Cleveland, OH asked in Criminal Law and Civil Rights for Ohio

Q: Can a police officer legally stop and ID someone because they “look young” when it is past curfew, in ohio.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In Ohio, a police officer may stop and question a person who appears to be underage and out past curfew hours. However, the stop must be based on reasonable suspicion that the individual is violating curfew laws.

Key points regarding curfew stops in Ohio:

1. Ohio has a statewide curfew law for minors under 18, with some local jurisdictions having stricter curfew ordinances.

2. An officer must have reasonable suspicion to stop someone, meaning they must have specific, articulable facts that the person is underage and violating curfew.

3. Simply "looking young" might not be sufficient for reasonable suspicion on its own, but it could contribute to reasonable suspicion when combined with other factors, such as the time of night and the individual's behavior.

4. If stopped, the individual is not required to provide ID unless the officer has probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. However, it is generally advisable to cooperate with the officer's requests.

5. If the officer determines the person is underage and violating curfew, they may take the minor into custody and contact their parents or guardians.

It's important to note that curfew laws have faced legal challenges in some jurisdictions on constitutional grounds, such as freedom of movement and the right to assemble. The specific application of curfew laws may vary depending on local ordinances and court decisions.

Dimitrios Makridis agrees with this answer

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