The coronavirus continues to spread throughout the United States and Texas. People throughout the state are taking precautionary measures to stop the spread of the virus. As many as 75% of Americans are staying home and working from home. Schools and non-essential businesses have shut down until at least April 30th, per federal guidelines. Nonetheless, some people are intentionally trying to infect other people with coronavirus, leading to Texas criminal charges.
A Texan Man Faces Terroristic Threat Charges
A man who lives in Harlingen, Texas, was arrested at the end of March. Texas prosecutors charged the man with a terroristic threat after he spit on a park bench. The man was allegedly attempting to infect other people with the coronavirus and knew he had contracted the contagious disease. A Missouri man, age 26, was recently charged with making a terrorist threat after he filmed himself licking a shelf full of deodorant containers at a Walmart.
Intentionally Spitting on Others can be a Federal Crime
Intentionally spitting on another person has always been considered a crime in the United States. However, spitting on someone has taken on new meaning during the coronavirus. Experts have stated that people spread the coronavirus by spreading respiratory droplets produced by sneezing or coughing.
In the United States, prosecutors in many states have begun enforcing anti-spitting laws. The U.S. Department of Justice has stated that those who intentionally spit on another person may face federal terrorism charges. This is because the coronavirus itself meets the definition of a biological agent. Prosecutors in Texas have already begun bringing terrorism charges against those who maliciously and intentionally spread the virus to infect others.
Intentionally Spreading Coronavirus by Going Out in Public
What if someone knows or strongly suspects that he or she has coronavirus and continues to go out in public? When someone knows he or she has coronavirus and intends to spread the virus, it is possible that he or she could face charges. Prosecutors would need to prove that the suspect intended to spread the coronavirus.
There is a serious shortage of available tests in the United States. Many people who have coronavirus will not be able to receive a test and verify that they have the virus. Nonetheless, if someone intentionally spreads the virus, he or she could face federal terrorism charges.
Defending Against Criminal Charges During the Coronavirus
The stress level related to coronavirus is extremely high. People are shut-in their houses and many have lost their employment. It is easy to see how even the most responsible people may snap and lash out against loved ones.
Whether you are facing a charge of simple assault, or a more serious charge of terroristic threat, it is important to speak to a skilled lawyer as soon as possible. At Abel Law Firm, our lawyers have extensive experience fighting for the rights of defendants. Contact our law firm today to schedule your initial consultation as soon as possible.