Spreading the Coronavirus is Officially an Act of Terror
Posted By Law Offices of Robert Stepniak
If you intentionally spread the coronavirus, you could be charged with terrorism. For representation from a criminal defense lawyer, call The Law Offices of Robert Stepniak.
The coronavirus has disrupted the global economy, shut down businesses, and resulted in the deaths of thousands. In response, local, state, and federal government officials have advised people to stay at home when possible, maintain six feet of distance between themselves and others outside of their household, and use personal protective equipment (such as a face mask) when outside of the home. What is more, a Justice Department memo released in late March 2020 states that those who intentionally spread the coronavirus could be charged with terrorism.
Coronavirus as a Biological Agent
The memo states that the coronavirus can be classified as a “biological agent,” according to a report in CNN, and that the “purposeful exposure and infection of others” could constitute terrorism under the country’s terrorism-related statutes. Jeffrey Rosen, the Deputy Attorney General, has said that any attempts to use coronavirus as a weapon will not be tolerated.
Man Arrested for Coughing on Shoppers
The DOJ is serious about charging those who intentionally spread COVID-19 with terrorism, as illustrated by the arrest of a man in early April 2020 at a Tennessee Walmart. According to reports, the man was allegedly coughing on customers and claiming that he had the coronavirus; the man was charged with violating the terrorism hoax act, as well as reckless endangerment and disorderly conduct. A person who is convicted of making a threat of terrorism can face a range of penalties depending on the details of the crime, including a fine of between $200 and $250,000 and a period of incarceration of up to 100 years.
Other COVID-19 Crimes
Spreading the coronavirus with intent and getting charged with terrorism is not the only crime associated with the coronavirus. People are also being reprimanded and sometimes charged with criminal charges for making fraudulent offers to sell respirator masks or coronavirus cures, offering fake coronavirus apps that install malware, and sending email scams from people posing as public health officials.
What to do if You are Charged with Terrorism or Another Crime During the COVID-19 Pandemic
If you are charged with a crime related to speaking COVID-19 or another unlawful act, it is important that you understand your rights. For example, you have the right to remain silent, which means that you do not have to answer incriminating questions, you have the right to an attorney, and you have the right to defend yourself against charges. At The Law Offices of Robert Stepniak, our attorneys can help.
If you have been charged with a crime and are unsure of your rights, please reach out to our lawyers immediately. We believe that all persons, regardless of the severity of the crime with which they have been accused, deserve access to competent legal defense. Our lawyers will advocate for you and make sure your Constitutional rights are protected.
Our physical offices are closed right now, but our Daytona Beach criminal defense lawyers are working from home. Please reach out to us online or by phone to start building your case today.