Florida's Stay-at-Home Order: What Can Get You Arrested?

Worried about going out? Here's everything you need to know about Florida's stay-at-home order, from the rules, violations and penalties.

Since the first week of April, Florida has been implementing a stay-at-home-order. The order, which will last until the end of the month, aims to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 disease in the state.

So what does this mean for Florida residents? This means that they're only allowed to leave their homes to obtain or provide essential service or conduct essential activities.


Can you get arrested for violating the order?

If you're caught violating the quarantine order, you can get arrested. Violations include the following:

  • Having gatherings of 10 or more people. 

  • Violating a mandatory 14-day quarantine if you're a person under investigation.

  • Staying outside your home for unnecessary reasons.

The stay-at-home order has been implemented in major cities, from Miami, Orlando to Tallahassee, and a number of violators have been arrested. If you're unclear about the violations, you can seek help from experienced Tallahassee Lawyers.


Can you still go outside?

If you're not an essential worker, it's better for you to stay at home. Go out only if you need to buy supplies or to get yourself checked by a doctor.

When you have to go outside, practice social distancing guidelines. These include maintaining at least 6 feet (2 meters) distance from other people.

Keep in mind that law enforcement officials will not stop you if you're out for necessities like getting groceries.


Can you visit friends and family?

Officials are discouraging people from visiting their families unless it's an emergency situation. You may travel to care for the elderly, minors, persons with disabilities (PWDs), or other vulnerable persons.

What's the rule on social gatherings? 

Social gatherings of more than 10 people aren’t allowed in the entire state.

You may ask, how will police make arrests?

Groups will be given the chance to explain and comply with the rules. However, if they fail to do so, police can exercise their power to charge them or make an arrest.


What happens if you get arrested?

In Florida, violators may be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. Also, they may be given a maximum of a 60-day jail sentence and be slapped with a $500 fine.

In addition, because of an administrative order signed by Chief Judge Krista Marx, those facing violation charges will not be allowed to post bail before attending their first-appearance hearing. Meaning they could stay in custody for most of the day, and possibly overnight.


Gatherings for religious services are exempted

Because of the quarantine measures in place, many Florida businesses and establishments have been forced to close or remain in partial operation.

However, the order still allows religious and worship services to continue their activities.

Florida identified "attending religious services in houses of worship" as an essential activity. This is despite many churches across the country switching their services through online means to protect their parishioners from the virus.

Here are the things you need to know about the enforced stay-at-home order in Florida.

Leaving your house to do non-essential activities will remain prohibited for the foreseeable future. So it's best to just stay home, be updated, and keep yourself healthy.