Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

What Covid-19 Crimes are There in Massachusetts?

Law enforcement in Massachusetts arrested a man in November after he spit at two female hikers and claimed that he had COVID-19. The man had confronted the two women for not wearing masks on a popular trail close to the New Hampshire border. In a video of the confrontation, the man tells one of the women to put on a mask. This echoes an executive order by Governor Baker stating that anyone over the age of 5 in the state is required to wear a face covering.

Police later stated that the man is charged with assault and battery as well as making a false threat of a biological agent. Law enforcement also noted that it had received numerous anonymous tips after releasing a video of the confrontation. This led to the man being arrested outside his residence with no incident. The man was arraigned in Winchendon District Court and pled not guilty. 

Following the issuing of stay-at-home orders, Boston saw a significant rise in crime. This is just one of the many ways in which our daily lives have been impacted by the pandemic. People have also had to contend with new laws, ordinances, and emergency orders designed to keep COVID-19 under control by banning gatherings of certain sizes and restricting movements. As a result, there are understandably some questions and concerns about how criminality functions during the pandemic. 

Assault With a Deadly Weapon

The example that began this article is just one report of many. Since the pandemic began, countless reports have emerged about people either deliberately or intentionally coughing on others to infect them with COVID-19. Some of these cases have occurred at stores, restaurants, and other locations where people are asked to wear masks to protect those around them. Other disputes have occurred in public and involve people who have disagreements about how often and in what setting you should wear a mask. When these cases have occurred in Massachusetts, individuals have been left facing “threat of a biological agent” charges. General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 269 “Crimes Against Public Peace” makes it illegal for a person to threaten to use a biological agent among other types of weapons.

Quarantine Violations

There have been countless cases of people who have violated quarantine orders during the COVID-19 pandemic. A person in Massachusetts who commits such an action could easily end up facing reckless endangerment charges under Massachusetts law. To convict a person of such charges, however, prosecutors in Massachusetts would likely first need to establish that a person was exposed to COVID-19 but violated quarantine orders and endangered the lives of others.

Team Up With a Compassionate Criminal Defense Attorney

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts takes the transmission of COVID-19 seriously. As a result, Massachusetts strictly enforces several laws about COVID-19 in the state. If you or a loved one is charged with such an offense, you need an attorney who will remain dedicated to your case. Contact attorney Edward R Molari today for assistance.