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What curfew laws can mean for minors

Curfew laws are in place to help keep minors off the streets and at home at a reasonable time. The laws prohibit people under 18 from being in public or at a business establishment during particular times of the day, usually between 11:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., although those times differ by city, state and every neighborhood.

These laws keep the peace and are intended to reduce the number of crimes committed by juveniles. Getting caught after curfew can land a child in hot water, leading to penalties such as fines, community service, the restriction of the driver's license or even time in juvenile detention.

If you are a parent who knowingly allows your child to violate curfew, you may be held accountable for those actions and could be fined or penalized as well.

Sometimes, there are exceptions to the law. For example, if your child has a job after school, he or she may be able to drive to or from the job and home without being penalized for missing curfew. Additionally, those with afterschool programs may be able to be out past curfew.

If you are with your child, then the law should not apply, and if your child is attending an official school program or religious event, it may not apply, either. If an officer attempts to arrest your child or take other steps to enforce a curfew when the law should not be applied, you may be able to seek help from a legal professional who can help your child avoid a conviction or black mark on his or her record.

Source: FindLaw, "Juvenile Curfew Laws - The Basics," accessed Jan. 04, 2017

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