Governor Northam extends "Stay at Home" order until June 10, 2020. The order makes the requirement to remain at home mandatory. The police in Virginia will be able to enforce the law by either issuing summons or arresting people for a violation of the "stay at home" order under Virginia law 44-146.17.
The Governor's newest Executive Order, Number 55, mandates that all Virginians stay at home until June 10, 2020 except for certain circumstances like seeking health care, grocery shopping, and exercise. There are many exceptions to the order. A full copy of Governor Northam's order can be viewed here.
A violation of this order can have serious consequences, as it is punished as a Class One Misdemeanor. The Governor has directed law enforcement to issue a written summons or arrest people who are in violation of the order. I hope people will not do what some people in New Jersey did this weekend and hold an apartment party.
We all need to stay safe. I have two friends who are currently hospitalized with Covid-19 on ventilators. They are both younger than 55 years old, previously healthy, and their families are of course unable to see them as they are hospitalized. Please take this quarantine seriously.
Enforcement of the Governor's Stay at Home order
A violation of Virginia Code Section 44-146.17 is a Class One Misdemeanor
The punishment can include:
A fine between $1 and $2500; and/or
A term in jail between 1 day and 12 months.
A person may also have to be placed on probation for up to 12 months.
Additionally, a conviction for a Class One misdemeanor cannot be expunged under Virginia law.
As criminal defense lawyers, Carlos Wall and I know that police officers sometimes get things wrong. I anticipate that more than a few people will be accused and charged with violating this order. If you know someone who is accused of a violation of the Governor's order, please consider having them contact our law firm for help anywhere in Northern Virginia. Criminal Defense lawyers Alex Gordon and Carlos Wall always offer a free consultation. Contact us at 703.218.8416 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.