The Police Don’t Want to Arrest You, But They Will!
As our nation continues to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Florida is taking measures to keep its citizens safe. In the last month, several counties and cities across Florida have issued “stay at home” orders to limit the spread of the virus. On April 1, 2020, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis issued a state-wide “stay at home” order, which went into effect on April 3rd, and will stay in effect until April 30th.
We know that the legal rhetoric used in these orders can be confusing. We’re here to help guide you through it. Staying informed is the best way to do your part in combating the virus.
How Does the State-Wide Order Impact My Local County/ City’s Order?
The state-wide “stay at home” order supersedes local orders, only in places where the local order is more lenient than the state-wide order. This means that your local “stay at home” order is still in effect. Check your city and county official websites daily to stay updated on the latest COVID-19 precautions your community is taking.
Who Is Enforcing These Orders?
Local law enforcement is responsible for enforcing local county and city “stay at home” orders. We’ve noticed a larger police presence across the state, as law enforcement works to keep us safe.
Can I Be Arrested for Violating a Stay at Home Order?
Yes. The police are experiencing the impacts of the virus too. They don’t want to arrest you, because they know exactly how difficult this time is for all of us. On top of this, they don’t want to risk exposing themselves to the virus, nor do they want to put you in jail during a pandemic. However, they want to keep us safe.
Surfing at a “closed” beach, ignoring necessary travel precautions, arguing with the police, and bragging about your violations on social media can lead to your arrest. We currently represent several individuals arrested for violating their local “stay at home” orders, and experience has shown that police are arresting individuals who are not taking their local “stay at home” orders seriously. Therefore, when in doubt, stay home.
We must all do our part to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We’re here for you if you have any questions or concerns about a “stay at home” order. Most importantly, stay safe and stay healthy.
Read the full state-wide “stay at home” order here.
Written by: Michelle Merson, Guy Fronstin, Tiffany Monroy