Q: When your house is broken into and you call the police, what is the officers duty to assit me in this situation?
TENANTS were evicted thru the courts. They returned. Police finally cuffed them and said I could only charge them with tresspassing not breaking an entry. Yet they said it was a felony. What is correct?
A: It is rather difficult to determine what the tenants will be charged with for a number of different reasons. First, the police are not the ones who charge people for their crimes. Neither are you. Rather, the police submit a case to the County Attorney's Office or other prosecuting agency and the prosecutor's are the ones who will formally charge the person. Second, there is no crime in Arizona for breaking and entering. Rather, it would most likely either be trespassing in the first degree which is a class 6 felony offense. Arizona law defines trespassing as "a person commits criminal trespass in the first degree by knowingly:
1. Entering or remaining unlawfully in or on a residential structure."
They may also be charged with burglary which is a more serious felony offense. However, to be charged with burglary, they must not only enter the structure without authority, but the tenant must also do so in order to commit a theft or felony inside of the structure.
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.