In Arizona, the crime of trespassing is committed when a person knowingly advances onto or into someone else’s property after being expressly asked to leave. This is according to ARS 13-1502, ARS 13-1503 and ARS 13-1504. Trespass can occur when a person enters a property or remains there without the owner’s permission. When a sign warns against trespassing onto or into the property, the crime is also being committed if the sign is ignored.
There are multiple degrees of trespass according to Arizona law:
- First degree criminal trespass:
- Second degree criminal trespass:
- When a person advances into or remains within a residential structure or yard while looking into the structure with no regard for the privacy of individuals inside, or
- When a person is on the property without claim for work, holding or investigation of minerals on that property, or
- When a person remains in or advances into a public service facility in an unlawful way or damages the property
- Third degree criminal trespass:
- When a person unlawfully goes into or remains on a non-residential building or fenced in commercial yard
--- Arizona Penalties for Trespassing ---
- When a person has been ordered by an individual in control of property or the owner to leave, but that person refuses to do so, or
- When a person violates a sign warning trespassers
Trespass in Arizona can result in a variety of punishments:
- First degree trespass conviction as a class six felony
- First degree trespass conviction as a class one misdemeanor
- This is often the result of unlawful entering or remaining on a residential property or critical public service facility. It can also be the result of defacing religious artifacts.
- This conviction results in probation plus a range of zero to one year of jail time or prison time from four months to two years for first-time offenders.
- With one prior felony conviction, an individual convicted of this crime will serve prison for nine months to two years and nine months.
- With two prior felony convictions, a range of two years and three months to five years and nine months of prison time are ordered.
- Second degree criminal trespass is a class two misdemeanor
- This trespass offense involves entering or remaining on a fenced property while observing others or illegally mining.
- Punishment is probation with zero days to six months of time in jail, plus a fine of up to $2500 and a surcharge of 84 percent.
- Third degree criminal trespass is a class three misdemeanor
- Punishment is probation with up to four months of jail time, plus a fine of $750 with 80 percent surcharge
--- Defense for Trespass in Arizona ---
- Punishment is probation and as many as 30 days in jail, plus a possible fine with 80 percent surcharge.
When a skilled attorney defends an individual charged with trespass, the most important issue is proving that the defendant did not purposefully commit a crime. The lawyer must prove that the issue was a misunderstanding, with the defendant not realizing he or she could not be on the property or remain there.
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