We’re getting close to a month since Governor Hogan enacted the first of his executive orders implementing stay-at-home requirements for the people of Maryland. While it was not clear at first if any of Maryland’s police officers would be enforcing the stay-at-home orders, it has become apparent that the police intend to hold the citizens of Maryland to the Governor’s orders. While the police of Maryland do not want to have a heavy hand in enforcement, they have been out and about making sure people are putting a good faith effort into social distancing.
Police in most counties have stated that they will not be randomly stopping community members that appear to be in violation of Governor Hogan’s orders. However, if the police encounter you in a traffic stop and you appear to be in violation of the order, they will act. Additionally, the police will be investigating any calls from concerned citizens and any gatherings of individuals that appear to be out of compliance with the orders.
In a tweet from Thursday, April 16, the Maryland State Police published their current enforcement numbers gathered from across the state. Maryland police officers have responded to 1,720 calls from citizens relating to potential violations. Additionally, police have conducted more than 21,000 compliance checks and so far have arrested 35 people for violating Governor Hogan’s orders. The police have repeatedly stated that making arrests is the absolute last thing they want to do, butthey still reserve the right to do so if the situation warrants.
From the police actions in Maryland, we can determine a distinct pattern. If you adhere to Governor Hogan’s orders, maintain appropriate social distancing etiquette(including wearing face masks at grocery stores), and don’t host or attend gatherings of 10 or more people, you will not be hassled by the police. They don’t want to get close to you if they don’t have to either.
If you find yourself in violation of the stay-at-home orders in any way; be it a fine, court appearance order, or actual arrest, make sure you call Morgan Leigh at Scrofano Law. As a criminal law and social distancing law expert, Attorney Leigh will be your best bet at protecting yourself from any serious legal repercussions. Stay safe Maryland, and make sure to stay six feet away from everyone, including the 5-0.