May24 - Table Mesa = Ticket, ARS13-1302(B) - Trespass w/o Trust Land Permit

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Hey, gentlemen - Headed up to Table Mesa Rd and East today with a buddy of mine (passenger in my LandCruiser) and ran afoul of MCSO who wrote Traffic Ticket and Complaints on both of us for the above ARS related to trespass on State Trust Land for not having the $15 annual permit. They were ticketing others moving through the area as well, and stopped us on our way back West across Table Mesa about 4 miles from I-17 just after lunch. The stop was cordial but they were slinging AR15's, and asked me to follow them back to I-17 to finish the paperwork, which we did.

At all times, I was respectful and though the State Trust Land white markers are posted at the entry going East on Table Mesa - I was unaware that traversing the State Trust Land would require a permit, thinking that we were only passing through.

One of the Sheriff's officers mentioned that this is written as a 'Criminal' offense only because it took place on State Trust Land, and also went out of his way to mention that getting the permits BEFORE we show up on the court date will go far with the Judge if we plead ignorance along with demonstrating that we're doing the right thing by getting the annual permit for $15.

At this point, I'm mailing my State Trust Land permit request off on Monday morning with my $15 and plan to show up in court with it and my Tonto Permit (in possession since Feb-2014) as proof that I get the necessary permits when I know that I need them. I guess I'll hope for the best.

ARS13-1302 reads:
13-1502. Criminal trespass in the third degree; classification
A. A person commits criminal trespass in the third degree by:
1. Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on any real property after a reasonable request to leave by a law enforcement officer, the owner or any other person having lawful control over such property, or reasonable notice prohibiting entry.
2. Knowingly entering or remaining unlawfully on the right-of-way for tracks, or the storage or switching yards or rolling stock of a railroad company.
B. Pursuant to subsection A, paragraph 1 of this section, a request to leave by a law enforcement officer acting at the request of the owner of the property or any other person having lawful control over the property has the same legal effect as a request made by the property owner or other person having lawful control of the property.
C. Criminal trespass in the third degree is a class 3 misdemeanor.

Pretty upset that my buddy is also inconvenienced by needing to take a morning out of work to be in court on this, and concerned about this being labeled a Criminal Trespass charge.

Any experience, tips, suggestions? Thanks, and while I'm embarrassed by the events today, I know you guys may be able to help out. Thanks, in advance,
 
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See point 1. Were you notified to leave or given reasonable notice not to enter prior to being ticketed? If your only notice to leave was the ticket, you may have a viable argument. Also, were you driving thru or stopped? There are easement rules to provide access across private land when said land blocks access to public land.

I would read the actual laws before heading to court. If you can find wording in the statutes to support that your actions were legal, you'll stand a good chance of getting it dismissed.
 

Azca

 
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I always make it a habit of bringing a rifle with me anytime I am out running around and of course bring my hunting license as well. If ever questioned I am coyote hunting, which is a year round season. The hunting license is considered a permit for state trust land.
 
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Related:

When I applied for my Trust Lands permit some months back, I was curious about the permit language and asked for clarification. Specifically about passengers: if the passenger is family, they do not need a permit as long as the driver has one. But, if said passenger is NOT immediate family, they are also required to have their own permit with them.

Also, the permit must be conspicuously displayed when on Trust Land... not in a glove box. That's the minor detail that tweaks me.

And I second the motion you need an attorney. Even a no contest plea to reduce the fine will result in the criminal charge showing up in any background check; and you know the judge will figure out a way to levy a fine, thus you will be found guilty.

-- and to be belligerent - did you ask to see the County Sherrif's State Trust Land Permit?
 
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murf

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What you did maybe could warrant a written warning at most, but criminal trespass in the 3rd degree seems ludicrous. You should prevent that from going on your record x3 attorney
 
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Once you have your permit, go back out and photograph the entry points to State Trust land. If there are no signs indicating that a permit is required or no trespassing, you'll have a pretty strong argument that the ticket should be dismissed.
 
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Thanks for the suggestions, guys. I'm still trying to decide how best to handle it and am looking closely at the BLM/State Trust maps to see where the borders are precisely. The fact that they waited down the trail for us to approach, and only then asked to see a permit (vs. driving up to meet us) makes me wonder if they ticketing people who were coming across from 7-springs, as they specifically asked which way I came in.

I'm not sure if the 7-Springs route to Table Mesa (Route 42?) is marked State Trust Land or not - not that I'm trying to shirk responsibility, just trying to understand where the border lies. Thanks again,
 

ttubb

 
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I think we would all like to see how this is finally resolved by the courts. Please keep us posted on the outcome, and best of luck. We could all certainly be in this pickle too. Terry
 
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Well, that's interesting (*never a sign on 7-springs road). My understanding is that anyone on State Trust Land is required to have the permit - or apparently a valid hunting license and means to hunt works as well.

Regardless, I'll update this thread with what pans out. Thanks again to those who've offered help and advice - I appreciate it,
 

bowtiestang

Speak of the devil and he shall appear
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That is why I alway buy a State Land permit and hunting license (I aways have a gun on me)! If you passed any State Trust signs the ticket is legit because that sign was the "warning" the ticket is the "we told you so". You may or may not beat it depending on the judge...you never can tell.
Just get the permit and tell the judge your a dumbass..bet he will fine you but not put it on your record.

If they stop me its like...."Yes officer I hunt rabbits with a Glock 23, Mossberg 590A1 with 00 buck and a AR15" :)


Good Luck!
 

ttubb

 
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This is from page 97 of the latest Fish and Game Rules -

"THE STATE OF ARIZONA manages 13 percent of the state, and
the State Land Access Rule (R12-4-110, page 119) delineates the
rights and privileges of sportsmen and landowners or operators
as regards to state lands. Note that “State Land - No Trespassing”
signs prohibit access to non-permittees. Properly licensed
hunters lawfully taking wildlife are considered permittees for
the purpose of trespassing on state land, and are therefore allowed
access - see R12-4-110, paragraph I, page 120. The State
Land Department is at (602) 542-4621."

Rabbits, Skunks and Coyotes are in season all year round, FYI.
 
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inkpot

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Are out of state visitors expected to have the permit?
Yes! There is no provision for excusing anyone from having a permit.

On the other hand, there has been a long standing debate/argument about whether or not we have a right of access on public thoroughfares when popular, frequently used roads and trails cross ST land to access BLM and/or Forest land. I have been told by senior employees of both BLM and Forest that ST department has to allow access without any permit require, but that does not mean that State Land Department agrees with the federal agencies. You might contact the Forest that you were in to see what their reading is on this subject. John
 
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Yes! There is no provision for excusing anyone from having a permit.

On the other hand, there has been a long standing debate/argument about whether or not we have a right of access on public thoroughfares when popular, frequently used roads and trails cross ST land to access BLM and/or Forest land. I have been told by senior employees of both BLM and Forest that ST department has to allow access without any permit require, but that does not mean that State Land Department agrees with the federal agencies. You might contact the Forest that you were in to see what their reading is on this subject. John

This was always the understanding until ~3 years ago when State Trust turned into a bunch of Nazis. Based on the description from LD, the MCSO is ambushing people rather than giving them a fair warning.

What fries me is that every day there are people in the popular rec areas engaging in illegal and sometimes dangerous activities and MCSO turns a blind eye. Yet they have the manpower to enforce a little known and poorly understood law and ticket people who are harming no one.
 
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Active here is the simple fact the the people targeted are law abiding citizens that will pay the fines with minimal fuss. Where as the lawless breed of target shooters, reckless quad drivers, and other hordes descending on sensistive lands probably won't pay the fineor otherwise costs more time than its worth to ticket them in the first place. It is always easier to go for the easiest prey.
 
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