If a person hops a fence and enters the backyard of an abandoned house, what is the penalty?

UPDATED: Aug 4, 2011

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If a person hops a fence and enters the backyard of an abandoned house, what is the penalty?

It was the persons first time. Did not enter the house. Did not cause damage. And was ignorant to the severity of the crime.

Asked on August 4, 2011 Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Technically what the person did in hopping the fence was a "trespass". A "trespass" is the unauthorized entry onto another person's land without justification. "Trespass" can be a criminal action or a "civil" action.

Different states have different laws for criminal and civil trespass.

In a criminal trespass action, the district attorney's office prosecutes the offender where if convicted, fines, jail or probation could be the result.

In a civil trespass action, the property's owner sues the trespasser for monetary damages (and perhaps attorney's fees) as the result of the trespass and perhaps an injunction to keep the trespasser off the land in the future to be set in a court order after trial.

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