Trespassing in Arizona occurs when an individual either (1) enters and/or remains on private property without permission or after being asked to leave, or (2) enters private property despite explicit singe that states the property owners wishes for not trespassing. These criminal violations are broken up into three separate “degrees” of trespassing.
First-degree Trespass: This is a criminal offense. This criminal offense is charged when an individual knowingly enters or remains unlawfully in (or on) a residential structure or fenced yard. First-degree trespass offense can also be charged for spying into another person’s home to infringe upon their privacy (also known as peeping Tom laws).
There are other offenses in which the first-degree trespass can be charged, such as interfering with another’s mineral claims or defacing religious property. Criminal trespass in the first degree can be charged not only as a class 1 misdemeanor but as a class 5 or 6 felony also.
Second-degree Trespass: This is also a criminal offense. A person commits second-degree criminal trespass by “knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in or on any nonresidential structure or in any fenced commercial yard.” If an individual is found guilty of second-degree trespass, they will face penalties of a class 2 misdemeanor.
Third-degree Trespass: The trespass in the third degree is generally charged after a property owner or law enforcement officer asks an individual to leave a private premise, and that individual refuses to leave. This crime can also be charged for trespassing on railroad tracks. For an individual convicted of any offense charged as criminal trespass in the third degree, the penalties are those of a class 3 misdemeanor.
Criminal trespass charges of any degree can come with hefty penalties and should be vigorously fought against. Misdemeanor convictions stay with you for the rest of your life and can harm your reputation. Having a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney on your side to help you through your case can result in having charges such as these considerably mitigated or even dismissed in some cases. Contact Rosenstein Law Group to speak with an experienced criminal trespassing defense attorney today by calling 480-248-7666 or fill out a contact form online.