I’ve Been Charged With Not Wearing a Face Mask

In response to rising COVID-19 cases across the state, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed into effect Executive Order 2020-147, which requires residents in the state to wear a face mask covering their nose and mouth when they leave their homes.

Where Am I Required to Wear Face Masks?

The order itself requires that:

  • Residents wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space
  • Residents wear a face covering when in crowded outdoor spaces and are unable to consistently maintain a distance of six feet or more from non-household members
  • When waiting for or riding on public transportation, while in a taxi or ridesharing vehicle, or when using a private car service as a means of hired transportation

The order also requires that businesses open to the public refuse entry and service to any individuals who fail to comply and post signs at all entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside.

Note that the order does not consider child-care centers, day camps, residential camps, or travel camps to be public spaces.

Who Is Exempt From Wearing Face Masks?

Those who are exempt from wearing a mask include:

  • People younger than 5 years old;
  • Those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering;
  • Those who are eating or drinking while seated at a restaurant;
  • Those who are exercising and wearing a face covering would interfere with the activity;
  • Those who are entering a business or are receiving a service and are asked to temporarily remove a face covering for identification purposes;
  • Those who are actively engaged in a public safety role, including but not limited to law enforcement, firefighters, or emergency medical personnel;
  • Those who are giving a speech for broadcast or an audience.

Penalties For Not Wearing Face Masks

A willful violation of the order is a misdemeanor subject to a $500 criminal penalty, but no jail time may be imposed on individuals who violate the mask requirement.

Note that an individual is not subject to penalty for removing a mask while engaging in religious worship at a house of religious worship. Congregants are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings during religious services, but not doing so may not be penalized.

If you feel you have been unfairly charged for not wearing a face covering, whether because you were in a situation where you were unable to do so or believe you were not required to do so, our team can help defend your case.

Contact us at Tanis Schultz for more information!

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