Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all Californians to stay at home starting on March 19, 2020 in response to the spread of the Coronavirus. The order is an attempt to slow the spread of the deadly virus, and eventually contain it, through the practice of social distancing. Californians should not leave their homes except for essential things such as food, medical appointments, prescriptions and commuting to work. Failing, violating, refusing, or neglecting to comply with a quarantine or isolation order is a misdemeanor criminal offense punishable by probation, hefty fines and jail time. Such charges were described as a “last resort” by Los Angeles law enforcement.
What Is Considered An “Essential Business?”
With the announcement that all non-essential businesses will be closed for the foreseeable future, many Californians have wondered what exactly makes a business “essential.” Generally, any businesses that supply food, gas, or other goods that are considered necessaries shall remain open at this time. Doctors’ offices & healthcare facilities, grocery stores, restaurants offering takeout options, convenience stores, banks, gas stations, pharmacies, laundromats, hardware stores, and liquor stores are some of the establishments deemed essential and permitted to continue operations. These businesses must be in compliance with the social distancing and hygiene requirements.
Crime Down In Los Angeles
According to a March 27, 2020 LA Times article, Los Angeles county saw a drop in crime due to the Coronavirus restrictions placed on residents and businesses. Criminal filings are down considerably compared to the same period a year ago:
Violent crimes dropped by 14%;
- Property crimes down by 12%’
- Robberies also dropped by 22%;
- Thefts fell 18%;
- Residential and commercial burglaries down by 7%.
The downward trend is likely a result of the Governor’s and Mayor’s Quarantine and Isolation orders.
Are Courts Open In Los Angeles?
Criminal and Civil courts in Los Angeles county are generally closed thru April 16, 2020. However, the courts will remain open for time-sensitive, essential court hearings and matters during the lockdown. The criminal proceedings that will be heard include: arraignments; preliminary hearings; bail hearings; search warrants; grand jury indictments; and sentencing matters. Most criminal jury trials are postponed for at least one month. Progress and status reports for pending criminal matters have been postponed for 90 days and misdemeanor cases when the defendant is not in custody have also been postponed for 30 to 90 days. The Civil courts will hear matters involving family and civil restraining orders; and emergency petitions for conservatorship or guardianship.
Contact Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorneys
The quarantine and isolation orders issued by Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti help protect the public by preventing exposure to people who have or may have a contagious disease. Violations of these orders, by anyone, puts them at risk of being prosecuted for a criminal offense. The attorneys at Stephen G. Rodriguez & Partners are available to answer any questions regarding violations or crimes related to the Coronavirus that you or someone you know may be facing. During these tough times we will continue to offer 24/7 service to our existing clients and new clients.
If you are interested in speaking with our attorneys, complete our contact form or call us at 213-223-2173 for a consultation. Our team is available to take your call