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  • laws

    I have a question.
    I live in Idaho, and I turn 18 in February. Can my parents still call me in as a runaway if I just leave before I turn 18? Will the police really do anything?

  • #2
    Re: laws

    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard. Although we are not legal experts, generally speaking, running away is just a status offense. What this basically means is that you cannot leave without permission until you reach the age of majority which is 18 in most states. Other legalities generally come from what is known as harboring a runaway which is considered illegal in most states. Do you think you parents would pursue those charges on whomever you plan on staying with? Your parents would generally have the right to file a runaway report which would go into a national database, the NCIC (National Crime Information Center). Police do not always actively search for runaway youth, but if they pick up a youth even for something like curfew, if they are reported as a runaway, they will come up in the NCIC. If that youth hasn’t committed any other crimes, they generally just send them back home.

    We are not sure what is going on exactly, but we imagine it must be pretty difficult if you are considering leaving. Here is a link to some common things to think about before making that kind of decision. We are not here to tell you what to do, but would be happy to listen and discuss options with you. You are welcome to call us anytime at our hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are anonymous and confidential and look forward to hearing from you whenever you feel comfortable.

    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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