Stay Home Law
Whatâs Legal (and Illegal) Under Minnesotaâs Stay-At-Home Law?
In response to the international Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Governor Tim Walz issued Minnesota Emergency Executive Order 20-20, directing all citizens to stay-at-home. The order went into effect at 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2020, and was originally scheduled to expire on April 10, but has since been extended through May 4, 2020.
Through May 4, all Minnesota residents must work from home, if possible, and can only lawfully venture outside for purposes allowed under the order.
Anyone who willfully violates the stay-at-home restrictions in the order is guilty of a misdemeanor crime, resulting in a maximum fine of $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail.
As of April 14, 2020, nearly two dozen persons have been cited statewide with violating the executive order. Â Previously, Governor Walz had indicated that he wanted Minnesotans to comply with the executive order voluntarily, favoring education and social compliance over criminal prosecution. Â
Here is a partial list of activities allowed by the order where an individual can legally go outside the home:
To obtain or deliver ânecessary supplies and services,â including food, beverages, gas, supplies needed to work from home, and products necessary to clean and maintain homes, vehicles, bicycles, and businesses.
To obtain medical care including emergency medical services and other medical services, supplies or medications, or to visit a dentist or other health care professional or facility.
To donate blood.
To provide care for a relative, friend or pet in oneâs own or another household and for transportation related to that care. The executive order recognizes âexisting parenting time schedules or other visitation schedules pertaining to a child in need of protective servicesâ as legitimate reasons for leaving home under the order.
To flee an unsafe situation. Under the executive order, a person can move to another residence if the building is unsafe or if he or she has ââŚsuffered or are at risk of domestic violence.â
To go to and from allowed activities.
For leisure driving and to travel to public parks and any other open public places, provided they maintain social distancing (keeping at least 6 feet apart).
To attend a funeral, provided that the gathering consists of no more than ten persons and proper social distancing is followed.
For outdoor recreation, including walking, hiking, running, biking, driving for pleasure, hunting and fishing.
To move to a new residence so long as the state health departmentâs prevention guidelines are followed while the order is in place.
For persons in âcritical sectorsâ to go to and from work. The executive order states: âAll workers who can work from home must do so.â Those who work in âcritical sectorsâ who cannot work from home can legally travel back and forth between their homes and workplaces and transport their children to and from daycare. Over three-quarters of jobs in Minnesota are considered âcritical sectors,â under the order, including (but not limited to):
- Health care and public health;
- Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders;
- Workers providing essential legal services (this includes all attorneys and staff at Halberg Criminal Defense)
- Transportation workers;
- Construction and trades;
- Food and agriculture;
- Water and wastewater; and
- Critical manufacturing.
Once the executive order was announced, there was an initial concern that persons might need travel permits to prove their journeys outside the home were in accordance with state guidelines. The governor quickly clarified that no special documentation would be required for individuals to travel while the order was in place.
Additionally, expired Minnesota driverâs licenses will be considered valid during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Under a law signed by the governor, expiration dates will be pushed out for two months beyond the date the health emergency is declared to be over.
However, Minnesota vehicle registration wonât be granted extensions because people can still receive tabs or license plates through the mail.If you find yourself facing criminal charges, our attorneys can consult with you while adhering to recommended social distancing. Â At Halberg Criminal Defense, our team approach puts the firmâs collective knowledge and experience in your corner. Our attorneys have been designated âcritical sectorâ workers proving âessential legal servicesâ by Minnesota Emergency Executive Order 20-20 and are available 24-7 â Call us at 612-DEFENSE (612-333-3673).