Efforts are being made across the country to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. On April 2nd, the Pinellas County Commission extended its countywide state of emergency and issued a Safer-at-Home order to encourage social distancing. Under the Safer-at-Home order, individuals such as senior citizens and those who suffer from underlying health conditions must stay at home to limit their risk of exposure to COVID-19. All others are permitted to leave their home only to obtain essential services or perform essential activities.
According to the Pinellas County website, individuals can still go to the following places so as long as they continue to practice social distancing:
- Essential businesses
- Open parks and outdoor spaces
- Boat ramps
- Golf courses, but no clubhouses
- To visit with family to help or care for them
Pinellas County residents should not be going to:
- Non-essential businesses for work or shopping
The Safer-at-Home order is expected to last through April, however, it could last longer depending on what progress has been made, if any, in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
While social distancing can reduce your chances of contracting the potentially deadly virus, it can also keep you out of jail. Law enforcement officials in Pinellas County and all other counties in Florida are taking this order seriously which means anyone who is caught violating the order could be fined or even worse—jailed. Just a few days ago, Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne of The River at Tampa Bay arrested on misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and violating quarantine orders during a public health emergency.
While most people who violate the order will likely get a warning the first time around, they could face a second-degree misdemeanor charge which is punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a maximum fine of $500, or both should they violate it a second time. If you have been charged with violating the Safer-at-Home order or were arrested for another type of criminal offense in, FL now is the time to contact an experienced board certified criminal defense lawyer. Largo, is a nationally known defense attorney able to provide you with the legal representation that you are going to need to fight your charges or get them reduced.
Criminal charges, regardless of how minor they might be, can have a serious impact on the opportunities that lie ahead of you. After a person has been convicted of a misdemeanor crime, they could find themselves struggling to find work which is not something anyone should have to deal with as they attempt to make it through this global crisis. If you want to be sure you are properly represented and that your rights are protected, contact Trevena, Pontrello & Associates now to retain a criminal lawyer who can defend you.
With its office based in Largo Florida, Trevena Pontrello & Associates primarily practices in Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Pasco County, and throughout the state of Florida.
Trevena, Pontrello & Associates is located at:
801 W Bay Drive, Suite 509
Largo, FL 33770