Thursday, April 18, 2024

It’s 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?

Across the Peninsula, many jurisdictions have a mandated curfew for minors or children younger than 18 years old.

But not every locality has the same consequences.

Some curfews are for minors 17 years old and younger and others have different curfews depending on the age of the teen. If caught, the consequences range from a quick phone call to a parent and dropping them off at home to a $250 fine and Class 4 misdemeanor.

Each city is allowed to create their own curfew per state code

According to state code, any locality can issue a curfew for minors between 10 p.m. and 6 p.m.

Here are the curfew laws in Hampton, Newport News, Williamsburg, York County and James City County.

Newport News

  • 14 and younger: 10 p.m. seven days a week
  • Between the ages of 15-17: Midnight, seven days a week
  • Curfew ends: 5 a.m.
  • Consequence: Up to a $250 fine and a Class 4 misdemeanor

For minors 14 years old and younger, the curfew is 10 p.m. seven days a week and those who are older than 14 and younger than 18 must be home by midnight every day. However, there are exceptions to the city ordinance: if the minor is accompanied by an adult, there is an emergency, the minor is heading to or from work, going to a city, school or religious sponsored activity, engaging in interstate travel or a volunteer firefighter responding to an emergency. See the complete ordinance here.

Hampton

  • 14 years old and younger: 10 p.m. seven days a week
  • Between the ages of 15-17: 10 p.m. on weekdays, 11 p.m. on weekends
  • Curfew ends: 6 a.m.
  • Consequence: Up to a $250 fine and a Class 4 misdemeanor

According to the City of Hampton’s announcement, the purpose of the curfew is to “reinforce parental authority and home life and encourage parents to actively supervise their children”. You can read the full city ordinance here.

Williamsburg

  • 17 years old and younger: midnight seven days a week
  • Curfew ends: 5 a.m.
  • Consequence: Up to a $250 fine and a Class 4 misdemeanor

“If we as officers on a patrol see somebody who looks as a juvenile — and we found out they are a juvenile, they can be summoned for being out past curfew,” said Charlie Ericsson, school resource officer and a spokesman for the Williamsburg Police Department.

Ericsson noted police officers typically call the parents and either have the minor(s) picked up, or the officers drive them home.

James City County

  • 17 years old and younger: midnight seven days a week
  • Curfew ends: 5 a.m.
  • Consequence: Up to a $250 fine and a Class 4 misdemeanor

“There are so many factors that go into it,” said Stephanie Williams, spokeswoman for the James City County Police Department, in regards to consequence for minors.

Williams said the police officer on patrol will notify the parents and refer the minor to an intake officer at the juvenile services to avoid charges and going to court.

While Williamsburg does have same exceptions as other localities such as being accompanied by an adult, Williams said if a minor is on an emergency errand or attending a church, public or private school function, the minor must have a note with a parent or guardian’s signature.

York County

  • 17 years old and younger: 12:30 a.m. seven days a week
  • Curfew ends: 5 a.m.
  • Consequence: No fine and parental discipline

“Most of the time we are calling the parents— hey do you know where your children are?” said Shawn Kekoa-Deahart, master deputy at the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s office. “If it becomes an habitual offense…that’s when we go to juvenile courts services and seek petition.”

Kekoa-Deahart said it’s not uncommon for deputies to ask unaccompanied minors where they are going but they need probable cause. For example, a minor is driving with a headlight or taillight out, hanging out in a place that’s considered close such as park, or throwing a party and officers are called to the scene in regards to a noise complaint.

“Especially when Busch Gardens opens, half or most of the kids aren’t even coming in after 1 a.m” she said.

Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsiglianohttp://wydaily.com
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to julia@localvoicemedia.com. You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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