Fresno County’s DA Will Not File Curfew Violation Charges

(KMJ) – Fresno County District Attorney Lisa Smittcamp issues a response to any potential punishment for those violating the COVID-19 curfew for counties currently in the state’s Purple tier.   The curfew, which began Saturday night, remains in effect from 10 p.m. until 5 a.m through December 21st.

Here is the full statement from DA Smittcamp:

The Governor of the State of California has issued a curfew, “Limited Stay at Home Order to Slow the Spread of COVID-19,” wherein he indicated that non-essential businesses and personal gatherings are prohibited between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. for counties in the purple tier.

The Order itself lacks direction regarding methods, specific statutes, and enforcement criteria, as to whether the Governor intends to try to hold violators of this Order accountable in criminal courts.

He cites no authority to allow for elected District Attorneys to enforce this Order, should we be presented with a request for prosecution of a violation.

Most Police Chiefs and County Sheriffs in our area, and throughout the state, have stated that they do not intend to provide resources to enforce this Order, and we agree with those decisions.

The Fresno County District Attorney’s Office will not be initiating criminal charges for any felony or
misdemeanor violations of this Order, should any exist in the law. If the State of California creates any further “strike forces” with State resources, and requests criminal charges be filed in the County of Fresno,those cases will be referred to Xavier Becerra, the Attorney General of the State of California for review and prosecution.