Do Curfews Actually Curb Crime in NJ?

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Nov 15, 2023 | 0 Comments

Juvenile curfews are spreading across NJ, with teens from Sea Isle City to Long Beach restricted in where they can go after dark without an adult. The reason? There's a growing concern over juvenile crime rates in NJ. Proponents believe that curfews keep juveniles safe and reduce crime levels, but critics doubt their effectiveness. While we consider NJ curfews below, remember you can contact our Criminal Defense Team whenever you need us. For help with juvenile crimes, reach us online or call 888.535.3686.

Curfews for Teens in NJ?

Curfews prevent minors from being outside during certain hours unless they're supervised by a responsible adult. Under the existing rules in NJ, municipalities are free to set their own curfew hours within the timeframe between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. Are curfews effective, though? Well, unsurprisingly, there's evidence for and against NJ teen curfews.

  • Some reviews suggest that curfews have no impact on crime. They may even lead to a crime increase during non-curfew hours, and fewer witnesses on the streets could make it harder to prove crimes have occurred at night.
  • On the other hand, in Maryland, leaders report a decrease in crimes committed by juveniles within the first month of a curfew being imposed. There are suggestions that curfews can improve family relationships and even foster better police-community relations.

While it's unclear whether curfews are effective, it's important that you and your children understand where curfews apply and how to comply with the current rules. As of October 2023, curfews are active in multiple NJ cities, including:

  • Atlantic City
  • Asbury Park
  • Beach Haven
  • Long Beach
  • Ocean City
  • Sea Isle City
  • Seaside Heights

You may wish to check with local authorities to confirm if there's a curfew active in your area.

What Happens to Teens Who Break the Curfew?

NJ curfew violations have significant consequences for the teens involved – and any adults who help them break the curfew. Under NJ law, juvenile curfew violations can result in fines of up to $1,000 and community service orders. If a parent or guardian permits their child to violate NJ curfew laws, then they may also face community services and fines.

NJ Curfew Violation Defenses

If your teen stands accused of a curfew violation, don't panic. It may be possible to defend the accusations. For example, the law makes exceptions for juveniles performing certain activities, such as:

  • Handling a medical emergency.
  • Participating in religious and/or cultural events.
  • Attending extra-curricular activities.

Even if such a defense is not available, it may still be possible to have the accusations dismissed or at least mitigate the consequences on your teen.

What about if your teen faces additional charges for committing a crime during curfew? In such a scenario, it's even more crucial that you get legal advice immediately. Our Criminal Defense Team is standing by, waiting to help.

Hire a Juvenile Defense Attorney in NJ | Lento Law Firm

Is your teen in trouble? At the Lento Law Firm, we know that teens make mistakes. If they do, then they deserve effective legal representation to help mitigate the long-term consequences. Whether it's a NJ teen curfew violation or juvenile delinquency, the Lento Law Firm Team can help your child. Call now at 888.535.3686 or leave our defense attorneys a message online to schedule a meeting.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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