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Looking at the Law: Criminal Trespassing in Arizona

Trespassing may not seem like a big deal to some people, but the truth is that trespassing in Arizona is illegal and could net you charges of criminal trespassing. We enter and exit property that doesn't belong to us on many occasions in the course of a day, such as by going to the bank or visiting a neighbor, but being in these same areas under certain circumstances could be construed as trespassing. Let's look at Arizona's trespassing laws:

1st Degree Criminal Trespassing:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a residential structure;
  • Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a fenced residential yard;
  • Knowingly entering any residential yard and, without lawful authority, looking into the residential structure thereon in reckless disregard of infringing on the inhabitant's right of privacy;
  • Knowingly entering unlawfully on real property that is subject to a valid mineral claim or lease with the intent to hold, work, take or explore for minerals on the claim or lease;
  • Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on the property of another and burning, defacing, mutilating or otherwise desecrating a religious symbol or other religious property of another without the express permission of the owner of the property;
  • Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a critical public service facility.

2nd Degree Criminal Trespassing:

  • Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in or on any nonresidential structure or in any fenced commercial yard.

3rd Degree Criminal Trespassing:
  • Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property after a reasonable request to leave by the owner or any other person having lawful control over such property, or reasonable notice prohibiting entry;
  • Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on the right-of-way for tracks, or the storage or switching yards or rolling stock of a railroad company.

The punishment for criminal trespassing varies depending on whether you are charged with misdemeanor or felony trespassing and if you have been charged with additional Arizona crimes in the process. A trespassing conviction could impact your future opportunities for work or education, and thus should be taken seriously.

If you have been arrested for criminal trespassing in Maricopa County, give the experienced Phoenix criminal defense lawyers with Curry, Pearson & Wooten a call today at 1-888-929-5292. We also want you to take a copy of our helpful book, Arizona Criminal Law - What You Must Know, which answers many questions about what to do next.

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