criminal defense attorneys talk about if you can be arrested for not wearing a mask in Miami or South Florida

Cover Up: Miami Beach closes South Pointe Park due to Indecent Exposure - an Arrestable Offense?  

 

Miami Beach shut down South Pointe Park five days after it reopened due to indecent exposure of thousands of people. 

 

Calm down - we’re not talking about public nudity. We’re talking about people not wearing face masks to limit the spread of Covid-19.

 

If you live in South Florida - seeing people wearing masks everywhere has become the new normal. Masks are required to enter any businesses in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, and now they can even be required outside. 

 

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez reopened green spaces recently, with strict rules - requiring visitors to wear masks. Period. The only exceptions made were for people who are under two years old, who have trouble breathing due to a pre-existing condition or are  “strenuously exercising,” according to Miami Herald

 

Park rangers gave 8,880 verbal warnings to parkgoers not wearing facial coverings or masks within 5 days. Park rangers also gave more than 500 social distance warnings and had to ask more than 1,500 people to leave the parks after they closed. 

 

→ Can you be arrested for breaking quarantine in Florida? 

 

City Manager Jimmy Morales reported “serious compliance issues with respect to masks at certain facilities and rudeness towards staff, especially at South Pointe Park,” According to the Herald.

 

“South Pointe Park will be closed until further notice,” Morales said. “There is no way to effectively enforce social distancing when hundreds of individuals refuse to do so. The best way to protect our residents and first responders is to keep it closed until further notice.”

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T WEAR A MASK?

 

In April,  Gimenez ordered the entire Miami-Dade County to wear masks when going to public places. Even the full emergency order, however, doesn’t lend any explanation as to what happens when someone doesn’t wear a mask. 

 

Some consequences are obvious - like not being allowed to enter a grocery store without a mask. A man has a complete meltdown after not being allowed into a Miami Beach Publix without a mask:

 

 

The man goes as far to say: "F--- you motherf-----, there's no pandemic, I’m filing a motherf------ lawsuit. I have a right to buy groceries without being forced to participate in your f------ terrorism," according to NBC Miami.

 

ARRESTS RELATED TO NOT WEARING MASKS

 

While the consequences of not wearing a mask may not be all too steep themselves, when someone doesn’t wear a mask - the incident could easily escalate if someone has a temper or perhaps isn’t able to understand what’s happening. 

 

In Michigan, for example, a man was arrested for his response when asked why he wasn’t wearing a mask. A clerk asked the man why he wasn’t wearing a mask, and he then wiped his nose on the clerks shirt. 

 

→ Intentional COVID-19 spread could land you behind bars 

 

A Texas man was also arrested after a park ranger warned a group they were too close together. The beachgoer shoved the ranger into the water. 

 

At this time, the consequences of wearing a mask aren’t entirely clear. But, in a single moment, any situation could escalate and turn into an arrest or charges.

 

Our hope is that everyone is abiding by the rules. We’re also aware that this is a stressful situation and things can escalate quickly in the heat of the moment. 

 

If you get in trouble for not wearing a mask (or a situation arising from breaking a quarantine rule) in South Florida - whether Fort Lauderdale or Miami - give us a call : (754) 206 -6200

 

We’re here to protect you and your rights.

 

→ A Florida Man’s Guide on what not to do amid the Coronavirus Pandemic 

 
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