COVID-19 and Social Distancing: The Criminal Implications

At this point we are all aware of the Governor’s orders that all gatherings are to remain at less than 10 people. Virginia’s Executive Order numbers 53 and 55 state that any gathering of 10 or more people will be considered a class 1 misdemeanor. This means that by gathering in a group of 10 or more you are risking not only the potential health problems associated with COVID-19 but also up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500 dollars.

The Governor has expressed a desire to not put any additional people in jail during the ongoing crisis, however that does not mean a person found violating the executive order cannot be found guilty and sentenced to incarceration. Even if you do not face jail time for the violation, you may have to pay up to $2,500.00.

The charge would also likely be brought against all individuals gathering socially in a group of 10 or more meaning that you and all of the friends you are seeing would have to pay up to $2,500.00 each.

Of course, as with any criminal charge – if you are charged for violating the executive orders you will be provided an opportunity in Court to defend yourself.

These are new circumstances we are all adjusting to as we are learning how to best go about our lives. If you have been charged with a crime and would like to schedule an initial consultation please contact us at 804-423-1382 or email us at to set up an initial consultation with one of our attorneys. We would like to help.