Under the law, people who violated Jackson, Mississippi’s coronavirus quarantine could face criminal charges, a fine, and even a prison sentence. According to the Sun Herald, individuals who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 are being asked to isolate and remain at home. Violation of the quarantine order can result in fines or time in jail. The quarantine rules apply to those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 who are not in the hospital. Certain individuals found COVID-19 positive are being asked to remain home for 14 days from the time they first became sick, or 14 days from the date of first positive test. According to the Sun Herald, officials have said that individuals who violate the state orders can be charged with a felony and face up to a fine of $5000 and five months in prison. Those who disobey the orders of the state health department can also face misdemeanor charges.
One of the great struggles law enforcement has faced in the wake of quarantine and stay at home orders is the enforcement of these orders. As outbreaks across the nation have surged and as many communities have seen a resurgence of the coronavirus, many state and local officials are taking enforcement of quarantine orders to the next level. Some cities and states have been citing individuals who violate quarantine and stay at home orders with serious fines, some as high as $5,000. Others may have to attend court hearings and could face jail time.
If you or someone you love has been charged with a misdemeanor or felony for violating COVID-19 quarantine orders, it is important to take these citations and charges seriously. These charges could leave you with a criminal record, and could leave you facing heavy fines. There have been stories in the news of people being charged with crimes for just stepping foot inside a closed park to read a sign indicating that the park is closed. For individuals facing charges for violating quarantine or stay at home orders, having a criminal defense lawyer like Ballard Law, PLLC in Jackson, Mississippi on your side, can make an immense difference. A lawyer may be able to fight the charges or help you get the charges reduced. At a time where many people are struggling to navigate a patchwork series of laws and quarantines that change from week to week, and a patchwork network of coronavirus response that hasn’t seen a national strategy in place, those who are facing charges for violating quarantine should take steps to protect their rights. Remember, you are innocent until proven guilty. You have the right to remain silent if you are charged or cited. And you have the right to speak to a lawyer who may be able to defend you against any criminal charges you might face.
Situations Where Individuals Have Been Arrested for Violating Quarantine and Stay at Home Orders
The Washington Post recently reported on situations where individuals have been arrested for violating quarantine and stay at home orders. In Florida, a couple was arrested on the allegations by neighbors that they had violated quarantine by walking their dog and going shopping. Neighbors presented photos to the police. The couple claims that the neighbors sent the photos to police in retaliation after an argument. In Hawaii, visitors who violate Hawaii’s 14-day mandatory quarantine have been thrown in jail. 180 people have been arrested for violating the visitor’s quarantine, with hotels often reporting guests who violate the state’s orders. In Hawaii, individuals have also been arrested for walking in parks and trails. While other states haven’t been so aggressive, there are situations where people have been cited for violating orders. Citation and criminal charges can have major consequences. If you have been charged for violating heath department orders, charged for violating quarantine, or charged for violating stay at home orders, you have the right to defend yourself in your day in court. Police have to prove that you were in violation of the law. Ballard Law, PLLC is a criminal defense law firm in Jackson, Mississippi that may be able to help you if you have been cited or arrested for violating COVID-19 orders.
The law can be confusing. There are stay at home orders which apply generally to all citizens, which were enacted at the start of the outbreak. And then there have been quarantine orders imposed on citizens who have tested positive for the virus or those who have been ordered into quarantine because they are believed to have been exposed. Ballard Law, PLLC is a criminal defense law firm in Jackson, Mississippi that can help you understand your charges if you are charged or cited. Reach out to us today or contact USAttorneys.com to learn more about your righs.