Violators of Maryland’s stay-at-home order face criminal charges

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics as he mulls a Presidential run on April 23, 2019 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Scott Eisen | Getty Images

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan issued a stay-at-home order Monday in response to the coronavirus pandemic and said those who violate it will face misdemeanor charges and could face up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. The policy is effective Monday at 8:00 pm. 

“We are no longer asking or suggesting that Marylanders stay home; we are directing them to do so,” Hogan said at a press conference. 

Residents in Maryland will still be able to leave their homes to obtain food, medicine and medical attention, according to Hogan. The state previously shuttered all nonessential businesses on March 23.

Maryland currently has 1,413 confirmed coronavirus cases, according to the state. 

While 27 states in total have issued stay-at-home directives and closed nonessential businesses, Maryland’s penalties for violating its order are among some of the strictest in the country.

Hawaii also categorized non-compliance with its stay-at-home policy as a misdemeanor and has the same penalties as Maryland, according to an order Gov. David Ige issued on March 23. In Washington State, violation of Gov. Jay Inslee’s ‘stay home, stay healthy’ order is a gross misdemeanor and could result in a $5,000 fine and up to 364 days in jail, according to the order, which was announced March 23. 

Alaska, which issued a stay-at-home order on Friday, has harsher penalties than Maryland, Hawaii and Washington. Under certain circumstances, an individual who violates the state’s stay-at-home order may be criminally prosecuted for reckless endangerment, which is considered a class A misdemeanor, according to the order issued by Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy. Violators could face a prison term of up to a year and may have to pay a fine of up to $25,000. 

With more than half of U.S. states issuing stay-at-home orders, more restrictions similar to Maryland’s could be down the line. With at least 148,000 confirmed cases of the virus and at least 2,599 deaths, the U.S. has the most cases of any country, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. 

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