COVID-19 and Criminal Charges in Miami-Dade

During the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping your business open in violation of an Emergency Order may mean criminal charges in Miami-Dade.

On March 12, 2020, Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency in Miami Dade County in response to coronavirus (COVID-19). Soon after, the Mayor signed an Emergency Order to shutdown all on-site services many commercial businesses including at restaurants, bars, gyms, and entertainment venues.

Does he have this authority? Yes. Florida law authorizes the Mayor to take whatever prudent action is necessary to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community during the emergency, including closing commercial businesses.

This came as a tough blow to many small businesses in Florida. Business owners rely on business income to support their families and communities. A closure could mean ending in the “red” for many businesses. Unsurprisingly, many business owners may try to stay open.

However, remaining open is not without its consequences. If a person fails to obey the Emergency Order, officers may arrest and charge the person with a second-degree misdemeanor. This could mean fines and even jail time of up to 60 days.

If you are a small business owner and been arrested or charged due to a violation of an Emergency Order, call our offices at 305-781-6560 or fill out this form. During these uncertain times, the attorneys at Traibel Fleming will work to protect your finances, freedom, and business.