Under Florida law, all counties and cities have the power to enact curfew regulations on minors or any person under the age of 16. According to the Florida Legislature, the primary reason for enacting a curfew law was to encourage the safety of minors, decrease their victimization, and reduce crime and violence committed by minors.
Authority to Enact a Curfew Law
In addition to granting local adoption of curfew laws, the Florida Legislature also provided a model version of a curfew law. Under Florida law, counties and cities may adopt the model law in its entirety, or they may adopt one of their own choosing that may be more or less restrictive than the model curfew law proposed by the Legislature. However, if a county or city decides to enact their own curfew law, it must, at a minimum, be constitutional. Several cities, including Tampa and Pinellas Park, have had their curfew laws declared unconstitutional by the Florida Supreme Court.
Florida's Model Curfew Law
Under the Florida model curfew law, a minor may not remain in a public place from Sunday to Thursday, between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. or between 12:01 a.m. and 6 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday. If a minor is found in a public place during the restricted days and times, he will be warned. Any subsequent violation will result in a fine of $50. If a minor is arrested as a result of violating the curfew, his parents will be notified. If the minor's parents cannot be notified, the minor may either be transported to his residence by a law enforcement officer or transported to holding facility. The model curfew law also allows for several exemptions from the restriction, such as if the minor is accompanied by his parents.
Jurisdictions With Curfew Laws
At this time, only five counties have adopted a curfew law for minors. They include Pasco County, Miami-Dade County, Hendry County, Glades County and Clay County. In Miami-Dade County, a first or second violation of the curfew may result in the minor being taken into custody and a third violation.