While all forms of criminal trespassing in Arizona are illegal, not all cases are classified the same way. Trespassing on residential or commercial property can be a Class 1, Class 2, or a Class 3 misdemeanor offense. Depending on the details of the incident, the crime could also result in a Class 6 felony.
Trespass laws are put in place by the state of Arizona to protect the best interests of property owners from intruders. However, not all cases are cut and dried, and the unique circumstances surrounding the claim must be looked at in detail.
If you have been charged for criminal trespassing, you may be looking at hefty fees, probation, and possible jail time in your future. To have your charges reduced or even eliminated, you should consider putting your trust into a Peoria trespass lawyer. The criminal defense lawyers at JacksonWhite Law will fight for your rights for a favorable outcome.
Trespass Laws in Peoria
Arizona statutes §13-1502, §13-1503, and §13-1504 relate to criminal trespassing offenses in Arizona. These statutes define “trespassing” as the act of knowingly entering or remaining on a piece of property unlawfully and without the expressed permission of the owner, in violation of a no-trespassing sign, or after being requested to leave.
As there is no explicit requirement in the state of Arizona for a property owner to post a “no trespassing” sign, this type of signage does not need to be present for a trespassing violation to occur. Punishment for criminal trespassing in Arizona is dependent on the degree of conviction. The degrees of criminal trespass include the following:
First-Degree Criminal Trespass (Class 6 Felony)
First-degree criminal trespass is a felony charge. A person may commit first-degree criminal trespassing if they unlawfully enter or remain in a residential or public services structure, or enters or remains on a person’s property without the owner’s expressed permission. Individual acts may also fall under first-degree criminal trespassing, such as the unlawful defacing, burning, or manipulation of a religious symbol located on another person’s property.
First-Degree Criminal Trespass (Class 1 Misdemeanor)
First-degree criminal trespassing may also classify as a Class 1 misdemeanor. A person who commits this crime is alleged to have entered or remained in a fenced residential yard, entered or remained on real property that has a mineral claim with intent to hold or take minerals, or entered a suburban yard to look into a residential structure which violates the property owner’s right to privacy.
Second-Degree Criminal Trespass (Class 2 Misdemeanor)
Second-degree criminal trespass is a misdemeanor. This crime occurs when an individual unlawfully enters or remains on a non-residential property or within a commercial fenced yard.
Third-Degree Criminal Trespass (Class 3 Misdemeanor)
A third-degree criminal trespass occurs when a person unlawfully enters or remains on real property after the owner has asked them to leave, or when a person illegally enters or remains on the right-of-way for tracks, switching yards, storage, or rolling stock of a railroad company.
Trespass Penalties in Peoria
Penalties for criminal trespassing in Arizona is based on the degree of intrusion the alleged offender is charged with.
For a first-degree felony criminal trespass, the punishment is up to 18 months in prison and up to $150,000 in fines. The sentence for first-degree criminal trespass classified as a Class 1 misdemeanor is up to six months in jail and fines of up to $2,500 plus surcharges.
For a second-degree criminal trespassing misdemeanor charge, the punishment is up to four months in prison with up to $750 in fines. Finally, for a third-degree criminal trespass misdemeanor charge, the penalty is up to 30 days in jail and up to $500 in fines.
Defenses for Trespassing in Peoria
If you have been charged with criminal trespassing in Peoria, you need a strong defense. Often a trespassing charge is a simple misunderstanding that can be resolved quickly with the help of a qualified Peoria trespass lawyer. This may occur in instances where a person enters a property that appears vacant or is not marked.
In some instances, a landlord/tenant dispute can result in charge of trespassing. Fortunately, there are many defense strategies that a Peoria trespass lawyer can use to challenge the charges against you.
JacksonWhite Law in Peoria, Arizona
It only takes a moment to make a simple mistake that leads to weeks, months or even years of legal trouble. If you are facing a criminal trespassing charge, it is essential to act quickly to protect your interests.
The Peoria trespass lawyers at JacksonWhite Criminal Law will work hard on your behalf to ensure that your rights are not violated and that you receive a fair and satisfactory outcome. To discuss your case, schedule a consultation with a JacksonWhite criminal defense lawyer at our Peoria location.
Address: 7972 W. Thunderbird Rd, Suite 105
Peoria, AZ 85381
Call the Peoria JacksonWhite Criminal Law team at (480) 467-4370 to discuss your case today.