Law on Trespass in Arizona and the Punishments for it?
Trespass can be defined as an illegal intrusion on a property that may interfere with the owner's work or cause damage to the property. The owner of the property can press charges on the trespasser, even if there is no lasting damage to the property. In Arizona, trespass can be either civil or criminal, depending on the amount of damage caused to the property and the intention of the trespasser.
Civil Trespass in Arizona:
The state of Arizona does not have a specific section on civil trespass. However, in the Blanton & Co. v. Transamerica Title Ins. Co. case, the court had stated if the damage caused to the property is not lasting and the land can be restored to its original state, the owner of the land can recover the cost of restoration from the one who trespassed on their land. So, if children playing ball, intrude on their neighbor's property without permission and cause significant damage, like a crushed flower bed, the owner can ask for compensation for the damage.
Trespass on State Lands:
As per § 37-501, a person is guilty of trespassing the state lands if they,
- Knowingly cuts or destroys any wood or timber on the property, removes any wood or timber from the property or mows, cuts or removes hay from the land or grazes cattle there without being authorized to do so.
- Knowingly removes or extracts oil, fossil. coal. gas. mineral. or any other fuel or fertilizer of any kind,
- Knowingly removes any fence or other structure on the lands or plows the land without authorization to do so,
- Sets fire to trees and shrubs through criminal negligence.
Those in violation of the above section can be charged guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor and will have to serve a term of up to 4 months and a fine of up to $750.
Criminal Trespass in Arizona:
§ 13-1502: Criminal Trespass in Third Degree-
A person can be convicted for criminal trespass in the third degree if,
- They knowingly entered and remained in the property illegally after being asked to leave by a law enforcer or the owner or any other person who has legal rights on the property or when the property displayed notice of prohibition.
- Knowingly entered or remained on the property without authority on the right-of-way for storage, tracks, or for rolling the stock of a railroad company.
A person in violation of the section is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and will have to serve a term of up to 30 days and pay a fine of up to $500.
§ 13-1503: Criminal Trespass in Second Degree-
A person can be convicted for criminal trespass in the second degree if intentionally enter and illegally remain on a non-residential property or fenced commercial grounds. They will be charged with Class 2 misdemeanor and will have to serve a term of up to 4 months and a fine of up to $750.
§ 13-1504: Criminal Trespass in First Degree-
A person can be convicted for criminal trespass in the first degree if they,
- Knowingly enter and remain in a fenced residential yard,
- Infringe on the privacy of another person by entering their property without authorization and looking into the residential structure.
- Illegally entering or remaining on a property that mineral claims and the person intends to take, work or hold the minerals from the claim.
The above violations are Class 1 misdemeanors and the trespasser will have to serve a term of up to 6 months and a fine of up to $2500.
However, the person will be charged with a Class 6 felony if they,
- Illegally enter or remain on/in a residential structure
- Enter or remain in the property and deface, burn, cause severe damage or destroy a religious symbol without authority.
The trespassers will be sentenced up to 2 years in prison and will have to pay a fine of up to $150,000. If the trespasser enters or remains in or on a public service facility, they will be charged with Class 5 felony and will have to serve up to 2.6 years in prison and pay up to $150,000 in fine.