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COVID-19 NON-ESSENTIAL BUSINESS SHUTDOWN: CRIMINAL PUNISHMENTS IN LOS ANGELES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

During the COVID-19 Shutdown many businesses have been forced to close and the government has also imposed new, sometimes confusing obligations on business owners or individuals. The government is struggling to keep people safe, though in a lot of cases the only tools that they have at their disposal are criminal punishments. In most situations, ignorance of the law is not a valid legal defense. Therefore, you must inform yourself of your duties and obligations or risk criminal sanction.


Violation of or failure to comply with the “SAFER AT HOME ORDER FOR CONTROL OF COVID-19” carries with it the possibility of punishment by fine, imprisonment, or both. The County of Los Angeles has cited to the following code sections explicitly in their legal Order:


VIOLATING A PUBLIC HEALTH COMMUNICABLE DISEASE PREVENTION AND CONTROL ORDER: California Health and Safety Code Section 120295

Violation of Los Angeles's COVID-19 Order is a separate misdemeanor offense for each day that the violation occurred, punishable by a base fine of no less than $50.00 but no more than $1,000.00, or up to 90 days in jail, or by both.


RESISTING, DELAYING, OR OBSTRUCTING AN OFFICER OF THE LAW California Penal Code Section 148(a)(1)

Resisting, delaying, or obstructing an officer of the law is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000.00 base fine, or up to 1 year in jail, or by both.


RESISTING, DELAYING, OR OBSTRUCTING AN OFFICER OF THE LAW BY FORCE California Penal Code Section 69

Resisting an officer of the law by force may be filed as a felony punishable by up to a $10,000.00 base fine , or up to 3 years in prison or a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $1,000.00 base fine, or up to 1 year in jail, or by both.


VIOLATING A LOS ANGELES HEALTH CODE ORDER

Los Angeles County Code Section 11.02.080.

Violation of Los Angeles's Health Code: COVID-19 Order is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500.00 base fine, or up to six months in jail, or by both.


The full text of the order can be found here:

SAFER AT HOME ORDER FOR CONTROL OF COVID-19


Please view the Los Angeles Public Health Resources Site for more information.


If you are arrested or cited for violating the COVID-19 Order you are still entitled to defense under the law. If questioned by law enforcement about your activities you are still allowed to exercise your 5th Amendment right to remain silent. Please call the attorneys at McGregor Law for further information in navigating this situation.

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