What If I Violate Stay at Home Order?

Jordan Zuppke

On March 23, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-21, also known as the Stay Home, Stay Safe Order.

This mandates Michigan businesses to suspend in-person operations not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes (unless part of the critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family).

A violation of this law is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

Executive Order 2020-21 was rescinded (or in other words replaced) by Executive Order 2020-42, the updated version of the original Stay Home, Stay Safe Order.

A violation of Governor Whitmer’s new Stay at Home Order is still a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.

As a criminal defense firm, we receive a lot of questions about these orders and the multitude of others passed over the last few weeks.

People often ask, “do I have to tell a police officer where I am going?” No. Believe it or not, you do not have to prove that you are in compliance with the Executive Order. The Government bears the burden that you are acting outside of the order.

Zupac Law highly suggests carrying a copy of the order with you at all times. Familiarize yourself with the exceptions in Section 7. These include but are not limited to:

  1. Outdoor physical activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household. Outdoor physical activity includes walking, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, or other similar physical activity, as well as any comparable activity for those with limited mobility.
  2. Job duties as critical infrastructure workers after being so designated by their employers.
  3. Conduct minimum basic operations, as described in section 4(b) of this order, after being designated to perform such work by their employers.
  4. Perform necessary government activities, as described in section 6 of this order.
  5. Perform tasks that are necessary to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets). Individuals may, for example, leave the home or place of residence to secure medication or to seek medical or dental care that is necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a household or family member (including procedures that, in accordance with a duly implemented nonessential procedures postponement plan, have not been postponed).
  6. Obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves, their family or household members, their pets, and their vehicles.
  7. Individuals must secure such services or supplies via delivery to the maximum extent possible. As needed, however, individuals may leave the home or place of residence to purchase groceries, take-out food, gasoline, needed medical supplies, and any other products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of their residences. Individuals may also leave the home to drop off a vehicle to the extent permitted under section 9(i) of this order.
  8. Individuals should limit, to the maximum extent that is safe and feasible, the number of household members who leave the home for any errands.
  9. Care for a family member or a family member’s pet in another household.
  10. Care for minors, dependents, the elderly, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
  11. Visit an individual under the care of a health care facility, residential care facility, or congregate care facility, to the extent otherwise permitted.
  12. Attend legal proceedings or hearings for essential or emergency purposes as ordered by a court.
  13. Work or volunteer for businesses or operations (including both religious and secular nonprofit organizations) that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities.
  14. Attend a funeral, provided that no more than 10 people are in attendance at the funeral.

While there are other exceptions, this list represents the most common areas of confusion. Still confused? Please contact Zupac Law for a consultation regarding Covid-19 legal exceptions.

Zupac Law is a criminal defense firm in Royal Oak, Michigan. If you received a ticket for violating Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Order, contact our law firm for a free consultation. Zupac Law handles traffic tickets, misdemeanors and all felony cases. We are your best defense.