Can police detain you for walking at night?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can police detain you for walking at night?

My friends and I were taking a walk late at night/early in the morning down an off neighborhood road. There was no criminal activity taking place nor did we look disoriented as if drunk or causing any kind of commotion. The police pulled over and asked us immediately who we were and if our parents knew where we were. We complied and answered no and they made us call our parents to come get us all. Are they allowed to do this? Could we have just asked on what grounds and if they had non could we be on our way?

Asked on September 3, 2016 under Criminal Law, Florida


B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Local jurisdictions can impose city and municipal ordinances that set curfews for minors.  If you were a minor and out after your city's curfew, then the police could detain you and call your parents because of the curfrew violations.
If you were not a minor, but looked very young, then the police could detain you just to make sure that you were not underaged.
On the flip side, if you clearly were not a minor, then the only thing law enforcement could do is simply talk to you.  Law enforcement can talk to anyone at any time.  However, they cannot detail you unless they have a reason to believe that you are committing some offense.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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