Stay At Home Order Violation - Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorneys

The Coronavirus sucks. Hearing the nightly news on how the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread throughout the country and fearing the impact it can have on our jobs, finances, and, most importantly, health – well, it takes a toll. Add in the Stay At Home Order Governor Walz instituted and most people are ready to move on and put everything behind them as soon as possible. While the Minnesota Nice is shining bright in our rather impressive obedience to social distancing and the Stay at Home Order, the desire to get outside the home is there. Be cautious, though, because a Stay at Home Order violation is a misdemeanor crime that will have a lasting impact on your future.

Recent reports surfaced this week that law enforcement has started issuing more and more Stay at Home violations. These are misdemeanor crimes that bring a penalty of up to 90 days in a jail and/or a $1,000 fine. And given the public safety reasoning for Governor Walz implementing the Stay at Home Order, you can be sure that prosecutors will take these violations seriously.

To avoid a Minnesota Stay at Home Order violation, it’s important to understand what the Stay at Home Order means. While the name speaks for itself, there are exceptions to this order. The following is a brief list of activities that are permitted under the Stay at Home Order in Minnesota:

  • Relocation for safety reasons;
  • Health and Safety activities – i.e. going to a hospital, getting medical supplies;
  • Outdoor activities, which explicitly includes, walking, hiking, biking, running, driving for pleasure, hunting, and fishing (unfortunately (for me at least), not golfing – for now) – social distancing is still required where feasible;
  • Necessary supplies and services – food and alcohol;
  • Essential travel;
  • Care of others;
  • Displacement;
  • Moving or relocating;
  • Voting; and
  • Funerals.

With any new rules and guidelines, gray areas likely exist that can be argued about what type of activities do and do not fall within these exceptions. As Minnesota criminal defense attorneys, that’s our specialty. But understand, the need for this Stay at Home Order (whether you agree or disagree with it) is based on the overall public health of our communities. So, creative arguments for why an activity should not be a Stay at Home Order violation will be met with a hostile ear from the Court, most likely. Point being – driveway beers probably need to wait until this Stay at Home Order is lifted.

If you or someone you know is facing a criminal charge for a Stay at Home Order violation, get a Minnesota criminal defense attorney to help fight this case. The last thing anyone wants right now is to create a criminal record because of the coronavirus. Contact us for your free (remote) consultation.