Can Violating the Texas Stay-at-Home Order Result in Criminal Charges? | Karnes County Criminal Defense Attorney

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Can Violating the Texas Stay-at-Home Order Result in Criminal Charges?

 Posted on May 22,2020 in Criminal Defense

Wilson County criminal defense attorney stay at home order

Since March, the United States has seen an unprecedented shutdown of non-essential businesses and public places. Each state has enacted its own version of the “stay-at-home” order, although they are all very similar in intent. Many businesses and public areas have been temporarily closed in order to contain COVID-19 as best as possible. Although health officials have not come up with a permanent solution just yet, Texas, along with other states, has begun to slowly reopen businesses to stimulate the economy. However, this is being done in stages, and there are still existent regulations for citizens and business owners.

A Recent Case

During the past couple of months, Texas has been on a mandatory stay-at-home order, initially mandated by city mayors but later authorized as a state-wide restriction for all citizens to follow—including government personnel themselves. With patience growing thin everywhere, it is not surprising that public figures may grant themselves leniency on the ordinance. Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames went to a nail salon to get her nails done, despite clear orders issued by her and the governor to remain at home for the time being. Mayor Ames was seen at the nail salon, wearing a face mask, and she was reported to authorities for her actions. Since the nail salon disobeyed the order mandating all non-essential businesses to remain closed temporarily, the charges will likely fall on the owners rather than the mayor. This case is currently under review by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. If found guilty, the nail salon could face a fine of up to $1,000, and the mayor may have ruined her chances of getting re-elected. 

How Long Will This Go On?

Governor Greg Abbott has been one of the first state governors to make a move in regards to ending the stay-at-home order. On May 1, businesses such as retail stores, restaurants, malls, and theaters were able to reopen, but restrictions continue to exist regarding occupancy numbers. These businesses must keep capacity down to 25 percent for the time being. Child care facilities, tattoo parlors, gyms, offices, and some other businesses were allowed to reopen as of May 18. Citizens should still restrict their contact with other people and keep their public outings to a minimum, but at the end of the day, it is up to business owners to follow the applicable orders or face criminal charges and fines.

Call an Atascosa County Criminal Defense Lawyer

The stay-at-home order has been difficult for everyone to follow, especially for business owners. It can seem like you have no other choice than to allow a few customers in just to stay afloat. With government orders changing, it can be confusing for business owners to know when they are able to open and how many people they can allow in at once. At BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys, we are well-versed on the details of the stay-at-home order for both individuals and for business owners. We understand that these orders can be complicated, especially when adjustments are made on a weekly basis. If you are facing fines for leaving your home or opening up your business, call our Pleasanton criminal defense attorneys today at 830-769-1010 to schedule your free consultation.


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