How to Beat a Trespassing Charge in Arizona
Trespassing is a serious crime in the state of Arizona. Entering or loitering on private properties and public facilities without being an invitee or an agent can get you charged with trespassing and you may face time in jail and a stiff fine. If you are arrested and charged with a trespassing charge, you should talk to a criminal defense Arizona law attorney as soon as possible to start building your defense.
Until you secure legal representation, you should not take to the police. Any word you say will be noted. Moreover, police officers use interrogation tactics that may make you say things you do not mean. Or they can present your answers out of context.
But first of all, let us understand what Arizona law says on the subject of trespassing.
Types of Trespassing Charges in Arizona
As any criminal defense Arizona law attorney can explain to you, offenses are classified by degree of seriousness and the level of danger they pose to the general public or to an individual. Depending on the circumstances, you can be charged with one of the following three types of trespassing charges.
Third Degree Trespassing Charge
This type of offense, enshrined in Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1502, refers to entering and remaining onto:
- Real property
- Right-of-way for tracks, storage or switching yards of railway companies.
It is the lowest type of offense of this type under criminal defense Arizona law and is classified as a class 3 misdemeanor.
Second Degree Trespassing Charge
According to Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1503, criminal trespass in the second degree occurs when a person knowingly enters and/or remains unlawfully in any non-residential building or in a fenced-in commercial yard (including parking areas belonging to commercial centers and malls).
This type of trespassing charge is classified as a class 2 misdemeanor. Even if you believe you were charged by mistake, you should still hire a criminal defense Arizona law attorney, instead of trying to defend yourself on your own.
First Degree Trespassing Charge
This is the most serious of all types of criminal trespassing charges. As Arizona Revised Statutes 13-1504 details, it involves enter or unlawfully remaining on:
- A residential property
- A fenced residential yard
- a residential yard and looking into the residence
- a real property subject to a valid mineral claim.
- any property and burning, defacing or desecrating religious symbols therein
- a critical public service facility.
For this type of offense, the classification is as follows:
- class 5 felony for item 6
- class 6 felony for items 1 and 5
- class 1 misdemeanor for items 2, 3 and 4.
Reasons to Hire a Criminal Defense Arizona Law Attorney to Assist You
Any of the offences above carries a prison sentence, starting with 6 months for class 1 misdemeanor and up to 2.5 years for class 5 felony. An experienced criminal defense lawyer can help you defend yourself against these charges, especially by:
- showing that you had not intended to trespass
- invoking lack of evidence
- suppressing evidence due to constitutional violations (Miranda rights violation, forced confession, right of counsel violation).
Even in the event that the trespassing charge cannot be fully dismissed, your criminal defense Arizona law attorney can negotiate an acceptable plea bargain or have your offense reclassified.
Let an Experienced Criminal Defense Arizona Law Attorney Represent You
Getting in trouble with the law is a shocking and confusing moment for anyone. You may say things you did not mean, or your innocent words may be taken out of context. This is why you should make sure that you have legal representation from the very start of your criminal case.
One of our skilled criminal defense Arizona law attorneys is ready to help you, so contact us now!