Russell A. Spatz

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Not Following COVID-19 Mandates Can Lead to Jail Time

On Behalf of | Mar 30, 2020 | Criminal Charges |

In just a matter of weeks, most of our lives have been turned upside down. Coronavirus, also known as, COVID-19 has made its way to Florida and is putting a halt to our ability to live our lives normally. The United States officially has more confirmed cases than any other nation. It’s a scary time, and keeping ones health is top priority.

In order to help keep everyone safe and healthy, certain laws have been temporarily passed restricting what’s open and where we can go. Executive orders have been put in place mandating the closure of all bars, restaurants, gyms, entertainment venues, spas, and all other businesses deemed nonessential. At this time, restaurants are allowed to be open for take out and delivery. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and auto repair shops are still allowed to operate as long as patrons maintain proper social distancing.

Here are some of other mandates that have been created:

· Mandatory Shelter in Place for Miami Dade, Broward, Boca Raton, Delray, and Palm Beach

· Curfew of 10 p.m. for Miami Beach and City of Miami, unless traveling to or from work or walking a dog within 250 feet of your residence

· 14 day self-quarantine for anyone who has recently traveled

· Checkpoints on I-95 at Florida border for those traveling into the state

· Social distancing of 6 feet between people is suggested and no groups over 10 people for gatherings

What Happens if the Emergency Mandates are Violated?

According to Florida Statutes, by disobeying an emergency order you can be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. Those who disobey orders can face up to 60 days in jail, a maximum fine of $500 or both. This means that violating curfew, not adhering to shelter in place guidelines, or having public gatherings of 10 or more people is not only putting yourself and others at risk for COVID-19, but can get you into more trouble than it’s worth.

If you or someone you know are caught in violation of these emergency mandates, consider getting the assistance of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Russell Spatz has been practicing criminal defense law for over four decades, and knows the ins and outs of Florida’s court system. Give him a call today at 305-442-0200 to see how he may be able to help you.


II, C. Isaiah Smalls. “Thinking of Not Following an Executive Order in Miami-Dade? You Could Face Jail Time.” Miamiherald, Miami Herald, 24 Mar. 2020,

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