What are the Arizona Loitering Laws?
Loitering is an act of hanging out aimlessly. An act of Loitering becomes a legal concern when the individual hangs out at a place, public or private, without any legitimate reason, and thereby raises a concern of disturbance to public peace and order.
An act of Loitering where the individual refuses to move along even upon the orders of a law enforcement officer is punishable under law.
Loitering laws are regarded as a legal means to curb acts of public nuisances such as aggressive begging, public drunkenness, and blocking public entry in public areas such as streets and shop entryways, and more serious crimes such as prostitution, and drug peddling.
Like many other states, the state of Arizona to has strict Loitering laws in place. An awareness of Arizona’s general and homeless loitering laws can empower the general public, vagrants and the homeless, realize their legal rights and prevent illegal arrests.
An act of Loitering and the possible legal consequences therein are specified in Title 13 – Criminal Code – of Arizona Revised Statutes.
Let us take a closer look at what Loitering Laws Arizona mean for the general public.
Arizona Loitering Law
According to Section 2905 of Title 13 of Arizona Revised Statutes, an individual commits an act of loitering if:
- The individual is in a public area and solicits another individual to indulge in an act that is sexual offense and does so either in an offensive manner or in a way that is likely to disrupt public peace.
- The individual is in a public place and shows an intention to gamble using gambling devices such as dice, cards or other. The public place where the individual is present should not be a legally authorized gambling spot.
- The individual while in a transportation facility engages in, or solicits, transactions of a commercial nature involving the sale of services or goods.
The individual engages in such solicitation without any legally-recognized authority to do so or continues such solicitation even after reasonable requests to stop.
- The individual is present in a college, school or university, or the premises therein, and does any or all of the following:
o Does not have any legal reason to be in the place
o Does not have any legally-recognized responsibility for, or custody of, any student of the institution
o Does not have any permission in writing from any authorized personnel permitting his or her presence within the said educational institution
o Does not heed to a reasonable request to leave the precinct
- The individual engages in a business of bail bonds within court premises, or in the immediate vicinity or nearby the entrance of a city or county prison.
The term “engaging in” used in the above context can include any of the following actions:
o Distributing promotional materials including business cards or other printed materials
o Asking another individual orally if he or she is interested in procuring a bail bond
o Displaying bail bond-related information using electronic devices
o Hiring another individual to engage in such bail bond business as described above
There is an exception to the above Loitering law Arizona - individuals engaged in bail bond business within such premises as described above, with proper authorization, as specified in Section 3969 of Title 13 of Arizona Revised Statutes, are permitted to solicit, or engage in, bail bond business.
According to Section 3969, Subsection A:
- A list of agents authorized for posting bail bonds within county or city jails is provided to an individual charged with an offense that is bailable.
Such a list is provided by the keeper or sheriff of the respective city or county jail under whose custody the accused is being held.
The list provided contains the names and telephone numbers of authorized bail bond agents. This list is updated every month. The list entries are rotated and sent to city and county jails through electronic means by the court clerk.
The list of authorized bond agents carries the name of the agents or their trade names if such names have a Secretary of State registration.
Punishment for Loitering in Arizona
Loitering in a college, school or university (explained above), is regarded by law as a Class 1 Misdemeanor. This crime is punishable by imprisonment for up to 6 months, and/or a fine within a maximum amount of $2500.
Loitering in other cases is a Class 3 Misdemeanor. The offense is punishable by up to 1-month imprisonment and/ or a fine of a maximum amount of $500.