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COVID-19: Can You Be Arrested For Violating the Stay-At-Home Order?

Posted on Apr 24, 2020 in National Issues

As more and more states instituted stay-at-home orders in response to the spread of COVID-19, many people questioned how they would be enforced. Would police arrest someone for being outside? Would they break up gatherings of people? Said another way, what level of dystopian sci-fi-made-reality were we wading into? How much, on a scale of 1-10, is our lived experience now interchangeable with an episode of Black Mirror?

Charged With Misdemeanor For Violating Stay-At-Home Order

There have been a number of instances of people being arrested for violating the COVID-19 quarantine. In other instances, they have been charged with misdemeanors or summons.
  • In a recent viral video, a woman is arrested for refusing to live a public playground that had been closed down due to COVID-19. According to Buzzfeed, she was part of a group protesting the lockdown.
  • An Alabama woman was arrested after police got word that she had been hosting regular gatherings at her home.
  • A pastor was charged for violating the quarantine in Louisiana. He refused to stop holding church service, even after multiple requests from the police and local officials.
  • An Ohio man was arrested for violating the stay-at-home order, after posting a video of a party he was hosting to the internet.
  • Multiple people have been arrested in New Jersey. In most cases, however, the perpetrators were also acting belligerent or aggressive towards police.
There are many more instances like this across the country. Cities and law enforcement are taking the COVID-19 lockdown seriously. For example, earlier this week Milwaukee approved a possible $500 fine and arrest for violating the order.

Violating Stay-At-Home As An Enhancible Offense?

Many of the arrests for disobeying the quarantine that have been reported have something in common. In most of these cases, the perpetrator was also committing another crime, like shoplifting, drug charges, or gun charges. In most of the other cases, people were only arrested after refusing to disperse, disobeying police orders, or repeat offenses.

The Stay-At-Home Order Is There To Protect All of Us

At the end of the day, the stay-at-home order and quarantine are necessary measures for preventing the spread of COVID-19. The virus is extremely contagious and dangerous. New data shows that the quarantine is working, as new cases are going down across the country. However, that means we have to keep it going if we’re going to beat this thing. We understand that it can be difficult staying at home all the time—and at times it can feel like your brain is melting. But we all have to work together to get through this. Police are charging and arresting folks who refuse to adhere to the lockdown because they are endangering themselves and others in the process.

Call Bloom Legal If You Have Been Arrested During COVID-19

Bloom Legal remains at full operation throughout this pandemic. If you have been arrested or charged with a crime during COVID-19, we can help get you out of jail and get your charges dismissed. Our phone lines are open 24/7 through this crisis. Contact us today for a free consultation. Above all, everyone please stay safe and healthy!

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