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Will the cops speak with my friends and other questions.

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  • Will the cops speak with my friends and other questions.

    I live in Texas and I am 16 going on 17. I am planning on running away at 17 out of state because I know they can't force you to go home. I plan on going to live with someone I love dearly, but I am not related to this person. Some of my friends know about the person I would go to live with, and I don't know if they would tell the police that I would run off to be with that person. Would the police talk to my friends? Or would they just search for me around in my town. I don't want my friend out of state to get in trouble with the law and get charged with any pedophile charges because my friend is not a pedophile. In Texas at 17 they can't force you to go home, so do you think they'd go to the extent to find me? Also, do they search computer history when trying to find a runaway?

    Quick reason why I'm running away: My parents put me down alot. There is alot of tension and stress in my family all of the time. I would miss this but this would be good for me. Thanks, please help.

  • #2
    Will the cops speak with my friends and other questions.

    Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. It sounds like you’ve been thinking a lot about what you would do if you ran away and have several concerns. It sounds really difficult at home between your parents putting you down and the tension and stress you’ve mentioned. We aren’t legal experts, but we can try answering in as general as possible. To our knowledge, running away is just a status offense (meaning you can’t leave home without permission simply because you haven’t reached the age of majority.) In most states the age of majority is 18, although some states may not do as much for 17 year-old runaway youth. To be sure how your area in Texas treats cases involving 17 year-olds, you’d probably have to contact either local law enforcement or legal aid.

    Other laws associated with running away are harboring (providing shelter to) a runaway, crossing state lines with a minor, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor which are generally misdemeanors, although this may change if the adult has a criminal history. If a minor leaves home without permission, the parent/guardian may decide to file them as a runaway with local law enforcement. Law enforcement uses a National database called the NCIC (National Crime Information Center). Even if police aren’t actively looking for runaway youth, they may pull their name if they stop them for something like breaking curfew or a traffic violation.

    As far as whether police would look at your computer history, they may need a subpoena. Oftentimes, cell phone records also require a subpoena. We hope that helps address your questions and we are also here to both listen and discuss possible options with you. We are not here to judge you or tell you what to do, but hope you remain safe. It sounds like at this point you are weighing your options before making a decision. You bring up lots of valid questions and it may come down to what risks you and the person you plan to stay with are willing to take if you choose to leave. We are available for immediate assistance 24/7 by simply calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We also offer Live Chat by clicking on the red “Live Chat” button on our website. Best of luck!

    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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