Domestic Violence Charges for Criminal Trespassing

Phoenix Lawyer Defending the Accused

In Arizona, domestic violence includes any form of criminal abuse perpetrated by one family or household member against another. One way in which it can be perpetrated is through trespassing on the home or property of someone with whom you’ve had a sexual, romantic or familial relationship. If you are facing domestic violence charges for criminal trespassing, you may be subject to significant penalties and other consequences if you are convicted. Phoenix domestic violence attorney James E. Novak can assess the facts of your case, help you understand your options, and assist you in protecting your rights at each stage of the process.

Domestic Violence Charges for Criminal Trespassing

Domestic violence is a broad term that applies to many different criminal charges. It is not a separate crime, but rather is a designation attached to crimes in which certain factors are present.

Under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 13-3601, crimes can be deemed domestic violence when: (1) the perpetrator and victim are married, formerly married or lived together in the same household, (2) they share a child, (3) the victim is pregnant with the child of the person being charged, (4) the accused and the victim are related by law or blood, (5) the person who is charged lives in the same residence as a child victim and is related by a former spouse or blood, and (6) the victim and the defendant were involved sexually or romantically. In some cases, the court will consider outside factors to determine whether a particular relationship is currently or was formerly a romantic or sexual relationship, including: (1) how long the relationship was, (2) the nature of the relationship between the accused and the victim, (3) how often the victim and the accused interacted and (4) whether the relationship was going or was terminated and if it was terminated, how long it’s been since the relationship ended. A criminal defense lawyer can analyze and prepare a defense to your domestic violence charges.

In addition to domestic violence charges for criminal trespassing, other crimes that can constitute domestic violence include disorderly conduct, assault, and battery. Not all domestic violence crimes are violent by nature. The critical issue is whether the victim and perpetrator of a crime have a romantic, sexual or familial relationship as defined under the domestic violence statute.

Criminal trespassing is prohibited under A.R.S. sections 13-1502, 13-1503, and 13-1504. Under A.R.S. section 13-1502, third degree criminal trespass, a class 3 misdemeanor, may be charged if you knowingly enter or stay illegally on any real property after a reasonable request to leave by a law enforcement officer, the owner or someone else that has lawful control over the property or reasonable notice that stops entry. For example, if you knowingly break into your ex-girlfriend’s house in Phoenix and stay there after she tells you to leave, this may be charged as domestic violence criminal trespassing.

Under section 13-1503, you can be charged with criminal trespass in the second degree, a class 2 misdemeanor, if you knowingly enter or stay in a fenced commercial yard or nonresidential building. For example, if you knowingly stay at your estranged spouse’s place of business after she’s asked you to leave, you could face domestic violence criminal trespass charges.

Under section 13-1504, someone commits criminal trespass in the first degree by: (1) knowingly coming onto or staying unlawfully in or on a residential structure, (2) entering or staying illegally in a fenced residential yard, (3) entering a residential yard and illegally looking into a residential structure in reckless disregard of infringing on someone’s right of privacy, or (4) coming illegally onto real property that’s subject to a valid mineral lease or claim planning to take, explore, work or hold minerals, (5) coming onto or staying illegally on the property of another and mutilating, defacing or burning religious property or a symbol without the owner’s express permission, or (6) coming onto or staying illegally in or on a critical public service facility. Depending on which scenario is the basis for the prosecution, you can be charged with either a felony or a class 1 misdemeanor. For example, if you knowingly go into an ex-spouse’s yard and look into the window without regard for your ex’s privacy, you could face criminal trespassing charges.

Consult a Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer in Phoenix

If you face domestic violence charges for criminal trespassing, you should consult a seasoned criminal defense attorney. Our principal James Novak has many years of experience defending those charged with domestic violence in Phoenix, Gilbert, Mesa, Chandler, Tempe and Scottsdale, and all communities in Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact him through our online form.

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