Phoenix Criminal Trespassing Attorney
Although it may not appear significant, crossing onto someone else's property without permission could lead to criminal trespassing charges in Arizona. Criminal trespassing charges in Arizona can have severe consequences, including hefty fines and even imprisonment. Individuals need to be mindful of private property boundaries and respect the rights of property owners to avoid legal complications.
You must contact an attorney immediately if you or a loved one has been charged with criminal trespassing in Phoenix.
Types of Criminal Trespassing in Arizona
Arizona has established distinct categories for trespassing: first, second, and third degree, each comprehensively defined in its section of the Arizona Revised Statutes.
First-degree criminal trespassing - Arizona legislators characterize this form of trespassing as:
- If you knowingly entered or remained in a critical public service facility or residential structure, which includes a fenced residential yard, unlawfully. In that case, you could be convicted of criminal trespass in the first degree.
- If you recklessly peered into a residential structure and violated the resident's privacy.
- If you trespassed on a property under a valid mineral lease or claims intending to hold, work, or explore for minerals. In that case, you can be charged with first-degree criminal trespass.
- The law also prohibits the intentional desecration, burning, defacing, or mutating of religious property or symbols without the owner's consent.
Second-degree criminal trespassing - Knowingly entering or staying unlawfully in a nonresidential structure or a fenced commercial yard constitutes second-degree criminal trespass.
Third-degree criminal trespassing - You could face a third-degree criminal trespass charge if you refuse to leave or enter a place despite the owner's request or explicit prohibition. This also encompasses the right-of-way for tracks, storage, switching yards, or rolling stock belonging to a railroad company.
Punishments of Criminal Trespassing in Arizona
Class 6 felony: If you were involved in these types of trespassing, you would be charged with a class 6 felony which is punishable by a maximum of eighteen months imprisonment and a fine of up to $150,000:
- Unlawfully entering or remaining in a residential building with knowledge.
- Willfully accessing a public services facility without permission or legal authorization.
- Committing criminal damage, such as burning or defacing, on private property that is not yours.
Class 1 misdemeanor: Partaking in these forms of trespassing would lead to a class 6 felony charge against you, including a sentence of up to six months imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,500:
- Trespassing by entering or remaining in a fenced residential yard without consent.
- Invading the privacy of a residential structure by peering into a yard or property.
- Intentionally accessing a property with a documented mineral claim with the intent to mine and extract minerals for personal gain.
Class 2 misdemeanor: A conviction for second-degree criminal trespassing results in a class 2 misdemeanor, which can carry a penalty of up to four months in jail and fines of up to $750.
Class 3 misdemeanor: Engaging in either of these behaviors is a class 3 misdemeanor that could result in up to 30 days of imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.