Trespassing is an offense that encompasses a wide range of conduct in Arizona. While most people think of trespassing as a cut and dry violation, there are actually many common circumstances where everyday people could find themselves in legal trouble.
The penalties for Trespassing can be rather severe, including prison, jail, and a permanent criminal record ranging from a misdemeanor up to a felony. Given the wide range of penalties, if you are facing Criminal Trespassing charges in El Mirage, it recommended that you consult with a criminal defense attorney to protect your rights and determine the best course of action for a successful defense. Contact the Rosenstein Law Group at 480-248-7666 or online for a free consultation for your Trespassing case.
Criminal trespassing can be charged three different ways in Arizona:
Criminal Trespass in the first degree can range from a class 5 felony to a class 1 misdemeanor. The penalties for these offenses may include prison, jail, probation, and fines. There are six ways a person can be charged with Criminal Trespass in the first degree:
A class 5 felony conviction can lead to 6 months to 2.5 years in prison, up to 3 years of probation and a maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. A class 6 felony conviction can lead to 4 months to 2 years in prison, up to 3 years of probation and a maximum fine of $150,000 plus surcharges. A class 1 misdemeanor conviction can result in up to 180 days in jail, up to 3 years of probation and a maximum fine of $2,500 plus surcharges.
A person may be charged with Criminal Trespass in the second degree if they knowingly enter or remain unlawfully in or on any nonresidential structure or in any fenced commercial yard. This includes trespassing at retail establishments, fenced yards in industrial or business zoning areas, and other structures not used as a residence or lodging. Criminal Trespass in the second degree is a class 2 misdemeanor. The potential penalties for Criminal Trespass in the Second Degree:
The most common type of Trespass in the third degree charge occurs when someone enters or remains on a property after they have been asked to leave or when they have reasonable notice prohibiting their entry. If a person disobeys a no trespassing sign that is clearly visible, they may be charged with Trespass in the third degree, a class 3 misdemeanor offense. Additionally, we see a lot of trespassing cases resulting from overzealous bouncers kicking patrons out of bars. If the patron does not listen to the bouncer on their first request, the police may be called, and the patron may be charged with trespassing. The potential penalties for Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree include:
In cases where there is video surveillance or witnesses identifications (photo line-ups or one-on-one identifications), it may be possible to challenge that you were the person who was allegedly seen trespassing. Or, maybe you were charged incorrectly based on the type of location where the incident occurred. Aside from these common issues, there are other defenses that may be used in a Trespassing case, including:
Trespassing charges are serious violations in Arizona. Even the lowest level offense may leave you with a permanent criminal conviction. Challenging the state’s evidence may lead to a reduction in charges or a dismissal. In some cases, it may be possible to enter into a diversion program to avoid a conviction. If you are charged with Criminal Trespassing, contact the Rosenstein Law Group at 480-248-7666 or online to schedule a free consultation.