for specific transgressions where restitution was possible, such as sins of ignorance, usually connected with fraud. For example, if a man had unwittingly cheated another, a ransom that was equal to the same value of the amount taken plus one-fifth would be repaid to the former property owner. If the offence is related to holy things, such as tithes and first-fruits, then the worshipper will repay the amount owed plus one-fifth to the priest.

The trespass offering was also prescribed in the cases of healed lepers in Leviticus 14:12, since leprosy was considered as a wrong to the congregation as a whole.

In this offering, the sacrifice was always a male (generally a ram, which was never used as a sin offering). The blood was thrown on the corners of the altars, like that of the burnt offering.