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My Runaway Rights in North Carolina

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  • So I have a 14 year old friend and his parents grew up in a culture that allows this kind of abuse verbally and light physical abuse. He is skeptical about running away. Like deep inside he wants to but at the same time he can't. We all live in the triangle in N.C. and we aren't quite sure on the laws. Right now we are basically planning on calling either a youth shelter or his real dad. We would essentially call one of those right after he runs away and we meet up. We need to know the legal concerns and what charges we could face, whether we could get a misdemeanor or a real felony charge or even worse prison time. PLS. help, if u know about the law here it could help out
    Last edited by ccsmod4; 07-31-2020, 02:10 AM.

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    • ccsmod4
      ccsmod4 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS).

      We appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on.
      You have a friend that may be experiencing some verbal and physical abuse.
      We are sorry to hear this. They do not deserve to be abused by their parent’s. It’s not their fault for what has been going on. Because of this they are thinking about running away.
      It also sounds like you have some concerns about what might happen if the police become involved.

      While we are not experts on the law, someone under 18 that leaves home, the parent/guardian may file them as a runaway and they may be returned home. Also, those that a reported runaway stays with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. Anyone found to be assisting or aiding someone to run away may also find themselves at risk legally. For more specifics on the law, you might consider contacting the local non-emergency number for the police. You might also look for a legal aid center in the area. They may be able to answer any legal questions on the subject.

      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).

      If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

      Be safe,
      NRS

  • I'm 16 and I have been struggling with trying to find a happy place in my life. I always feel like things never work in my favor, which they usually dont.. I do understand however that it's a part of life you cant get around . I like going to my friends house every once in a while , when I used to go I did end up in trouble but that was before hand , I've gotten into a better headset. I know where im supposed to be and where I'm not . I know what situations to avoid and which ones are okay . I have tired to compromise with my mother , giving her my location and all of the above but she still wont give. She lightened up for a moment but just as fast she tightened down again. I cant even go 10 minutes down the road to a friends house because she doesn't like her and "She knows how these things go" . She fails to realize that with her life story as with those of my older siblings that I'm not going to make the same mistakes. What I want out of life is very different then what she wanted. I have been down way to long , it's a priority to stay safe and to make it . I have to by any and all means and not for her but for me. She doesn't listen though she thinks she has it all figured out . Which is what she would say about me but I know very well I dont have it all figured out and I know I dont know everything but if I need a day or two amongst my peers to get my head back on track then why is that such a problem. She continues to waste her time with her boyfriend who is very much just... a clear absolute waste of time . Nobody ever tells her what to do though . I want to run away. I'm not sure if I can though. What's the law in North Carolina for a 16 year old on the run ?

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    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,
      Thanks for reaching out to NRS and sharing some of your story. It sounds like you have made a real effort recently to improve yourself and get into a better mindset and be more mindful of communicating where you are for safety. It’s reasonable to feel like you have earned more trust through your actions with your mom and some more freedom that can come with that stronger trust but that your mom is moving slower on that end because of past issues that you feel you have moved past. It can sometimes take a long time to earn back trust that may have been lost in the past and prove to her that the change is real, from her perspective it might be just one mistake from you ending up making a decision you would regret and wants to protect you from that. It might be worth talking with her and asking what things you could do to earn the trust to go hang out with your friends for a couple days when you just need a break from the pressure at home. There might be a compromise or a path to getting those privileges.
      As for your question about being a runway at 16, we are not legal experts and each state is a bit different but generally if you leave the home without permission your mom can report you as a runaway. This is a status offence, not a criminal one, so police would look for you and probably bring you home. The persons you stay with could also potentially face harboring a runaway charge. The chance of harboring charges do tend to go down from what we have heard if they don’t try to hide you from police and are providing a safe place for you.
      Hopefully this has helped clear up your options a bit for you. If you have more questions or just need someone to talk to about more options or a plan feel free to talk with us by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or use our online chat at www.1800runaway.org.
      Good Luck!
      NRS.

  • hey im 16 years old and i live in North Carolina well im not happy in this dark place i feel like im trapped because of my mom, she doesnt let me go no where out with my friends . My mom is always arguing with me , im always sad here , im not happy at all . When i try to talk to my mom about how i feel she just starts arguing with me out of no where is like i cant talk to her about anything i wish my mom would understand me as a parent and would let me have more freedom for ex : go out and hangout with my friends . Ive been thinking of just running away because i just dont like being here . im not happy living in this house . I just want to have freedom but my mom doesnt let me get that which makes me upset and become more depressed . i want to leave and just live with my close friend but then again i dont wanna have problems with the police just because i ran away . PLEASE HELP ME . IM IN A VERY DARK MOMENT RIGHT NOW AND ITS HARD TO DECIDE I JUST WANNA BE HAPPY .

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on with your mom. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
      The easiest way to leave home is with your parents' permission. We understand that might be challenging, however, maybe there’s another family member, relative, or a family friend who could help to communicate how you’re feeling to your parents. The second way is through Child Protective Services if safety is a concern. Lastly, you can also look into emancipation options. In most states you need to be at least 16 to be considered and demonstrate that you can support yourself financially and independently. Emancipation often can be a lengthy process and may even cost some money for court fees. We would be happy to look into legal resources if that’s something you are considering.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button). If you would like to look into further emotional support options, you can text with a crisis worker at the National Alliance on Mental Illness 24/7 by texting "NAMI" to 741741.
      If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
      Be safe,
      NRS

  • My 15 year old girlfriend was living with her aumt an uncle then got kicked out but her and now her mom has for some reason called dss and they threatened her with going home or calling the police amd going to a foster home for 3 years.My question is can they physically force her to go back even tho she was kicked out and can police physically force her to even if she has no charges or warrants?

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you for reaching out to us on behalf of your girlfriend. While we are not legal experts, we can speak generally on this. Because your girlfriend is a minor, her legal guardians and DSS do have a legal responsibility for her. It sounds like a report was made to DSS that your girlfriend was kicked out and not living at home. The goal of DSS is generally to make sure the young person has a safe place to stay and to work toward family reunification whenever possible. Child protective services or DSS can be limited in where they are able to place youth which could be why your girlfriend was presented with those two options.

      Living somewhere without permission from legal guardians is not illegal, but it is a status offense. This basically means DSS or the aunt and uncle can ask police to pick her up if she is found.

      We are here 24/7 to be a support for you and your girlfriend. If either of you would like to talk more about her situation and explore possible options, we are available for immediate support by phone 1-800-786-2929 and through live chat 1800runaway.org.

      Take care,
      NRS
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