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We often see signs on commercial and residential properties that warn us not to trespass, but what happens if we decide to ignore a sign and enter a property illegally?
If you are caught, you can be charged with criminal trespassing.
In Arizona, criminal trespassing is classified as first, second, or third degree, with first being the most extreme.
The definitions and statutes of the three degrees of criminal trespassing in Arizona are listed below:
Criminal Trespass in the First Degree
A.R.S. 13-1504 – Criminal Trespassing in the First Degree states:
A person commits first degree criminal trespassing when an individual:
- Enters or remains on a residential structure unlawfully.
- Enters or remains in a fenced residential yard.
- Enters a residential yard and looks into the residential structure, violating the owner’s right to privacy.
- Enters or remains on real property that has mineral claim and intends to hold, work, or take minerals from the claim or lease.
- Enters or remains on a person’s property and burns, defaces, or manipulates a religious symbol without the owner’s permission.
- Enters or remains on a public services facility unlawfully.
A person who violates paragraphs 1, 5, or 6 of the criminal code A.R.S. 13-1504 is guilty of a class 6 felony. A person who violates paragraphs 2, 3, or 4 of the criminal code is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. The possible penalties for criminal trespassing in the first degree can be found below.
Imprisonment: No more than 6 months in jail.
Fine: Not to exceed $2,500.
Imprisonment: No more than 18 months in jail.
Fine: Not to exceed $150,000.
Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree
A.R.S. 13-1503 – Criminal Trespassing in the Second Degree states:
An individual commits criminal trespassing in the second degree when they:
- Enter or remain on a nonresidential property or in any commercial fenced yard unlawfully.
Someone who commits trespassing in the second degree is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.
Imprisonment: No more than 4 months in jail.
Fine: Not to exceed $750.
Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree
A.R.S. 13-1502 – Criminal Trespassing in the Third Degree states:
A person commits criminal trespassing in the third degree when a person:
- Enters or remains unlawfully on any real property after the owner or any other person with lawful control over the property has asked you to leave.
- Enters or remains unlawfully on the right-of-way for tracks, storage, switching yards, or rolling stock of a railroad company.
Criminal trespassing in the third degree is a class 3 misdemeanor.
Imprisonment: No more than 30 days in jail.
Fine: Not to exceed $500.
Help with Your Criminal Trespass Case
Keep an eye out for those small signs you see on fences or walls that say “Keep Out,” or “No Trespassing.” However, if you happened to overlook those signs and have been arrested for one of the criminal trespassing charges listed above, contact the experienced defense team at JacksonWhite Law.
Schedule a FREE and confidential consultation with criminal defense lawyer Jeremy Geigle by calling (480) 818 9943.
Jeremy can help you explore all your legal options, possible defenses and work to reduce your charges and penalties.
Call today for to discuss your trespass case for free.