CanI be found guilty of criminal trespassing in the 3rd degree ifI left the premises the first timethat Iwas told to?

UPDATED: Sep 16, 2011

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CanI be found guilty of criminal trespassing in the 3rd degree ifI left the premises the first timethat Iwas told to?

Went to a golf course and asked if I could scuba dive there lakes to remove the golf balls. The person I spoke with said yes and provided me with a golf cart to use to get to the lakes. Later another person who worked there saw me diving and called the police. This person told them I was not allowed to be there and as a result the police gave me a ticket for criminal trespassing in the 3rd degree.

Asked on September 16, 2011 under Criminal Law, Arizona


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Trespassing is not made not trespassing by the fact that the trespasser leaves when asked to leave. Rather, it is the act of trespassing in the first place that is criminal.

However, that said, it is NOT trespass if you had permission to be where you were, doing what you were doing. If the person you spoke with was actually an employee or representative  of the golf course (and not, say, a customer or patron, or a caddy hired directly by a customer or patron), and if you were given permission by that employee or representative to dive in the lake, you would have a good defense to a trespassing charge, even if some other person later claimed that you were trespassing.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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