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If you run away and stay off-grid till you're 18, what happens?

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  • If you run away and stay off-grid till you're 18, what happens?

    I'm wanting to runaway but im underage. If I can stay away long enough to 18, will I be charged or fined, etc when I turn up at 18? I don't want to be removed from my home because I don't want to switch schools etc, so I cant go to foster or youth shelter. Im only 14

  • #2
    Hello there, thanks for reaching out.

    We are not legal experts so we cannot speak to what police do when they see that you are a runaway after you turn 18. From our knowledge, running away is usually a status offense (meaning something you cannot do due to your age) so once you are of legal age nothing can really be done. There might be complications to this, especially if you are a ward of the state. Generally, you have to be released from their care. So it might be possible for child services to get involved even at the age of 18 if that is your situation.

    It is smart of you to plan for the future and think about your options, since you have 4 years until you are 18. Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk further about your situation. We can help brainstorm additional options and possibly provide some helpful legal resources.

    We truly wish you the best and encourage you to keep our number in mind if you do choose to run. We are always here and your safety is our number one priority

    Last edited by ccsmod7; 04-25-2017, 10:55 PM.
    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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