The state of New Jersey has been one of the strictest in terms of its stay at home orders during the global pandemic. Individuals who do not follow these orders will risk criminal charges, ranging from a warning to required jail time.
Understanding New Jersey’s Stay-At-Home Rules
New Jersey officers all over the state have been instructed to regulate the state’s stay-at-home orders. Some cities, like Newark, even have their own police task force to maintain the order. The stay-at-home orders were put in place on March 21, 2020, in an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus. This order requires all non-essential businesses to close and New Jersey residents to stay in their homes, unless they are conducting necessary business.
Related blog: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) UPDATE
Common Violations in New Jersey During COVID-19
Violations can range from disorderly persons to criminal charges. These are a few of the most common violations in New Jersey during COVID-19:
- Domestic violence
- Simple assault
- Resisting arrest
- Terroristic threats
- Violating a personal protection order
- Violating emergency orders
- Risking injury
New Jersey residents are being charged for holding house parties or ignoring number limits in businesses or personal residences. The state of New Jersey recognizes less severe charges as a disorderly persons offense. These charges often face minimal jail time and fines and are usually given to individuals with no prior criminal record. However, jail time and legal fines are still a possibility, especially during COVID-19 times.
What to Expect After Being Charged During the Pandemic
The process in which criminal acts are charged, as well as the legal requirements including jail time and legal fines, have changed during the pandemic. Here are just a few of the changes that you can expect if you are charged during COVID-19:
- Increased charges: Criminal acts that might have otherwise faced minimal charges can be upgraded during the pandemic. Depending on the charges, this could result in more jail time or increased fines. In some cases, individuals can be left with a permanent record, especially for repeat crimes.
- Harsher consequences: With increased charges, individuals can also expect harsher consequences. For example, individuals who commit a crime during stay-at-home orders could face minimum jail time sentencing, even for crimes that do not usually carry jail time.
- Different prosecution: Criminal acts that are upgraded might be prosecuted by the Attorney Generals’ officer versus the local city prosecutor.
- Extended time until sentencing: Many courtrooms are currently closed to the public. This could mean longer wait times until you get a hearing.
Residents and courtrooms alike are figuring out how to navigate this new norm. If you are charged with a crime during this time, it could be useful to work with a trial lawyer.
When to Consult With a New Jersey Trial Lawyer About Your COVID-19 Charges
With the world and the state of New Jersey dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, rules and laws are constantly changing. Much of the world is under pressure, dealing with business closures and financial difficulties. The state and city laws are also constantly changing, which makes it difficult to determine what you can, and cannot do. If you are facing criminal charges during COVID-19, it might make sense to discuss your case with a lawyer.
The lawyers at Attorneys Harman, Chartered are here to help you navigate your legal case during this difficult time. We will evaluate the details of your case and determine the best steps to take.
Contact an Experienced Moorestown Criminal Defense Lawyer About Your Criminal Charges in New Jersey
Were you arrested or charged with criminal charges in New Jersey? The consequences of a conviction could be severe, leaving you with a permanent criminal record and possibly even sending you to jail. That is why you need to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible about your case. The attorneys at Attorneys Hartman, Chartered have successfully represented clients charged with criminal charges in Camden County, Marlton, Mount Laurel, Cherry Hill, and throughout New Jersey. Call (856) 235-0220 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a consultation with a member of our legal team. We have an office conveniently located at 68 E. Main Street, Moorestown, NJ 08057.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.
Disorderly conduct consists of any improper behavior such as fighting, threats of violence, or creating a dangerous atmosphere.