If you’ve been arrested for a Curfew Violation, call the Lawyers at Sieben Edmunds Miller today!
In the wake of George Floyd’s tragic death last Memorial Day, thousands have taken the streets of Minnesota cities in protest. Many of the demonstrations have remained peaceful expressions of community members’ grief, loss, frustration, anger, and a wide array of other emotions over this and many other instances of police brutality and other injustices. However, significant amounts of rioting, looting, and burning in some areas have created an untenable situation that precipitated emergency action by the government.
As part of his response, Governor Walz declared a peacetime emergency and activated the Minnesota National Guard on May 28, 2020. The Governor also implemented a curfew in the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul for the nights of Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30. The curfew was eventually extended and is currently still in place as of this writing (although the hours were reduced on Monday, June 1, 2020). Governor Walz’s order only extended to the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, where the bulk of the issues with civil unrest and dangerous activities have taken place. But, the order does allow for other cities to make their own curfew rules.
Along with several other metro area cities and counties, Dakota County issued a mandatory curfew on all of its residents and occupants on Friday, May 29, 2020. Sheriff Leslie and Dakota County leaders cited a “heightened risk of significant harm to local residents and businesses” from the ongoing protests and rioting in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder. The Order, issued late in the afternoon and effective that very evening, restricted the constitutional liberty of Dakota County residents and more importantly, American citizens. This Order undoubtedly infringes on our right to assemble. It even goes so far as to made it illegal to travel, or even go for a walk after 8:00 p.m. (now 10:00 p.m.)
Dakota County appears not to have renewed its curfew for the extended two-day period, but some individual cities have. For instance, Eagan has adopted a city curfew that is in place until Wednesday, June 3, 2020, at 4:00 a.m. Some other Dakota County cities do not appear to have extended the curfew at this time. Please check with your individual city to be sure what the law is in your town.
Is the Curfew Legal and Constitutional?
For a number of reasons, we think probably not. Please see Attorney Kevin Sieben’s latest blog post entitled “Is the Dakota County Curfew Legal or Unconstitutional?” for a deep dive into exactly this question, and know that the lawyers at Sieben Edmunds Miller are hard at work fighting for the rights of those whose rights have been infringed upon by the curfew.
But, in the meantime, please remember that the law of the land is what will be enforced if you encounter the police while the Executive Order is in place. So, it is best not to just ignore the curfew order because you could be charged with a misdemeanor and face a penalty of a $1,000 fine and/or 90 days in jail if you are convicted. Don’t let that happen! If you have been, or are later, charged with violating the emergency curfew order in Dakota (or any other) County, please call the dedicated and experienced attorneys at Sieben Edmunds Miller today at 651-323-2464.