As a parent or guardian there are many resources available to you and our goal is to connect you with this valuable information.
In this section you will learn about curfew, Juvenile Civil Citations and truancy.
Curfew Laws in Jacksonville, Florida
If you’re a parent or legal guardian, it is imperative to know about this ordinance. A parent or legal guardian is accountable, by law, for knowing the whereabouts and activities of their underage children. (Municipal Code, Children’s Curfew, Section 603.201). Basically, children under 18 cannot be out at night after 11 p.m. (12 a.m. on the weekends) without a guardian or adult, unless they are engaged in a sanctioned activity, such as work.
In addition, the State of Florida has a driver’s curfew that governs juveniles operating motor vehicles. For more information please visit the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website.
Municipal Code, Section 603.201 states
It shall be a violation of this section for any child to be or remain in or upon any public or semi-public place during curfew hours; provided however, that this prohibition shall not apply with respect to presence in any public or semi-public place if the child is:
- Accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or another person 18 years of age or older authorized and approved by the parent or guardian to have care and control of the child; provide, that the Sheriff may verify this authorization or approval through contact with the parent or legal guardian or otherwise;
- Engaged in lawful employment or traveling directly to such place of employment from home, or to home from such place of employment; provided, that the Sheriff may verify such employment through contact with the employer, parent, or legal guardian or otherwise;
- Engaged in bona fide interstate movement through the city or interstate travel beginning or ending in the city; provided, that the Sheriff may verify such travel through contact with the parent or legal guardian or otherwise;
- Engaged in an errand in a case of reasonable necessity with permission from his or her parent or legal guardian; provided, that the Sheriff may verify such necessity through contact with the parent or legal guardian or otherwise;
- Attending or traveling directly to or from a function sponsored by a religious organization, school, club, civic or other lawful organization, which special function is supervised by adults; provided, the Sheriff may verify such function through contact with the parent, legal guardian, religious organization, school, club or other lawful organization or otherwise;
- On a sidewalk in the area immediately within or on the border of his or her residence, or the residence of the child's next-door neighbor, provided the next-door neighbor agrees to the child's presence; and provided further, the Sheriff may verify such fact through contact with the parent or legal guardian or otherwise;
- Exercising First Amendment rights protected by the United States Constitution (or those equivalent rights protected by Article 1, Sections 3 and 4 of the Florida Constitution), such as free exercise of religion, freedom of speech, and the right of assembly; provided, that the child has permission from his or her parent or legal guardian; provided further, that the Sheriff may verify such permission through contact with the parent or legal guardian or otherwise. This exception, however, does not include association in the nature of social gatherings.
- Attending or returning home directly from a specific activity at a public or semi-public place which is open to the general public and supervised by adults; provided further, that the child has permission from his or her parent or legal guardian authorizing the child to attend or engage in that specific activity; and provided further that the Sheriff may verify such authorization through contact with the parent or legal guardian or otherwise.
- Attending or returning home directly from a private residence while visiting a friend or relative while supervised by adults; provided further, that the child has permission from his or her parent or legal guardian authorizing the child to attend or engage in that activity; and provided further that the Sheriff may verify such authorization through contact with the parent or legal guardian or otherwise.
(Ord. 2006-889-E, § 2)
For more information, please visit the Municode Website for Jacksonville, FL.
In addition to the curfew law, the City of Jacksonville abides by Florida State Statute 232.19 regarding truancy and the penalties regarding the mandate for school attendance by children, ages six to 16 years of age. Parents and children are subject to penalties for truancy under this law.
For more information, please visit the Florida Legislature’s Website
Juvenile Civil Citations in Jacksonville, Florida
In support of diverting non-violent juveniles from the criminal justice system, Sheriff Mike Williams strongly supports the issuance of Juvenile Civil Citations for those offenses that meet the criteria. Juvenile Civil Citations are issued in Florida in accordance with Florida Statute 985.12.
This law allows local law enforcement agencies along with the offices of the Public Defender, Chief Judge, and State Attorney to agree to a process that diverts some juvenile misdemeanor charges from the criminal arrest process to local diversionary programs.
Juvenile Civil Citations provide positive alternatives to juveniles who otherwise face arrest after committing certain misdemeanors.
When a juvenile has received a civil citation instead of being arrested, the JSO forwards the citation to the State Attorney’s Office where it is reviewed and passed onto Teen Court. The State Attorney’s Office at that time also reviews for any possible constitutional or proof issues which would result in the charge not proceeding further in either the court or diversionary system.
Upon receipt at the courthouse by the Court Administration Teen Court Director, the case is reviewed and a determination is made as to which diversionary civil citation program is most appropriate for that juvenile. The juvenile’s case will be handled in either Teen Court or one of the Neighborhood Accountability Boards (NABs).
Teen Court is a mock judicial process where the juvenile is held accountable by a panel of their peers in a court type setting. Neighborhood Accountability Boards are located geographically throughout Jacksonville and consist of volunteer members of that neighborhood board’s community who hear the case as well as additional information about the offending juvenile.
Both Teen Court and the Neighborhood Accountability Boards operate under the principles of restorative justice where the juvenile is held accountable for their crime, and, most importantly is offered therapeutic and other services to assist with any underlying issues that may be affecting their behavior and choices in the goal of preventing any future criminal acts.
In cases where the juvenile or the misdemeanor does not meet the criteria to receive a juvenile civil citation, there is an additional non-arrest diversion program at the State Attorney’s Office. If the offender meets the criteria, this additional diversionary program can be used in misdemeanor as well as felony cases, and for adults as well as juveniles. When eligible, those who participate also avoid the criminal justice court process where the result would otherwise include a criminal history of either a conviction or even a record that would document an adjudication that was withheld.
Most records held by law enforcement agencies, the courts, and the State Attorney and Public Defender’s Offices pertaining to juvenile criminal misdemeanor charges, even in cases where there has been an arrest and conviction, are held as confidential under the law and cannot be released pursuant to public records requests. (F. S. 119)
What happens when a juvenile receives a civil citation?
Resources to Help Families