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Enforcement FAQ

Q: What Punishments May Result From Violating Ordinances Such as the “Safer at Home” and “Shelter in Place” Orders?

A: There are at least two provisions of Tennessee law that may apply here: Tennessee Code Annotated § 58-2-107 states that violation of an executive order from the Governor (i.e., Safer at Home and Shelter in Place) is a class A misdemeanor which carries a prison sentence of no more than 11 months and 29 days and up to a $2,500 fine. In addition, Tennessee Code Annotated § 68-1-203 provides that “[a]ny person who … violates any rule or regulation made in attempting to prevent the spread of any epidemic disease, commits a Class B misdemeanor.” It is important to keep in mind that through prosecutorial discretion, the state is not required to prosecute every violation of the law. In some cases, local law enforcement may operate on a policy of informing and educating offenders before citing for criminal violations.

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