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Understanding curfew law violations in Florida

Florida has a state law that aims to prevent teens under 16 from being out in public places late at night. These laws are generally intended to protect teens' safety as well as cut down on petty crimes. The Florida curfew bars minors from being out in public places between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. between Sundays and Thursdays except in the case of legal holidays.

In addition, the curfew law bars minors from being out late at night between 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, so even non-school days are restricted. In addition, teens who have been suspended or expelled from school face an additional restriction: They cannot be in public between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. during school days and also cannot go within 1,000 feet of the school. A minor will receive a written warning if they are found on the street during these hours. After receiving an initial written warning, minors would receive a civil infraction and be fined $50 for each subsequent violation.

Minors found violating curfew would be taken to the police station or an associated facility that runs an authorized program. The teen's parents would be contacted and the minor released to his or her parents. If the parents do not respond in two hours, the police would bring the minor back to his or her home.

While this kind of a civil infraction may seem relatively insignificant, minors will carry a juvenile record of the violation. These charges are not automatically removed after adulthood; individuals must make an application and pay a fee to seek the expungement of the record. Therefore, young people accused of a curfew violation may wish to work with an attorney to challenge the charges and fight the ticket.

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Andrew M. Coffey has been recognized as a Board Certified Civil Trial lawyer by the Florida Bar. Certification is the highest level of recognition by The Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Florida.

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