Many parents who let their teens leave the house alone to attend parties or hang out with friends often require that the teens be home by a certain time. In addition to the curfews imposed by parents, Illinois law also has its own curfew restrictions on juveniles. Under the Illinois Child Curfew Act, juveniles under the age of 17 years old are not allowed to remain in a public place or sometimes a business during curfew hours. Curfew hours are 11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. during the week, and 12:01 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. on weekends.

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Curfew violation is considered a minor offense punishable with a fine of $500, and in some cases, community service for the parents of the minor who violated curfew. There are exceptions to the curfew restrictions, and a minor will have a defense to a curfew violation if:

The minor is in the company of his parents, guardian, or another person in charge of the minor at the time;The minor was running an errand for a parent or guardian;The minor was going to, or returning from work during curfew hours;The minor is involved in an emergency situation;The minor was at a political, religious, or school related social activity; orThe minor is on the sidewalk outside his or her home, or a neighbor's home if the neighbor does not call the police to complain about the minor's presence.

The curfew laws do not apply to married and emancipated minors.

Some cities and towns across the state may have more restrictive curfew hours, and parents should check their local ordinances to ensure that their children are in compliance with the law. The curfew law may also affect the minor's ability to drive during curfew hours if the minor is not accompanied by a parent or guardian. The minor may have his license or permit suspended for driving without a parent or other adult in charge of him during curfew hours.

Police officers are required to ask the minor about the reason for his being out during curfew hours before taking him in, in order to determine if an exception exists. When police officers pick up a minor for curfew violation, they usually contact the minor's parent or guardian to come and collect the minor, and in some instances may drop the child off at home. Minors are not usually jailed simply based on a curfew violation.

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If you have a minor child who is charged with a criminal offense in Illinois, you need a criminal defense attorney with experience dealing with the unique issues in a juvenile criminal case. For a consultation, contact our experienced Crystal Lake criminal defense attorneys at Botto Gilbert Lancaster, PC for a free consultation.