In order to combat the COVID-19 outbreak in California, Governor Gavin Newsom issued a “stay at home” order to ensure residents remain in their home, only leave when performing essential tasks, and practice social distancing. Walks and bike rides are allowed within your neighborhood.
Despite these strict rules, which includes the closing of beaches, hiking trails, and parks, many people continue to spend time outdoors for leisure purposes, rather than essential. That is why law enforcement officials have been doing their part in enforcing the order and harshly punishing individuals caught breaking the law in order to deter others from doing so.
In many cities throughout California, failure to obey the stay-at-home orders is a misdemeanor offense, punishable by a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $1,000. Businesses deemed non-essential could also be subject to this charge for not temporarily closing.
On April 12, 2020, seven individuals from Fremont were issued $7,000 in fines ($1,000 per person) for driving to Santa Cruz in order to obtain “essential” drinks. On April 7, San Diego County law enforcement officials issued tickets to 22 people who were having picnics near the beach and watching the sunset. State police departments have started to form special teams of deputies to arrest and/or cite violators at beaches and parks.
Recently, government officials from various cities have advised residents working at essential businesses or performing essential tasks to wear masks. In Riverside County, where two deputies have died from COVID-19, failure to cover your face in public can lead to an arrest and/or a maximum fine of $1,000.
Each one of us is responsible for doing our part to “flatten the curve.” However, if you were arrested or issued a ticket in Orange County for performing an essential task or attempting to do so, The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman is prepared to protect your rights and fight the charges against you.
The Law Office of Jacqueline Goodman remains open and available to current and prospective clients via phone or pre-scheduled video conferencing. Contact us today and schedule a free consultation to learn more about our legal services.