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  • Almost 17

    Okay, so I'm about to be 17 in January, and I was wondering if I leave home, would the police bring me back? My school in the town that I live in is shutting down, and I feel like the education isn't good enough, and my parents don't understand. I'm a junior, almost a senior and I don't want this to mess me up next year. ( My GPA, and rank, etc.). I've been reading everywhere that in Texas (where I live) that when you turn 17 you are legally aloud to move out of your house. Once I turn 17 I'm planning on moving with my aunt and continue school and get a job. Her and my Uncle are completely fine with it, because this town is horrible and she doesn't want my brother and I living here. I've even talked to some police officers here and they've told me the same thing, about how as long as I'm in a safe environment and I continue school. I just don't want my aunt to get in trouble or anything if I do go. Any help?

  • #2
    RE: Almost 17

    Hello there –

    Thank you for getting into touch with us here at the National Runaway Safeline, we are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we possibly can. From your email to us, it sounds like you are going through a very tough time right now dealing with everything. Seems like it’s getting very overwhelmed with everything that has been going on. It’s brave of you to reach out during your time of need. It can be very frustrating not knowing what to do or what your next step might be from this point on and thinking about what would happen if you did run away. Hopefully we can help you with some of those questions you have.

    Generally what typically happens in each state is if you are below the legal age of majority (18 in most states except Alabama and Nebraska [19 or upon marriage], and Mississippi [21]), your parents or legal guardian would be able to make a runaway report in the event that you do run away. Since it’s only considered a statues offense and not a crime to run away, the only thing that would happen is that the police will pick you up and bring you back home. This is of course if you had any interaction with the police directly or if they stopped you to ask you a few questions.

    It certainly sounds like you’ve done a bit of research on finding out whether or not you would be allowed to leave your home without your parents giving you permission. It is something that we advise you ask your local police because we here at NRS are not legal experts. Since you have already done so, we do hear that there are some cases in which a responding police officer will not take a runaway repot for a 17 year old youth. It’s like you said that they might go over and do a wellness check to see if you’re okay and report back to your parents. If they do end up making a runaway report with the local police and you are planning on staying with someone else, your parent can press charges on those individuals for harboring a runaway when they are not giving accurate information on your whereabouts. That could lead to a number of different legal issues. So that might be something to keep in mind as well.

    At the same time your parents could give you permission to live with someone else (i.e your Aunt and Uncle). Is this something that you’ve talked to them about already? Maybe haven’t a very specific plan about what that living arrangement might help them see the picture better and also help you see what is possible and what is not possible.

    If you give us a call on our 24/7 hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) we could help you find resources in your area and could potentially help you brainstorm a possible solution to the issues you are having. We would love to talk to you about what has been going on recently. We also have an online chat service available every day.
    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)

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