Breaking and Entering Law Arizona
If you have noticed signs that say no trespassing and if you have entered the property despite the sign, you would be guilty of violating the breaking and entering laws. In most cases, it is not even necessary that there be a no trespassing sign for one to be guilty of breaking and entering. As per the breaking and entering law, even if you use the slightest amount of force, even enough to merely open a door, you can be held for breaking and entering if you had no right to be present on the property in question.
Arizona Breaking and Entering Law
The state of Arizona has breaking and entering laws in place to protect property owners from intruders. Those who unlawfully enter another person’s property can be prosecuted for the crime of criminal trespass. A person is said to have committed criminal trespass if he or she ignores signs on the property and enters said property without the permission of the owner and by using minimal force. Even if there was no lock preventing an individual from entering the property, but there was a sign asking people not to trespass, the individual can be prosecuted.
The state of Arizona splits criminal trespass into the first second and third-degree crimes, first degree being the most severe with the harshest punishment and third-degree being the least severe. The common aspect in all three degrees of the crime is the occurrence of breaking and entering. Below we take a look at the elements of the crime at all three degrees as well as the punishment for breaking and entering in Arizona.
First degree – Felony – A person is guilty of this crime if he or she enters another person’s property unlawfully and burns, or defaces the property, or if he or she manipulated religious items on the property. A person can be guilty of this crime if he or she enters and remains in public service premises unlawfully. This is a class 6 felony that is punishable by up to 18 months in prison and up to 150,000 dollars in fines.
First degree – Misdemeanor – A person is guilty of this crime if he or she enters a residential property of compound and looks into the residential building, therefore violating the right of privacy of those in the house. The person can be charged with a class 1 misdemeanor and can be asked to pay up to 2500 dollars in fines and can also be made to serve a sentence of up to six months.
Second degree – Misdemeanor – A person is found to be guilty of second-degree criminal trespass if he or she enters, and remains on non-residential property, or enters any fenced commercial yard unlawfully. If found guilty, the individual will have the charges of a class 2 misdemeanor, and will have to serve up to four months in prison, and will have to pay no more than 750 dollars as a fine.
Third-degree – Misdemeanor – A person can be charged with criminal trespass in the third degree if he or she unlawfully enters and remains on the property after being asked to leave the premises by the owner or any other individual who has legal rights over the property. This charge is applicable if an individual unlawfully remains on switching yards, tracks, storage area of a railroad company. Those found to violate the law are guilty of a class 3 misdemeanor and can be punished with 30days in prison and a fine of 500 dollars.
Being aware of the breaking and entering laws Arizona as well as the punishment for breaking and entering in Arizona will put you in a better position to plan your defense if you find yourself in such a situation.
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