Trespass Defense Attorney – Robert A. Dodell

The crime of trespassing occurs when a person enters someone else’s property without permission or remains on the property after being asked to leave.  Trespassing cannot be either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the type of property involved.  The crime is broken down into three different categories:

  • Criminal trespass in the first degree: This crime covers a number of different offenses, including
    • Knowingly entering or remaining in or on a residential structure or in a residential yard.  This crime is a class 6 felony, which carries a possible prison term from 4 months to 2 years.  The maximum allowable fine for a class 6 felony is $150,000.  Probation may be ordered for up to three years.
    • Knowingly entering or remaining on a property of another and damaging a religious symbol. This crime is a class 6 felony, which carries a possible prison term from 4 months to 2 years.  The maximum allowable fine for a class 6 felony is $150,000.  Probation may be ordered for up to three years.
    • Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in a fenced residential yard.  This crime is a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum possible sentence of up to six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, and up to three years probation.
    • Knowingly entering a residential yard, without lawful authority, looking into the residence in reckless disregard of infringing on the inhabitant’s right of privacy.  This crime is a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum possible sentence of up to six months in jail, a $2,500 fine, and up to three years probation.
  • Criminal trespass in the second degree: A person commits this crime by knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully in or on any nonresidential structure or in any fenced commercial yard.  This crime is a class 2 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum possible sentence of up to four months in jail, a $750 fine, and up to two years probation.
  • Criminal trespass in the third degree: A person knowing entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property after a reasonable request to leave by law enforcement, the owner or any other person with lawful control over the property, or a reasonable notice prohibiting entry, such as a “No Trespassing” sign.  This crime is a class 3 misdemeanor, which carries a maximum possible sentence of up to one month in jail, a $500 fine, and up to one year probation.

It is not uncommon for the trespass be designated as a domestic violence offense. If you go the property of  someone with whom you have a domestic relationship and are asked to leave, but you don’t, you can be charged with trespassing in the first degree, a class 6 felony.  These cases are treated differently and the consequences can be even more severe. In Arizona, domestic violence often involves the following types of domestic relationships:

  1. Spouses or ex-spouses;
  2. Dating couples;
  3. Roommates;
  4. Couples with a child or pregnancy in common; or
  5. Parents and children; grandparents and grandchildren, siblings.

 

In addition to possible incarceration, probation and fines, a domestic violence conviction will add the requirement of court-mandated counseling.  This counseling could last several months.  The court can also restrict communication with the victim.  A domestic violence conviction can affect you in family court, resulting in the loss of custody rights and restricted visitation with a child. The consequences do not end there.  You will lose your right to possess a firearm.  Due to the nature of the offense, domestic violence convictions can also result in the loss of valuable job opportunities.

If you stand accused of trespassing, contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, now. Your freedom, your rights and your future are at stake. It is very important that you speak to an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney who is familiar with such matters. Robert provides individual service when protecting your rights. Contact Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, directly by email or by calling 480-860-4321 now for a free initial consultation.