What is Trespass? What are the penalties if convicted of Trespass?

A charge of Trespass results from being somewhere you don’t have permission to be. Common examples include skateboarding in a business parking lot, utilizing privately-owned open space for recreation activities, or even ‘crashing’ a party you haven’t been invited to. You may be charged with Trespass under A.R.S. §13-1502, §13-1503 and §13-1504 if you enter or remain unlawfully on a piece of property;

  1. After having been requested to leave,
  2. Without the expressed consent of the property owner,
  3. Or in violation of a posted “No Trespassing” sign.

There are three classes of Trespass charges with vary in severity and carry different possible punishments upon conviction.

“First-Degree” Trespass: If you enter a residential structure or look into that structure after entering a fenced yard, if you enter a property with the intent to take or explore for mineral, if you enter a certain public service facilities, or if you enter a structure with the intent of defacing a religious symbol or artifact; you may be charged with first-degree trespass. This may be charged as a class 6 felony with a maximum period of incarceration of 2 years for first time offenders.

“Second-Degree” Trespass: If you unlawfully enter or remain on or in a non-residential structure or fenced yard, you may be charged with second-degree trespass. This is a class 2 misdemeanor with a maximum period of incarceration of 4 months for first time offenders.

“Third-Degree’ Trespass: If you refuse a reasonable request to leave a property or if you have ignored posted “No Trespassing” signs, you may be charged with third-degree trespass. This crime is a class 3 misdemeanor and carries a maximum period of incarceration of 30 days.

There are numerous defenses against a charge of trespass, which often involve the defendant having permission to remain on the property in question or not receiving adequate notice to leave. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can review the facts of your case and determine an applicable defense.

What is Burglary? What are the penalties if convicted of Burglary?

Under Arizona law, Burglary occurs when an individual unlawfully enters or remains on a property with the intent to commit a type of theft or felony. Unlike trespass which only requires the unlawful physical presence at or in a property, burglary requires the additional component of intent to commit a crime.

Similar to trespass law, there are three classes of burglary which vary in both severity and possible punishments.

“First-Degree” Burglary: You may be charged with first-degree burglary if you possessed a gun or other dangerous weapon at the time the crime was committed. This is a very serious crime that can be charged as either a class 2 or a class 3 felony depending on whether the crime occurred in a residential structure. Penalties associated with this crime range from probation only for first time offenders to 35 years in jail for a person with 2 prior convictions.

“Second-Degree” Burglary: If you did not possess a dangerous weapon at the time the burglary was committed, you may be charged with burglary in the second degree. This crime is classified as a class 3 felony and carries significant penalties, ranging from probation only for first time offenders to 25 years in jail for third time offenders.

“Third-Degree” Burglary: A charge of third-degree burglary may result from committing a charge of burglary by entering a commercial or residential yard, or through unlawful entry into a vehicle. This crime may be charged as a class 4 felony and can result in penalties from probation for first time offenders to 15 years of incarceration for third time offenders.

If you have been arrested in Arizona on charges of trespass or burglary, it is important to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to discuss the facts of you case. There are numerous possible defenses against such crimes ranging from Miranda rights violations to lack of intent or a mistake in the facts. A qualified attorney can recognize these key points and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.