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17 year old runaway turning 18

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  • Hi, I'm 17 years old and in 9 months i will be 18 years old and i was wanting to move out of home. My parents and I just don't get along im always/most of the time, gone and my parents take offence of that. We just dont get along to well but anyway can i be charged as a runaway or will i get in any trouble?

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    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you so much for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are going through a difficult time at home. Know that you deserve to feel happy where you live.

      You mentioned wanting to run away. Running away is a status offense, not a crime, meaning illegal because of your age. If you run away, your parents have the option to file a runaway report. The police would be able to look for you once the runaway report is filed. If you are found, the police would likely send you back home and, if you were staying with friends, charge them with harboring a runaway. While running away is not a crime, harboring a runaway is. Know that we are not legal experts and laws vary across states and situations so one way to gauge your rights is to reach out to the police with hypothetical and anonymous questions.

      Another option you have is to file for emancipation. If you have a stable job and means to support yourself, you could be eligible to file. Though the process can be long and expensive, youth who win the case are granted full rights of an adult.

      We are always here to talk at 1-800-RUNAWAY. On a phone call, we would be able to explore more regionally-specific and situation-specific options in depth. Our lines are open 24/7 and we are toll free and confidential.

      Stay strong,

      NRS

  • If a 17 year old were to runaway and not be found until the age of 18 what can the law do about it, in South Carolina?

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    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      This is a really great question and we are glad you reached out to NRS. We are not legal experts, but generally speaking once an individual turns 18 they are considered a legal adult. This means that at 18 you would no longer be considered a runaway and have the legal freedom to choose where you want to live. However, if you come into contact with law enforcement before your 18th birthday, they might return you home.

      We are available 24/7 to listen and help. If you would like to talk more about your situation you can call (1-800-786-2929) or chat with us anytime We truly want to be a support for you, so do not hesitate to reach out again if you have any other questions or concerns.

      Be safe,
      NRS
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