Arizona Trespassing on real property open to public

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Arizona Trespassing on real property open to public

I was physically assaulted at a bar located at a marketplace but only I was asked to leave the property. The officers said that it was provoked and did not investigate. I left for about 30 minutes to the parking lot but returned to a different location at the marketplace (not the bar) and was arrested for 3rd degree trespassing. The officers admitted in their report that I stated I was hit however no one was assaulted by me. Can I make the defense that the trespassing request was unreasonable and also question whether the officers had lawful control of the property?

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Criminal Law, Arizona

Answers:

M.S., Member, Connecticut Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The general rule is that you can make any defense that you want; the real question is whether it will be successful.  In your case, while you could make an argument that the demand that you leave violated your first amendment right to freedom of association, I do not think that it will be successful.  In fact, I think that that argument may actually provoke the prosecution.  Moreover, I do not think that you can argue whether the officers "had lawful control of the property" since the question (assuming that the marketplace/bar are privately owned) is whether the private establishment wanted you to leave.  Rather, based upon the facts that you have provided, your best defense may be that you did not actually return to the bar.  However, that defense obviously depends on whether you were asked to leave the bar, or the marketplace in its entirety.  Nevertheless, I suggest that you consult with and/or retain a criminal defense attorney to discuss the particular facts of your case and evaluate the merits of all possible defenses.


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