Speak Up! - View Question #491
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What penalties would you receive if you let yourself in a neighbors house uninvited and drank beer while they were on vacation?
Before we get to penalties, let's start with the crimes that may have been committed here. Entering the home of another person is called 'criminal trespass in the first degree' (Arizona law 13-1504). You would be guilty of this crime for entering a home or building without permission. In Arizona this is a felony, which is a pretty serious crime. On top of the criminal trespass charge, we also have the taking of the beer without permission, which is considered 'theft' (Arizona law 13-1802). In this case, the value of the beer being less than $250, this would be considered a misdemeanor (meaning not a very serious crime). Finally, if you're under 21 years old, you would also be guilty of consuming alcohol as a minor.
The answer to your question would really depend a lot on your background with the law. The sentencing range for criminal trespass, the most serious crime, is 6 months to 1 1/2 years in jail. However, Judges balance many factors in determining a sentence, including your age and your history with the law. A Judge could sentence you with anything from probation or community service all the way up to spending time in juvenile custody. Either way, don't risk it! There's just no reason to take these kind of risks to drink a few beers.