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Some Cities Impose Criminal Charges For Not Wearing A Mask

The danger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the implementation of mandatory mask laws and health regulations in many cities. These laws and regulations change with time, depending on the rise and fall in infection rates. These dynamic laws and regulations can be tough to keep track of, even for the most updated members of our society. Therefore, If you are facing criminal charges for non-compliance with mask mandates or other COVID-19 regulations, it is advisable to hire a reputable criminal attorney to handle your case.

In this blog post, we will offer some relevant information about the mandatory mask laws and the various COVID-19 regulations that have been imposed by cities all over America.

Can I Be Arrested For Not Wearing a Face Mask?

It is not likely that you will be arrested for not wearing a mask. Law enforcement officers are not patrolling the streets to find people who are not wearing masks. Law enforcement officers will only respond to complaints about persons not complying with the mandatory mask laws in most states.

Different states have varying laws and penalties for not complying with laws and regulations, but very few allow the arrest of persons not wearing masks. However, you can expect a warning from a law enforcement officer, after which they will give you a chance to comply. It is wise to remain calm and polite even if you choose not to comply with the officer’s request because violent or aggressive behavior might lead to your arrest.

Failure to comply with mandatory mask mandates after receiving a verbal warning results in the officer issuing a citation. The fines imposed for non-compliance vary from state to state. If you want to contest the fine issued or any criminal charges for not complying with laws and regulations, then you can count on Lane, Hupp & Crowley to walk you through the entire case.

What Are The Legal Penalties And Consequences Of Non-Compliance?

The legal penalties and consequences of not complying with mask laws and regulations are dependent on where you reside. In some states, non-compliant individuals are typically issued with an information leaflet or verbal civic education on the benefits of complying with mask laws and regulations. Businesses, organizations, and institutions are more likely to receive a written warning.

Failure to comply after a warning has been issued results in the issuing of a fine or penalty. Businesses, organizations, and institutions stand to have their licenses suspended or revoked. Owners of businesses, organizations, and institutions can also face criminal charges for failing to enforce compliance on their premises.

Understanding The Difference Between Guidelines, Regulations, And Laws

Health guidelines, regulations, and laws are often used interchangeably, yet they all have different issuing authorities, meanings, applications, and penalties for non-compliance. State or federal governments typically issue mandatory mask laws. Health guidelines and regulations are issued by city and local authorities.

Health Guidelines

Health guidelines are instructions issued by a state, city, or local authority to reduce the spread of the virus and keep vulnerable demographics safe. While most citizens comply with health guidelines, you are not obliged to obey them because they are not legally enforceable. In other words, you will not face any kind of penalty or punishment for not following health guidelines.

Health Regulations

Health regulations are guidelines issued to businesses, organizations, and institutions to minimize the risk posed by the virus to the entire community. Unlike guidelines that are aimed at individuals, health regulations are legally enforceable. This means that an institution, business, or organization stands to face sanctions, fines, penalties, or another form of administrative action from the state, city, or local authority issuing the regulation.

Mandatory Mask Laws

COVID-19 mandatory mask laws are applied to all citizens above a certain age (usually six years old), depending on the state. States have few exceptions to compulsory mask laws, e.g., for persons who cannot wear masks for medical or religious persons. Mandatory mask laws do not apply to situations where wearing a mask is not feasible, such as eating or having dental work done.

Individuals, businesses, organizations, and institutions are obliged to uphold all laws and regulations that are imposed by their relevant state or local authority or face the predetermined legal sanction. Non-compliant parties are usually subjected to warnings or fines. Institutions, organizations, and businesses that are non-compliant risk facing fines or having their operating licenses revoked or suspended.

Difference Between A Face Mask And A Face Covering

Some laws and regulations specifically call for face masks, while others allow face coverings. Rules will vary depending on the county or city you live in. Therefore, it is essential to distinguish between face coverings and face masks to ensure that you are always in compliance.

Face masks generally are of surgical quality or higher, e.g., N95 masks, and cannot be made at home. Face coverings can be homemade or bought from persons not producing them in accordance with medical manufacturing standards as required for face masks. Face masks are thought to offer more protection than face coverings.

Some areas consider face masks and coverings interchangeable, while others have laws that differentiate between the two. Most places require a face mask for persons above a certain age whenever in public. Face masks are typically necessary for persons attending indoor events or public transportation where social distancing is not viable.

An Experienced Attorney is the Best Option

Suppose you are facing any kind of legal action for not complying with mandatory mask laws. In that case, it is advisable to consult an experienced criminal attorney who can help you fight any fines, penalties, or other kinds of administrative sanctions imposed. We are a very professional team that is capable of fighting tirelessly on your behalf. Contact us at for a case consultation.

Lane, Hupp, & Crowley
111 W Monroe St Ste. 1216
Phoenix AZ 85003
(480) 562-3482

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If you have been charged with a DUI, drug charge, sex crime or any serious criminal offense, let an experienced defense team fight for you. Schedule a consultation with one of our partners today. Call (480) 562-3482 or send an email.