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  • 17 in florida

    Hi, I'm 17, turning 18 in 36 days.
    I am attending college away from home, and my mother is making me live with my sister until i turn 18. She let me use her car for going to school only.
    last night, we got into an argument where i was physically abused. This morning, i didn't feel safe, so my friend picked me up from my sisters house.

    is it illegal to run away?
    will my friend get in trouble?
    will my friends family get in trouble for letting me stay here?
    can my family force me to go back home?

  • #2
    Re: 17 in florida

    Hi. Thanks for posting on our bulletin boards. It sounds like you weren’t feeling safe at your sister’s house, so you left this morning. Obviously your safely is the most important thing. Are you able to stay with your friend if you need to? Does your mom know that you left your sister’s? If so, what did she say?

    We gather from what you wrote, you are graduated from high school and attending college in a city away from your home town. Your mom wanted you to live with your sister until you turn 18 and then you’re free to leave. Correct?

    You asked some pretty specific questions; we’ll do are best to share will you some of the information we know about runaways. First, it’s important for you to know that we aren’t lawyers so we can’t give you specific legal advice or answers. But we do know the general laws and procedures.

    When it comes to the legality of running away, it most areas it’s not considered against the law. In some places it’s a “status offense” which means that you’re not allowed to do it because you’re under 18. What usually happens when a youth leaves home without permission is their legal guardians can file a runaway report. The police generally don’t look for runaway; especially the closer they are to 18. What usually happens when a runaway is caught is they are returned home. In some areas, if the youth is close to 18, the police will just do a “wellness check”. Meaning they make sure the youth is okay and safe, but they don’t make them go home. It’s up to your individual police departments’ discretion on how they will handle the report (or if they’ll even take a report). Since you’re already in college, so close to 18, and not even living at home with your parents, it would seem unlikely that they would make you return to your sister’s. One option would be to call the local police (or have someone do it for you) and find out what they would do in a situation like yours. If you’re not comfortable doing this on your own, you can certainly call us and we’d be happy to call your local police to try to get that information.

    As far as your friend’s family goes. There is such a thing as harboring a runaway. This is when an adult knowingly lets a reported runaway stay at their house and doesn’t either call the youth’s parents or the police. Harboring charges usually have to be pressed by the youth’s parents. It is generally there for adults that are “hiding out” a runaway youth and lie to the police or the youth’s parents about it. Does your mom know where you are? Again, since you’re in college and so close to 18, this may not even apply. It would be dependent on whether the police even consider you a runaway and if they even have a law against harboring a runaway.

    We hope this helps to answer some of your questions. Feel free to call our hotline, 1-800-RUANWAY, if you want to talk more in depth about any of this or want help calling the local police. Someone is always here!
    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!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 17 in florida

      my friends family is fine with me staying with her- they just want me to be safe.
      i havn't told my mother exactly where i am, but she assumes i am at this friends house.


      thank you VERY MUCH for your help!

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 17 in florida

        You're welcome! We're glad to hear you're safe. Keep us in mind if you need anything else.
        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!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi I'm 17 and I left home in a different state and I live in a different state then my family I been having problems at home for the longest and I haven't had my father in my life soon he entered my life my dad been acting different telling lies and my dad's house in nasty and dirty and my mom wasn't stable on her feet so I moved back to the state I used to live N staying with my best friends house
          Am I in the wrong for leaving
          Will I get in trouble
          Will I get hurt again mentally
          Can I just be left alone and live my life happy knowing I'm safe and loved

          Comment


          • ccsmod16
            ccsmod16 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello there,

            Thank you for contacting the NRS. It seems like you are in a hard situation, and we are sorry to hear about what you are going through.

            We did not understand what you mean by trouble fully, do you mean legally? Although we are not legal experts, but as far as our knowledge go, running away is not a crime but a status offense. What that means is that if your father called the police to report that you are running away, the police will search for you and if they find you, they will take you back to one of your parents. You will not go to jail, or have a criminal record, or anything of that sort because you did not commit a crime.

            Well, we cannot know if you will be hurt mentally again or not. We certainly do not hope that. Have you talked to a counsellor or psychologist at school? Sometimes, they can help you in your mental health. If you do not know any counselling practitioner around your area, feel free to call us anytime, and we are happy to provide you with some resources (places, numbers, etc.) on how to find good counselling.

            About living alone, since you are currently 17 years old, you are still not in the legal age of living alone. Usually 18 is the legal age, so if you are close in turning 18, you can live alone and have your own independent life. We certainly can also help you find shelter or resources that might help you become independent. On the other hand, if it is a long way for you to turn 18, you can always apply for emancipation, and you will need a lawyer for that. We might have a number for an agency or a lawyer in your area that might look into your case, if you need that.

            Please feel free to call or chat with us anytime so we can better assist you and direct you to resources faster. We are open 24/7 and our number is 1-800-786-2929. You can also search for our website and ask to chat if you do not prefer calling.

        • #6
          Im 17 and in florida
          I dont understand well the law of runways
          I ran away a few weeks ago but im staying with my boyfriend and his mom, but then i texted my dad and i went to go see him today and then i left again, to come back here. The pronlem with me and my father was that he was always over protetive and he wouldnt let me do anything, no movies, no beach, no friends, i was a straight A student and did what i was suppost to do. He took the door off of my room and even screwed my windows, i never had a phone and was always in my room sleeping. He had me drugged tested more than 12 times because he thought that i was under the influence of drugs. I left because i was done, i did everything i was suppost to do and i get back beatends and threats from him.


          Can my dad arrest the people im staying with?
          Can my dad track down my phone to see where i am?
          Can i get in to trouble?
          Can my dad force me back home?
          Can they get legal custudy of me?

          Comment


          • #7
            Hello,

            Thank you for reaching out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). It sounds like you are going through a really difficult time right now and have a lot to think about. We are here to help answer all your questions and help you get to a safe place. Everyone deserves to feel comfortable living in their home.
            Although we are not law experts, we can tell you that until you reach the age of 18, you cannot legally live apart from your dad. You will not get in legal trouble for running away but those who you stay with could be charged for harboring a runaway. Your dad has the option of filing a runaway report and if you come into contact with police, you could be forced back home. We don’t know specifically whether your dad could track down your phone but it is certainly possible with iPhone technology.
            If you are suffering from abuse from your dad, you have the option of filing an abuse report with your local police or by calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Filing a report would claim that your father is emotionally and/or physically abusing you and would get Child Protective Services on your case. As for custody, there is no universal rule and it is hard to say without knowing more details. Again, please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY to talk more specifically.

            Hope to hear from you soon,
            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!
            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

            Comment


            • #8
              I am 17 years old 18 in September I have never been happy living with my mom and my grandma and my aunt they all treat me like I am a toddler I graduated HS at the age of 16 and I am in college now my mom refuses to let me get a job or go away for college. I have my own car and honestly my dad is no use either I stayed with him before and I was being emotionally and physically abused by him and his wife. I figured that when I go to class on Monday I will not be coming back home. My family doesn't know anyone that I hang out with so they will not know where to find me. I will be in a safe environment still attending college and working.

              Comment


              • ccsmod16
                ccsmod16 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi there,

                Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. You must be feeling like you’re at the end of your rope. It’s never easy staying somewhere that makes you feel unhappy. Running away is a really big step, so we’ll do our best to give you some ideas and suggestions. Our liners are also available 24/7 to talk with you about this situation over the phone if you call 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

                First, it’s helpful to know that in most states, people are considered legal adults when they turn 18. As a legal adult, you would be able to leave home and live on your own without needing permission from another adult. However, until you are considered a legal adult, your guardian can file what’s called a “runaway report” with the police. This report would make them aware of the fact that you ran away, and the police might be required to bring you home if they find you. You won’t be arrested and running away won’t go on your record, but you might want to think through what you would do if the police did try to bring you home.

                Second, even though you’ll be 18 in a few months, it always helps to think very carefully about what you’ll need while you’re away from home and how you’ll survive. You might want to collect any important or valuable belongings, including your birth certificate, school and medical records, or other forms of identification. You may also want to think about how you’ll pay for expenses like food, shelter, clothing, and medical attention if you need it.

                Sometimes the only choice people have is to run away from home, but it thinking through the entire process can help ensure that your situation improves if you leave. Again, we’re happy to have one of our liners talk about your situation and plan if you call 1-800-RUNAWAY. Good luck!

                Best wishes,
                NRS

            • #9
              Im 17 years old and thinking about "running away" i am capable of living on my own and providing for my self as i have been for the past 4 mounths but ive always worked under the table so i dont get taxed and can work more hours. There for i can not get emancipated, i turn 18 in 7 months, what will i be facing if i run away and get cought? I got "grounded" for 7 months until im 18 because a freind of mine was smoking weed in my truck. I just think its stupid she aint letting me work have a phone or even leave the house. I just want to know my consequences of running away

              Comment


              • ccsmod7
                ccsmod7 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello there thanks for reaching out today. You seem like a very independent and hard working person. That seems pretty harsh to be grounded for 7 months for your friend smoking weed in your car. Here at NRS we truly want to help.

                If you haven’t already, you might try to talk to your mom about lessening your grounding. We know that would probably be an incredibly hard conversation for you. If she is not hearing how you are feeling, you might have a trusted adult talk to her for you or write her a letter so you can get all that you want to say in. We have a conference call service as well if you would like to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY and have a mediated call with your mom. That can be a safe place to let her know how you are feeling.

                If you leave the house without permission when you are 17, your parents can attempt to file a runaway report for you with local police. If local police take the report for you and find you, you would be returned home. Running away is typically more of a status offense, meaning something you cannot do due to your age, rather than being illegal. Who could get in trouble is the legal adult you are staying with; they are at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway if you are found there. Sometimes local police handle 17 year old runaway cases, so you might call your local non-emergency police number and ask what their protocol is for 17 year old runaway youth.

                Please do not hesitate to reach out by phone or chat if you would like to talk more about your situation and help with brainstorming your options.

                Best of luck to you,

                NRS

            • #10
              Hello, i am 17 years old living in florida and i turn 18 in 7 months, ive been thinking on running away since about a week ago, for the last few months ive been supporting my self by working grantie counter tops. I can survi2on my own but have been working under the table for the past 6 months so i can work more hours and not get taxed. But since ive been working under the table i can not get emancipated like i want to. About a week ago a freind had smoked some weed in my truck and my mother flipped ******** and has grounded me from every thing till im 18. Phone, truck(that i bought about a month ago) wont let me work or even leave the house... I just want to know my consequences for running away if i were to get cought

              Comment


              • ccsmod7
                ccsmod7 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello there!

                Please see our comment in your similar post above (#9). Please call or chat us if you would like to talk about your situation any further. We are here 24/7 to help!

                Best,

                NRS

            • #11
              im 17 years old i turn 18 in june. i hate where i live and i want to live with my dad in miami, but i don't want him to get in trouble because i ran away from my mom's house. will he get in trouble if a went to go live with him? my mom and me nonstop argue and she doesn't want me to live with him because she thinks he isn't capable of raising me but he currently is raising my baby brother. i just feel like i will be better off with my dad. everything will be easier for me i just want to leave i can't wait til im 18 its miserable in this house i'm depressed. i just want to know if i run away to my dad's will the cops bring me back home? will he get in trouble? or will i be able to stay with him? can i just live with him because he is capable of raising me better?

              Comment


              • ccsmod6
                ccsmod6 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi, thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline.

                Your situation at home sounds very stressful, and it is understandable that you would want to leave. It sounds like your mom and dad are seperated. Often when parents split up, one parents assumes custody of the child.

                If your mom has custody and is your legal guardian, she can decide where you stay until you are no longer a minor or in special circumstances like if your state permits emancipation.

                It sounds like you get along with your dad really well, and that things would be easier if you stayed with him. You should know that there are laws against "harboring a runaway." What that means is if someone were to provide a minor with housing without contacting the appropriate authorities, that person could get in trouble. There are a lot of variables that can complicate this law as well.

                Some things that might be helpful to think about is who is your legal guardian, what is the relationship between your mom and dad like, and what are your dad's thoughts about all this. Is your dad okay with you coming to stay with him.

                You also mentioned that you are depressed. That is understandable, especially given your situation. Are you feeling safe? Do you have any thoughts about hurting yourself or suicide? And is there someone you might feel safe talking to?

                You are very brave for reaching out, and hopefully you can think about some of these questions. We would love to chat with you about what your plan is or what your next steps might be. Feel free to call us any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). You can also feel free to reach out to us on our online chat. Good luck.

            • #12
              Hi, I am currently 16 years old and I am graduating early as a junior. My birthday is April 2nd and my graduation date is May 24. I will be 17 before I graduate. My boyfriend is in the military and is 18 years old. The college I want to go to is about 8 hours away from home. I won’t have any living expenses because I will be on base with my boyfriend. My parents are trying to force me to stay until I am 18 but I don’t see the point in going to a college close to home for 1 year and then transferring the next. It’s either that or take a year off from school, which I didn’t want to do. If I just take off after my graduation could I get in any trouble if I am enrolled in school? Will my boyfriend get in trouble?

              Comment


              • ccsmod2
                ccsmod2 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline. We are very sorry to hear that your parents are trying to force you to stay home until you are 18. It seems like you are very intelligent and have made plans for your future. Running away is not illegal but since you would be under 18 when you graduate, your parents have the right to file a runaway report. With a runaway report, if the police find you they would return you home to your parents. There is a possibility that your boyfriend would get in trouble for harboring a runaway if your parents decide to press charges. However, some police do not accept runaway reports for 17 year olds. You could contact your local police non-emergency number and ask them if they accept runaway reports for 17 year olds. If you don’t feel comfortable calling yourself, we could call the police for you. Please feel free to contact us directly through our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat.

            • #13
              Hi I'm going to be 17 in less then two months and I am considering running away in the first 6 months of 2018 to go live with a friend in Arizona only because I live with my great grandparents my mother and I was fight and she drinks a bit and my father lives in new York... my family and I don't see eye to eye a lot.. would I get in trouble for leaving.. would my friend get in trouble for letting me be there...?

              Comment


              • ccsmod2
                ccsmod2 commented
                Editing a comment
                Thank you for reaching out to National Runaway Safeline. We are sorry to hear that you don’t get along with your family. It sounds like you are thinking about running away to live with a friend. Running away is not illegal, but since you are under 18, your parents have the right to file a runaway report if you decide to leave home without their permission. With a runaway report, if the police find you they would return you home. Your friend could get in trouble for harboring a runaway if decided to stay with them. However, some police do not accept runaway reports for 17 year olds. One option that you may want to consider is contacting your local police non-emergency number to ask if they accept runaway reports for 17 year olds. If you don’t feel comfortable calling the police, we could call for you. You could also try asking your family if they would be willing to go to family therapy in order to resolve some of the issues between you all. Please feel free to contact us directly through our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929), email, or live chat.

            • #14
              Hi I am 17 years old and am trying to leave Florida to Colorado. I have means of getting there. I am technically a high school dropout but I am in a GED program that my mom has signed off on. Before she told me I could leave this summer but because of some things I'm not sure if I'll still be allowed to. I feel like for my mental health to improve I need to leave but I'm not sure what the laws are and what I can do. I feel like its not healthy and my mom is constantly telling me to pack my bags and leave but I'm scared that if I actually do that she will A resent me or b call the cops. Any advice?
              Last edited by ccsmod4; 11-02-2017, 08:36 AM.

              Comment


              • #15
                Reply: Hi I am 17 years old and am trying to leave Florida..

                Hi,
                Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.

                It sounds like you are trying to decide if you should leave home and go to Colorado.
                That is a big decision, not only are you faced with getting your mother’s approval but there is also the question as to how you plan to survive.
                NRS is here to listen and here to help however we do not offer advice but we can listen to your situation and explore options.

                If you would like to talk more about your situation and explore some options please contact NRS at 1-800 Runaway (786-2929).
                We hope to hear from you soon.

                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)

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

                Comment

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