Curfew laws may be permanent or temporary to react to civil disturbance or a natural disaster. The purpose of curfew laws is to keep people out of the streets after a certain time in the name of safety. This article will discuss US curfew laws and the charges for violating them.
Business and Emergency Curfew Laws
Curfew laws can be placed against businesses to restrict the opening hours of certain types of businesses like liquor stores, restaurants and other places that people might gather. Business curfew laws will typically not apply to late-night pharmacies or bars.
An emergency curfew law is a government-issued temporary order in response to a crisis like civil disturbance or natural disasters. Emergency curfew laws usually apply to everyone.
Exceptions to Juvenile Curfew Laws
Most curfew laws apply to juveniles to ensure they are at home by a certain time. This means that they cannot be in public spaces or public establishments past the set time. The juvenile can only be out past curfew if:
- They are at work or travelling to or from work
- They are with a parent or guardian
- They are travelling to or from school, church, or another supervised activity
- They are involved in an emergency
- They are in front of their home
How to Challenge Juvenile Curfew Laws
The first curfew law was enacted in 1880 in Omaha. Since then, many local governments have enacted juvenile curfew laws to try and curb crime. However, studies have shown they are ineffective for this purpose. Many people who speak out against curfew laws state that they violate the First Amendment rights of juveniles.
Should I Hire a Criminal Defense Lawyer If I Broke Curfew Laws?
If you or your child broke curfew laws, you need to speak to a criminal defense attorney. They can help prove your child’s innocence and protect their records.
Your attorney will:
- Request their release
- Try to convince a probation officer not to file a petition
- Try to convince the DA to file a lesser charge
- Fight for acquittal
- Suggest rehabilitation program as probation instead of charge
- Request an informal probation
- Convince the DA not to file charges