So in the state of California in Napa county, a 19-year-old male was hanging out with a 15-year-old girl. They were thought to be caught in a sexual act. after they were taken into questioning and they were both let go. the male was told by the police to not have contact With her and to not return to the city. (American Canyon). Its been a year and a half the case was dropped and no charges where pressed. Is the 19-year-old male able to go back to the city and see his friend?

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    The form of the order not to return to the city might be important. I would guess that it is not enforceable, but to know for sure you should talk to a lawyer. The consequences of getting this wrong could be life changing: the 19-year-old male does not want to be burdened with a lifetime of having to register as a sex offender.
    – phoog
    Aug 19, 2019 at 15:40

1 Answer 1


The legal question here is whether police have an enforceable power to enjoin a person from visiting a particular person or from entering a particular jurisdiction (especially the one where they have police powers). The obligation to obey police orders generally ends at matters regarding arrest, traffic orders, or crowd control. Freedom of travel is a fundamental constitutional right, along with freedom of association. That does not mean that you can go absolutely anywhere you want and do anything you want with whoever you want, but it does mean that any restriction have to be encoded in law, and such laws have to pass strict scrutiny. Any enforceable legal restrictions would have to emanate from the courts.

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