If a child is under 18 years old in San Diego, California, they must be aware of the curfew laws as well as their parents. This is especially important so that children can avoid run-ins with the law and be at home during proposed hours. The reason why curfews have been put in place? Parents should be well aware of the activities and whereabouts of their minor children and ensure that they are home during specific hours. Currently, the new laws in San Diego say that from 10 p.m. any evening of the week until 6 a.m. the following day are curfew hours.

Unfortunately, too often parents would permit their children to be out during late hours of the night when anything could happen to them. This is why San Diego is citing parents if they now knowingly permit the minor to be present in any public place during curfew hours. Since 2010, these new curfew laws have been put in place to protect minors in San Diego.

Curfew Sweeps by Police

A woman hiding behind a red wall clockIn San Diego, the police will conduct operations known as “curfew sweeps” to catch minors who are out after-hours. The police will stop minors that they find out on the streets at movie theaters, malls, and more when they are supposed to be at home with their parents. They are given the choice to either cite the minors for breaking curfew or take other actions. And, as many cases have ended in San Diego over the past few years, it does not matter whether or not a minor has already called a parent and made plans to be picked up – if they are out after hours, it’s already too late and they could receive a ticket from the police. However, over the years many changes have been made so that teenagers are not targeted for making the right decisions and calling parents when needed. Officers are permitted to find the kids that are committing violent acts and crimes in the middle of the night.

Penalties: Fines

If a minor is caught out during curfew hours, the fine will be in excess of $100. In some cases, a maximum fine of $250 could be imposed depending on where the minor was caught and what they were doing. However, most of the time teenagers are faced with many more “real” court-imposed decisions, such as having to attend specialized classes or community service. If minors choose to complete the service, they will typically not have to pay the fine. If a minor receives a misdemeanor for their crime, the parents may face up to a $790 fine for allowing the minor to be out on the streets.


Of course, like many crimes, breaking curfew has a couple defenses laid out that would work in specific cases. Here are ten defenses to breaking curfew:

  • Minor is accompanied by parents or responsible adult
  • Minor is on an errand with responsible adult
  • Minor is in a motor vehicle involved in interstate travel
  • Minor is involved in an employment activity or headed home from an employment activity
  • Minor is involved in an emergency
  • Minor is attending an official school or religious activity that is supervised by adults
  • Minor is exercising First Amendment rights
  • Minor is emancipated

Has your minor been charged with the crime of breaking curfew, or have you been charged with allowing your child to be out after hours? You may want to speak to a San Diego attorney who has experience with these types of cases. Find out more today by calling us at The Law Office of Peter Blair.