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Leaving at 17

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  • Leaving at 17

    So, my situation is a bit different.
    I am living with my aunt and uncle in CA I am 17 going to be 18 in sept 2014. I want to leave and go to AZ with my best-friend but they said no and that if I want to leave they'll call CPS. So I wanted to know if I just left and they filed a runaway report and the cops found me would they bring me back?

  • #2
    RE: leaving at 17


    Thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time. It sounds like you are planning on leaving home soon and are worried about getting in trouble. Just to let you know, we are not legal experts. However, we will try to explain what we know about the runaway laws. Technically it’s not against the law for you to run away from home. In most places it is considered a status-offense. However, anyone you would be caught staying with could possibly be charged with ‘harboring a runaway’. This means that your friend in Arizona and her family could be charged if your legal guardians decided to press charges. As long as you are considered a minor, your legal guardians are responsible for you. CPS may get involved if that is the case.

    Now, some states will not pursue you as a runaway at 17. Since we are not lawyers and do not know the laws in Arizona, the best way to get the most direct answer would be to contact the local law enforcement and ask them anonymously what would happen.

    What else have you considered before running away? You have the right to feel safe in your own home. You also have the right to go to school regardless of your living situation. If you would feel comfortable calling us we could help you explore more options and come up with a solid plan for what to do next.

    We can be reached at any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY(786-2929) or by live chat at from 4:30pm-11:30pm Central Standard Time. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the 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
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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