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Is it still running away if a 16 yr old crosses state lines and returns at 17?

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  • Is it still running away if a 16 yr old crosses state lines and returns at 17?

    A friend of mine left her home at age 16 with her parents' permission. She now is trying to come back home after crossing from Georgia to another state after a year, so she is now 17 and will turn 18 this winter. Will she face legal charges?

  • #2
    Thank you for writing to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. You bring up a great question, and while we are by no means legal experts, we will try our best to provide an accurate answer.
    You mentioned that your friend left home at age 16 with her parents’ permission, and is now looking to return home at age 17. If she left home with her parent’s legal consent, she would face no problems returning. If she left home without their permission, there is a chance that her parents filed a runaway report. Running away is considered a status offence, but most likely would not face legal charges. Once she turns 18, she is considered a legal adult and has the right to live wherever she wants.
    It sounds like you care about your friend and her wellbeing- she is lucky to have a supportive friend like you. Remember, she is always welcome to contact us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and we would be happy to discuss her situation in more detail. We are here to help.

    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)
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

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