Since the number of COVID-19 cases continues to increase throughout the United States, many states have mandated the use of face coverings and masks while in public. Virginia is one of those states.
On May 26, 2020, Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statewide mask mandate that went into effect three days later. Virginia residents aged 10 years of age and older must wear face coverings whenever they enter a grocery store, restaurant, train station, or any other business or public establishment.
What happens if you disobey Virginia’s mask mandate? You could be facing criminal charges.
According to the order, willfully violating, refusing, or neglecting to comply with the mandate is a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence of up to 12 months and a maximum fine of $2,500.
However, this does not mean the police will issue criminal citations or arrest individuals who are not wearing face coverings. Rather, either the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) or a local health department will obtain a civil injunction or a summons and warrant before an arrest is made.
But ultimately businesses will be relied upon to enforce the mask mandate. Yet, law enforcement officials will get involved if a business refuses to comply with the order or a patron refuses to wear a mask when spending time in an establishment.
If you or your business is facing criminal charges for allegedly violating the mask mandate in Fredericksburg and the surrounding area, contact Andrew J. Cornick, Attorney at Law today at (540) 827-4446 and request a free case review today.