A Youth Curfew to Keep Youth on the High Road in Bexar County
by
Commissioner Tommy Adkisson
March 30, 2009

There is little the County or City can do that substitutes for solid parental supervision of their children. However, Commissioner's Court at our last meeting considered ordering a youth curfew for our unincorporated areas of Bexar County. Although the City of San Antonio already has a youth curfew, Bexar County has a growing number of housing subdivisions outside of the City. The reason for the growing number of unincorporated subdivisions is the expense associated with the responsibility that the City incurs when it annexes more land to its city limits.

The next hearing will be at the April 21 meeting of Commissioner's Court. There we hope to hear from you and especially Constables, Justices of the Peace and all school district officials, elected and appointed. Your input and that of the officials in our County will affect how Commissioner's Court Order will help maintain better law and order both late at night and during the school days.

This Order applies to minors under 17 years of age. This does not of course, apply to minors accompanied by his or her parents or guardians or another adult approved by the parents or guardians, to emergency errands, to minors attending a school, government or religious activity, traveling to or from employment and a number of other common sense situations. It is unlawful for a minor to violate the curfew and for his parents or guardian to knowingly allow the minor to be in violation of the curfew.

When in violation of the curfew order, the law enforcement officer shall issue a warning notice to the minor, who shall be ordered to go home by the most direct means and route. A copy of the notice shall be forwarded to the Juvenile Probation Department, which shall send a letter to the parent or guardian of the minor, advising of the fact that the minor was found in violation of the Curfew Order and soliciting cooperation in the future. If there is a second offense, the Juvenile Probation Department follows the same notification procedure above, but in this case sets up a conference with the parents or guardian concerning the County's expectation of parental control.

In the event that a minor has twice previously been found in violation of the curfew order, the peace officer shall transfer the case to proper authorities for handling under the provisions of Title Three of the Texas Family Code. In addition, a complaint may be filed against the parents or guardians in the Justice of the Peace Court. Any minor or parents or guardians violating the Curfew Order shall be guilty of a Class C misdemeanor which carries up to a $500.00 fine. The Justices of the Peace are encouraged to consider the community service program.

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