Will Pokémon Go lead to an increase in Trespassing Charges?

With all the publicity in recent days about the new Pokémon Go game, I began to wonder if people were more likely to wonder out into the street or otherwise get injured playing this game. What also occurred to me is the potential for people to trespass onto private property or otherwise subject themselves to potential criminal liability. As a criminal defense attorney in Arizona and one who has handled criminal trespassing cases, I thought I would begin to break down the trespassing laws in Arizona for you Pokémon Go players living in Arizona.

There are a wide variety of trespassing charges available to law enforcement and they break into three major categories. As you can see each have their own set of elements that the prosecutor needs to prove. As with any case, it is a very fact specific inquiry and one that needs to be analyzed carefully. You should talk to an attorney if you find yourself charged with any crime.

A.R.S. 13-1504Trespassing in the First Degree (most serious)

  1. Enters or remains on a residential structure unlawfully.
  2. Enters or remains in a fenced residential yard.
  3. Enters a residential yard and looks into the residential structure, violating the owner’s right to privacy.
  4. Enters or remains on real property that has mineral claim and intends to hold, work, or take minerals from the claim or lease.
  5. Enters or remains on a person’s property and burns, defaces, or manipulates a religious symbol without the owner’s permission.
  6. Enters or remains on a public services facility unlawfully.

A person who violates paragraphs 1, 5, or 6 of the criminal code A.R.S. 13-1504 is guilty of a class 6 felony. A person who violates paragraphs 2, 3, or 4 of the criminal code is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor. The possible penalties for criminal trespassing in the first degree can be found below.

A.R.S. 13-1503 Criminal Trespassing in the Second Degree states:

An individual commits criminal trespassing in the second degree when they:

  1. Enter or remain on a nonresidential property or in any commercial fenced yard unlawfully.

Someone who commits trespassing in the second degree is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

Imprisonment: No more than 4 months in jail.

Fine: Not to exceed $750.

Criminal Trespass in the Third Degree

A.R.S. 13502 – Criminal Trespassing in the Third Degree states:

A person commits criminal trespassing in the third degree when a person:

  1. Enters or remains unlawfully on any real property after the owner or any other person with lawful control over the property has asked you to leave.
  2. Enters or remains unlawfully on the right-of-way for tracks, storage, switching yards, or rolling stock of a railroad company.

Criminal trespassing in the third degree is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Imprisonment: No more than 30 days in jail.

Fine: Not to exceed $500.


If you find yourself facing trespassing charges or are worries you may, feel free to call my office at 520 -261- 2576 and schedule an appointment to discuss your matter. Please be careful when playing Pokémon on your phone.