For obvious reasons, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency on May 31, 2020 which includes a statewide curfew. Whether you agree or disagree with this action by the Governor, it is now law, so it is important to know the facts. Here are some things that you should know.

The curfew is likely unconstitutional because it will likely fail to pass strict scrutiny analysis. In short, it is likely too broad, but no one wants to be the person prosecuted who challenges it. The curfew is statewide. This means that any state, county or municipal law enforcement agency that wishes to enforce the declaration may enforce the declaration.

Consequences for Violation of Curfew

Violation of the declaration is a class 1 misdemeanor. Class 1 misdemeanors in Arizona come with maximum penalties including up to 6 months jail time, $2,500 in fines (plus surcharges) and up to 3 years of probation.

The declaration imposes a statewide curfew from 8:00 p.m. until 5:00 a.m. and is in effect until Monday, June 8, 2020 with the reservation of the right to extend the date longer. Between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. all non-exempt individuals are “prohibited from using, standing, sitting, traveling or being present on any public street or in any public place, including for the purpose of travel” Exempt individuals include credentialed press and first responders.

Activities that are permitted during the restricted curfew hours include “traveling directly to and from work; attending religious services; commercial trucking and delivery services; obtaining food; caring for a family member, friend, or animal; patronizing or operating private businesses; seeking medical care or fleeing dangerous circumstances; and travel for any of the above services.”

It is important to understand that law enforcement could stop you during the curfew hours whether or not they suspect you of a crime. In essence, your 4th amendment rights to be free of warrantless search and seizure have been put on pause. Whether you will be cited, not be cited or taken to jail for violating the declaration is left to the discretion of the involved police officer. It is also important to understand that resisting arrest even though you have not committed a crime is not a legal defense to the criminal charge of resisting arrest in Arizona.

Phoenix Misdemeanor Defense Lawyer

If you have been arrested for violation of the curfew and are facing misdemeanor criminal charges, it is in your best interest to speak with an experienced misdemeanor defense lawyer on how to proceed. The local defense lawyers at AZ Defenders, are familiar with the statewide emergency curfew rules, and will be able to speak to you about your case, evaluate your options, and give you advice about what you should do next. To schedule a consultation with one of our skilled misdemeanor defense lawyers, fill out a contact form online or call us at (480) 456-6400.

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