Juvenile Curfew Laws

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Juvenile Curfew Laws

Many local governments across the country have juvenile curfew laws. These laws make it illegal for youths under the age of 18 to be in any "public place" during a certain time of day. In particular, most curfews last between 11 PM and 6 AM. The purpose for these curfews is to:

Are There Any Exceptions to Curfew Laws?

Almost all juvenile curfew laws contain exceptions. For example, juveniles are nearly always allowed to:

What Are the Penalties for Violating a Curfew?

Juvenile curfew laws typically carry lenient penalties. For example, a first offender may be returned to his or her parents with a warning and a moderate fine imposed on the child or the parents.

Some of these laws have not fared well in state courts. For example, in 2003, a Washington court struck down a local juvenile curfew law as unconstitutional. The court reasoned that it was too vague. In other states, similar laws fared better. They were upheld as long as they were specific as to what is prohibited and did not merely have open-ended prohibitions.

Should I Consult an Attorney?

If you have violated a curfew law and are facing a criminal charge, you should consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.

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Last Modified: 12-16-2013 01:46 PM PST

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