What happens if I am caught violating an order issued in response to COVID-19?

On March 19, 2020 Governor Wolf and Rachel Levine, Secretary of Health, ordered the closure of non-life sustaining businesses under the Disease Control and Prevention Law of 1955 and the Administrative Code of 1929. Enforcement actions against businesses that did not close physical locations began on Monday, March 23, 2020.

The Administrative Code of 1929, 71 P. S. § 1409, states, in part, that any person who fails to abide by the Orders or any other order of the Department of Health, or who resists or interferes with any officer or agent thereof in the performance of his or her duties, will be in violation of this section and will be charged with a summary offense and subject to a fine of $10-$50. If a violator does not pay their fine or court costs, they shall be sentenced to thirty days of confinement in county jail.

Under the Disease Prevention and Control Law of 1955, 35 P.S. § 521.1 et seq., any person violating a provision of the Disease Prevention and Control Law is guilty of a summary offense and shall be fined $25-$300. This section provides authority for local law enforcement agencies to issue citations for violation of the Orders issued by the Secretary of Health and the Governor.

Additionally, those considered more “serious violators” who refuse to abide by the restrictions ordered by the Governor or Department of Health may be charged under section 5101 of the Crimes Code for obstructing the administration of law or government function, a second-degree misdemeanor offense. A person convicted of this offense may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment, the maximum of which is not more than two years.

If you or someone you know is charged under these laws or any laws for violating an order by the Governor or Department of Health call The McShane Firm. We are open and we are ready to fight for you.

Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Avvo.com. Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

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