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  • Arkansas minor runaway laws.

    I live in the state of Arkansas, and I have a few questions that I need to be answered directly. Does Arkansas have a law against minors running away from home? If it is just a status offence, what will they do if they don't find the child? As in, if the child left the state and they failed to be able to identify or find the child, what would the authorities do? Speaking as in I left a note saying that I was running away, so they wouldn't think I was abducted or anything of the sort. If I was captured by authorities in a different state, would they just send me home? or would I be charged with something?
    I need specific answers to those questions.
    Please & Thank you.

  • #2
    Re: Arkansas minor runaway laws

    Hi,

    Thanks for getting in touch with us. We are happy to support you and answer your questions. There’s no law against running away, and you wouldn’t be charged with anything if the authorities found you. You running away is not considered a crime.

    You wouldn’t necessarily undergo any consequences, however some parents will involve the courts with a program called FINS (family in need of service), when, for example, their child is running away repeatedly. This can mean anything from counseling to bootcamp.

    If the authorities found you they would certainly bring you home.

    I’m not sure what exactly you are asking when you say “If it is just a status offence, what will they do if they don’t find the child?” Are you asking if your parents will get in trouble? As long as they make a runaway report, they won’t be facing legal consequences just for their child running away.

    If you still feel you need more clarification, feel free to ask us more questions. We are also here to listen to you so that you feel supported in what you are going through. Also feel free to call our hotline at 1800 RUN-AWAY. We are confidential and 24-hours.

    Good luck and thanks for calling.
    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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      My stepson is on fins. My stepsons fins officer said, "a stepfather is not aloud to discipline a stepchild". So only the real parent has authority. My stepson has a ankle location monitor. If he goes anywhere but school and home he goes to jail. He continues to run away. And the fins officer told my wife, "If he leaves the house again, she will also go to jail.". So don't do this to your parents. Yes, they can be punished. He also picks up my small children by the throat and slams them against the wall when he is angry. Nothing I can do though, I'm just the step-dad. Please don't destroy your family. don't be like him.

      Comment


      • #4
        RE:

        Thank you for reaching out to us and telling us your story and taking the effort to post about your story. Here at the National Runaway Safeline we are here to listen and answer your questions as best possible. We are not here to tell you what to do, but we are here to support you in what ways we can. It sounds like you are going through a really tough time being a stepdad. If you would like us to look into any further resources for you please reach out.
        We are also here to listen to you so that you feel supported in what you are going through. Also feel free to call our hotline at 1800 RUN-AWAY. We are confidential and 24-hours.
        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!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #5
          Minors & runaway laws

          If someone were to run away with friends would the friends be charged for being with the run away if the parent wanted to arrest them. Can they get arrested for being with the runaway?

          Comment


          • #6
            Reply: Minors & runaway laws

            Hello,
            Thanks for contacting the National Runaway safeline.

            While running away is not a crime, a legal adult or anyone who allows a runaway to stay with them or aids them in running away may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.

            NRS is here to listen and here to help.
            Contact NRS at 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or www.1800Runaway.org

            Take care,
            NRS
            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!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

            Comment


            • #7
              Obtaining guardianship of a minor runaway

              I have a question. I know a teen that’ve really good kid and her grandparents keep lying to her probation officer that's she's been doing bad things and she hasn't. I know for a fact that they are lying. They got her thrown in jail and into a shelter at 16. They went and got her out acted all nice for a while now they are back to their abusive behavior. They recently saw her probation officer and they lied again to her probation officer and will now be enrolling her into a shelter in ark. She doesn't want to go but she doesn't want to stay in an abusive home. It's more mental than physical but they do get physical with her. How can I obtain legal guardianship of her in Arkansas?

              Comment


              • #8
                Reply: Obtaining guardianship of a minor runaway

                Hello,
                Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.
                We are glad you reached out to NRS tonight.
                It is admirable that you want to step in and care for the youth mentioned.

                We are not legal experts so one option might be for you to seek legal counsel from an attorney that practices family law.
                You can contact your nearest legal aid office for more information.
                If you would like more information/referrals please contact NRS at 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or www.1800Runaway.org

                Good luck,
                NRS
                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!
                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                Comment


                • #9
                  Can I leave?

                  My stepmother invaded my privacy by posting personal things about me on her Fb. Her and my father are not even acknowledging my presence in the house, and they've kicked me out before. If I were to go to a friends house until things calm down would I get in trouble with the police?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    re: can i leave?

                    Hi,

                    18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.

                    NRS
                    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!
                    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If my parents living situation was not fit for a child like me and are very verbally abusive and my step mom beats me. I'm 17 and and want to leave and go live with my other parent would that make me a runaway......??????

                      Comment


                      • ccsmod1
                        ccsmod1 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hello,

                        Thanks for reaching out. It sounds like you are in a really difficult situation. You don't deserve to be verbally abused or beaten, and it is understandable that you would want to live with your other parent. We are here to listen and support you in any way that we can. If you leave without permission at 17, you could be considered a runaway. Your legal guardian can call the police, who can search for you and may force you to return home. Your other parent could get into legal trouble for harboring a runaway if they take you in without permission. You have a right to make an abuse report if you want to. If you are interested in this option, the Child Help hotline could be a helpful resource. You can call them at 1-800-422-4453 or go to childhelp.org. You can also call us any time, or chat with us online. We are happy to talk you through all your options, look up any resources you might need, and help you develop a plan to deal with your situation and stay safe. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.

                    • #12
                      My 17yr old little brother is having some difficulties at home. Our father passed away last month. Shortly after he passed my stepmother allowed her 25 year old son to move back into the home. He is the black sheep, has been in trouble with the law, does drugs, is verbally and physically abusive when he does not get his way. However, he works out of town Monday through Friday and us only home Friday night through Sunday night. Since he's been in the home this weekend he has threatened to steal and breal all of my little brother's possesions to prove that "he runs the house now".

                      My little brother has informed his mother that he would like to stay with friends or family every weekend to avoid the bad home situation. She has told him he is not allowed to leave and must remain in the home.

                      My question is; how long does he have to be away from the home before his mother can report him as a runaway? For instance, can he spend the night somewhere and come home every 24hrs for "clothes" and check in so he's technically not missing or running away to allow him to be gone over the weekends?

                      Comment


                      • ccsmod9
                        ccsmod9 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hi there,
                        Thank you so much for contacting the National Runaway Safeline and for sharing your question. It sounds like you and your family are going through some challenging times recently. It’s great that you’re there to support your little brother and try to help.
                        We should tell you that we are not legal experts. If your brother leaves home for 24-48 hours, it could be considered running away. In that case, his legal guardian would be obligated to file a runaway report. If your stepmother did file a runaway report and the police found him, in all likelihood the police would just return him back home (where he would likely be going anyway). In an arrangement where he comes home to check in every 24 hours (and is at home Monday through Friday), it would be difficult to say that is truly running away.
                        As I’m sure you recognize, your brother will be 18 in less than a year and after that, will be able to leave home without parental consent. We will be best able to help you and your brother by understanding more details of your situation and talking it through live. You can reach us through our phone hotline or digital chat service. You can call our telephone hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This number is 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929). We also have a chat service that is available through our website daily from 4:30- 11:30pm CST.
                        Nobody should have to be intimidated or bullied like this. It’s great that you are there to support your brother. Take care of each other and we are looking forward to chatting further.

                        We hope this response was helpful! We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey.

                        Tell us what you think about your experience!
                        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                    • #13
                      I'm 17 I live in Arkansas I have two jobs I have graduated high school etc. and I've wanted to leave home because I can support myself and I'm wondering what would happen if I did leave. Can I get in trouble? Can the police make me go home?

                      Comment


                      • ccsmod7
                        ccsmod7 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hello there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are an incredibly independent and hard working person an you are wanting to move out at 17. Here at NRS, we want to help inform you of what that could look like, and we also want to be a support for you.

                        In Arkansas, the legal age you can move out without your guardian's permission is 18. The easiest way you can leave is with your parent or legal guardian's consent. If you leave at 17 without permission, your parents can attempt to file a runaway report for you with local police. If police accept a runaway report for you and find you, you typically would be returned home. Running away is generally not illegal, rather it is a status offense due to you still being a minor. Since you have finished school and are close to turning 18, it is just up to how your local police would respond to your unique case. They could follow the law to a T and take a report and then return you home, or they could take other actions such as just doing a safety check to make sure you are okay and not return you home. To know how your local police would respond to your situation, you might try to call your non-emergency police number and ask hypothetical questions about how they would handle 17 year old runaway situations.

                        Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you ever need. We can talk through your situation, help brainstorm your options, and/or help you call out to your local police.

                        We look forward to hearing from you!

                        Best,

                        NRS

                        We hope this response was helpful! We’d love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis email/forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to youth and families. Please click the link to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think.

                    • #14
                      In Arkansas can a parent consent to a child living independently at 16? I looked into emancipation and it stated the requirement is for the child to have lived independently for 6 months but I’m not sure how that can happen if the parent does not consent?

                      Comment


                      • ccsmod6
                        ccsmod6 commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Hello there,

                        Thank you for reaching out to NRS. We are sorry to hear about your situation, and it does seem like the law may be constructed so that if a youth were to live alone and be emancipated, it would be a mutual decision. We are not legal experts, and so do not want to mislead you by stating information that may be untrue in your state, but we are able to provide legal resources if you were to call in. If you would like to talk about other resources and support, feel free to call our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or use our Live Chat.
                        We hope this information was helpful and take care.
                        National Runaway Safeline
                        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
                        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

                    • #15

                      Hi...I turn 18 in June and want to move out legally I currently live with my best friend and her family. Her mom has guardianship of me and well I just don’t feel like family here and they don’t really let me see my real family and things are tough. I turn 18 in June and I was supposed to graduate this year in may but I failed some classes this semester... I want to go move in with my boyfriend as we have been together for a long time and it would be a safe stable place for me as he makes good money and can help me. I don’t want to hurt my friends family and they also don’t want me to leave till I finish school but I don’t want to stay there after I turn 18. I live in Arkansas and I don’t know the laws or rules on things like this here but I also don’t feel comfortable calling the local police here to ask... what should I do? I don’t want to stay here to finish the classes I didn’t pass this semester next year and I don’t want to stay here after I turn 18... But I don’t want to hurt my friend’s parents or make them mad at me and them be mean or hateful about it...
                      Last edited by ccsmod4; 12-12-2018, 04:37 AM.

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