In late March, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order, requiring residents of the state to stay at home due to the continuous spread of the Coronavirus throughout the state. With this order, all non-essential retail businesses must close until further notice. In addition to this, all residents must self isolate in their homes and only travel for necessary purposes, such as grocery shopping, doctors appointments, or essential work. However, despite this order, many individuals choose to violate it and leave their homes for non-essential purposes. It is because of this that law enforcement in New Jersey is taking action against these violations.
What are Penalties of Violating the Order?
In New Jersey, violations against the Governor’s stay-at-home orders can result in a variety of penalties depending on the level of violation. For example, violating the emergency order constitutes a disorderly persons offense. This carries a possible sentence of up to six months in jail as well as a fine up to $1000. However, they can also potentially face criminal charges, including a second, third, and fourth degree indictable offense.
Attorney General Grewal announced enhanced charges against certain individuals who assaulted law enforcement officers and violated emergency orders. This can include making terroristic threats during a state of emergency, such as coughing or spitting on others, can constitute a second degree offense. This carries a sentence of five to 10 years in state prison and a fine up to $150,000. A third-degree charge can result in three to five years in prison and a fine up to $15,000.
In addition to this, law enforcement in certain municipalities of New jersey will be jointly patrolling borders to stop drivers who may be violating the governor’s orders. Police officers are asking drivers for their identification as well as where they are going. Those who are violating stay-at-home orders can face summonses and be ordered back to their homes.
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Kevin T. Conway is an experienced Bergen County criminal attorney handling DUI, DWI, traffic violations, violent crimes, sex crimes, illegal gun possession, shoplifting, and juvenile crimes. Attorney Conway is also experienced in commercial law matters, zoning law, and estate planning. If you need an aggressive criminal lawyer, contact The Law Office of Kevin T. Conway for a free consultation.