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  • running away at 18

    what if i runaway and i am 18? can the police bring me back home? what are my rights then?

  • #2
    Re: running away at 18

    Hello,

    Thank you for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard and we hope that we can be of service to you in some way. We imagine that you have your own reasons for wanting to leave home and that this time is certainly difficult for you. Trying to figure out everything in your life right can be a daunting task but we are up to the task and want to be there for you. Who is going to benefit or lose from your choice to leave home? What is life at home like and what is your relationship to your parents?

    Generally, the age of adulthood is 18 in most states and this gives you the freedom to choose for yourself what path you want your life to go in. Running away is not a crime but if you do, you get a status of a runaway but you are not going to be considered a runaway since you are of legal age unless you have to wait longer to become an adult in the state you reside in. However, when you are caught you are simply brought back home but since you are no longer a minor, it is your choice to leave home whenever you want. In terms of rights, you have the right to contract and live alone without parental permission. If you were a minor, it is the right of your parents to file a runaway report. We hope that we were able to answer your questions and hope that you can count on us for anything else you may need help with in the future. Please take this time to empower yourself and good luck to you.

    -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
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Running away at 18 out of state

      What if I were to runaway and leave my current state. I'm 18. Will the cops be after me? Can I choose to not be brought back home? What if I'm already situated with a job and my own place? I have a 13 month old too.

      Comment


      • #4
        Running away at 18

        Hello,
        Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.
        We are not legal experts and do not know all the details about your situation and it sounds like you have a young child as well. Do you have legal custody of your child? This is an important note since it sounds like you plan on taking the child with you. We can only say that in most states the legal age that someone may be considered an adult is eighteen.

        You may not be considered a runaway depending on your state law thus the police may have no options in making you return home. ( However this might differ if there are court and or probation issues) It is probably a good idea to consider contacting your local law enforcement or legal aid center in your area for more specific information concerning your situation and understanding of the law.
        Does that make sense?

        You are welcome to contact NRS at 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) in order to get referrals for any legal information or questions you might have.
        NRS offers live chat services from 4:30pm until 11:30pm 7days a week , just visit our website at: 1800Runaway.org to chat with one of our liners.

        Thank you again for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.
        Take Care
        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
        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

        Comment


        • #5
          running away at 18 to another country

          What would happen if i run away to another country

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: running away at 18 to another country

            Hi there,

            Thank you for reaching out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you’re thinking about running away to another country and we’re glad that you contacted us, we are here to help you out in any way that we can.

            So we’re not legal experts, so we really cannot say what would or would not happen. Generally speaking, if you leave before the age of 18, your legal guardians have the right to make a runaway report. If a report is made, and the police find you they just bring you back home. However, anyone that you stay with could potentially be charged for harboring. You asked about running away to another country, and unfortunately we cannot say for sure how this would play out. Some good things to think about might be how you would get there, and where you would stay.

            If you would like to talk further, or need legal resources that would be able to provide more specific information regarding your legal questions, please do call or chat with us.

            Best of 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
            info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
            Tell us what you think about your experience!

            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

            Comment


            • #7
              Hello

              Hello im an 18 year old dcfs runaway
              They put out an warrant for arrest but can they arrest me for running away im 18 years old its no illegal or is it?

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: running away at 18

                Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline – we’re glad you found us. It’s very resourceful of you to be looking for answers to these important legal questions. We aren’t legal experts here at the National Runaway Safeline, but we can speak in general terms about things to consider in your situation. You’re right in thinking that it’s not illegal to runaway once you turn 18. In most states, 18 is the “age of majority,” or age when you become a legal adult. So the status offense of running away is no longer against the law once you reach that age – like buying cigarettes, it’s only illegal because you’re a minor. There are, however, a couple states in which 18 is not the age of majority. You can check out your state here: http://sexetc.org/action-center/sex-in-the-states/. Just click your state and look for the “Age of Minority” and add +1 to get the age of majority, or the age when you’re an adult in the eyes of the law.

                If by “warrant for your arrest,” you mean a runaway report (if you are in one of those states in which the age of majority is 19 or 20), if the police found you, they would simply bring you home. If they’ve somehow pressed charges for something else, that could be another issue. You could always call the local police anonymously to see what exactly has been filed and to ask how they typically respond to 18-year olds “on the run” (every agency is different, and with 18-year-olds they may be particularly lenient). If you’d feel more comfortable with support, you can call us any time to help you though this call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929). Thank you again for reaching out. It’s extremely brave of you to do so. Good luck to you and stay safe!

                Best,
                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
                info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                Tell us what you think about your experience!
                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hello I'm writing to you guys because I'm not sure if I can leave my household. I'm concerned that when if I do leave, college won't be an option since I won't be able to use my parent's taxes and I have no credit which makes me look unreliable for apartments. My friends are concerned that I might struggle too much and I won't be able to go back to school.

                  Comment


                  • ccsmod3
                    ccsmod3 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Hello there,
                    Thank you for posting on our forum. It sounds like you are already 18 and while we are not legal experts, our general understanding is that most states recognize 18 as the legal age of majority/adulthood. That said, sometimes parents/guardians are still expected to provide their 18 year-old child with a place to stay while they finish high school and may even have to go through the courts to legally evict their child before telling them to leave home. Other factors can include how your local police as well as your parent(s)/family/current living situation reacts to you leaving. If you do not plan on saying you are leaving, they may still decide to file you as a missing person. Should this happen, it is possible you would need to turn yourself in to your local police. However, typically they cannot bring you home if you are found safe and sound and are within the age of majority.

                    As far as college, you may consider speaking to the school of your choice’s financial aid department to see whether or not it is possible to be considered an independent student. Otherwise, you might need to decide whether or not school is something you can put on hold if your parents are not willing to corporate with the financial aid process. It sounds like you are also concerned with getting an apartment due to not having credit. One idea might be to see if it would be possible to have another family member or friend co-sign or find a roommate who already has established credit. We hope this helps for now. For additional help and resources, please feel free to reach out to us directly through our Live Chat or by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929.) Best of luck!

                • #10
                  Hello
                  I am 18 years old and I have been going through some really shameful issues with the family, but does the police have any rights to take me back home once I have ran away?
                  Does my parents have the authority to take me back when I don't want to live with them anymore? Do I have rights to run away since I'm 18 years old?

                  Comment


                  • ccsmod7
                    ccsmod7 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Thanks for reaching out to use here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are having some really difficult times and thinking about leaving home. That’s a lot to deal with. We’re here to listen and to help.

                    We’re not legal experts here, and laws are different between states. In most states unless there is a special custody arrangement the age of majority, where you legally become an adult and are responsible for your own decisions, it 18. So, you may legally be an adult now, and able to leave home without legal issues. You can call or chat with us anytime and we can explore your individual situation more, on our chat line during chat hours, or 24/7 on our Safeline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

                    Even if you’re legally able to leave home, there is a lot to think about. You need a safe place to go, and a way to support yourself. You should also think about what you can take with you, including items like a birth certification and identification. If you contact us here at the NRS, we can help you explore your options. We want you to be safe, and will look forward to hearing from you soon.

                    Best of luck in working through all this,

                    NRS

                • #11
                  [Canada-BC] I am in a mentally and verbally abusive home (formally physical as well) and I need to leave

                  All my friends parents believe there'll be legal issues if I stay with them for even a night (to just work things out)

                  Can my mom do anything legally or involve police if I were to leave this situation and stay with a friend. Could the parents of that friend get in trouble legally?

                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Hello I'm 18 and I want to runaway from home from my over protective parents, it is suffocating and they never respect anything I say. And I am tired of it.

                    Comment


                    • ccsmod10
                      ccsmod10 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hi there,

                      Thanks for reaching out! It looks like you have also used our emailing services, sorry for the delay, but we have responded to it.

                      Best, NRS

                  • #13
                    my daughter she is 18 an run away can i do something to bring her back

                    Comment


                    • ccsmod7
                      ccsmod7 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hello there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are in a really difficult situation with your 18 year old daughter leaving home.

                      If 18 is your state's age of majority than you cannot file a runaway report for her or force her home against her will. Once a youth reaches the age of majority they legally can make their own decisions including where they choose to live. You might try to look up your state's majority age. If your state has an older majority age, you may be able to file a runaway report with your local police, it just depends their protocol for runaway minors. You might reach out to your local police to see if there is anything you can do in this situation as well.

                      Please do not hesitate to call or chat if you need support during this difficult time.

                      Best,

                      NRS

                  • #14
                    I am 18 and want to run away from home to be with my boyfriend who is also running away from his home. He does not want to move, he rather start a new life with me and we both love each other dearly. I want to run away because I am sick and tired of my mom not letting me do anything a normal teenager does.

                    Comment


                    • ccsmod8
                      ccsmod8 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hello there –

                      Thank you for taking the time out of your day to get into contact with us here at the National Runaway Safeline on our public forum, we are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. We do want to say that it must be very hard for you to have to go through all of this. It sounds like a very stressful situation for you at home. Hopefully by supporting you there are other that are reading through this thread that can relate can feel helped as well.

                      As you have probably read in other threads, the laws on that specific subject of just leaving home and/or running away vary from state to state. Now we are not legal experts, but what generally what typically happens in each state is if you are below the legal age of majority (18 in most states except Alabama and Nebraska [19 or upon marriage], and Mississippi [21]), your parents would be able to make a runaway report in the event that you do run away. Now considering the information above, you are a legal adult and cannot be forced home and your parents cannot file a runaway report with the police. Now if you have not told them where you are or have cut all communication with them, they can call the police still but to file a missing person’s report rather than a runaway report. It would not affect you at all though because they do not normally come up on background checks. You can always go to the police and tell them that you are not missing.

                      So factoring in these kinds of thoughts into your overall plan, (i.e what's your role in the house, are you going to be working, how long are you going to live there, will you be paying your share of the bills, what happens if you break up, what happens if you realize down the road that you can't live together and they kick you out, etc). Keeping your thoughts realistic will help you decide what is possible and what is not possible for you to do.

                      Best of luck!

                  • #15
                    My daughter is 18 and is a runaway ....I know she is considered an adult in this state.....but she is doing drugs in this house and not attending school...what can I do to get her out of this situation? Please help... Thank you

                    Comment


                    • ccsmod7
                      ccsmod7 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Hello there, thanks for reaching out today. It sounds like you are going through a whole lot with your daughter leaving home, not going to school, and doing drugs. It is clear that you really care about her and her wellbeing. It must be incredibly scary and frustrating to have her away from home.

                      We are not legal experts but can speak generally. Unfortunately, if your daughter left home as a legal adult at 18 you cannot force her to come home. If she comes back home and continues to do drugs in your home you can call police. Also, while she is an adult, you can set your own house rules if she chooses to come home such as going to school and no drugs. If your post meant that she is doing drugs in the house she is currently in, you might contact your local police to see if they will do a safety check to that house to make sure she is okay if you know the address. Since she is considered a legal adult in your state, she has the right to make her own life decisions including where she lives and going to school. So while you cannot force her to come home or go to school, if you have contact with her you might try to check on her safety. You might also see if there are GED options for her in your area if she will not go back to school. You might also check with friends or anyone else you know that is close to her to see if they know anything about her whereabouts. Again, there is no returning her home if she does not want to go. She has to voluntarily want treatment or to come home or to go to school. You might see what substance abuse programs are in your area at www.findtreatment.samhsa.gov so you can show her local treatment options if that is something she is interested in.

                      During this difficult time, it is important to think about your own self care. You might reach out to the hotline Team HOPE (Help Offering Parents Empowerment) 1-866-305-4673. That is a hotline for parents run by parents who have had missing children. It can be a good place to call for support and to talk to people who can better relate to what you are going through. You can always call us here at NRS if you are ever needing to talk as well.

                      We truly wish you the best of luck,

                      NRS

                      NRS
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