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  • legal stuff, runaway

    I live near... I need to know what the laws are for runaways here who are about 15 or 16 years old. I heard that if I called someone (like a runaway hotline or something) and told them who I was, and where I was staying (ie a friend's house) and give them a set date that I'd return home (a couple days), they'd keep it confidential until the date I set to come home. Is that true?

    The laws I need to know need to answer the following questions:

    -Would I get in trouble for running away?
    -Would I get in trouble if I went somewhere safe to get away from an arguing family?
    -Would my mom be able to get cops to take me home if someone knows where I am?

    See I don't care if my mom knows where I am I just don't want any contact with her for the next few days. I just can't handle all this s*** she's dumping on me.

  • #2
    Re: legal stuff, runaway

    Hello,
    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. We empathize with your difficult situation and hope we could help in some way. It sounds like you truly needed some time away from home and we hear you on the fact that there is a lot on your plate right now. You note that you did not mind if your mother found out where you are and that your intention is to return home in a few days. Therefore, returning home is something that only you can know for sure that you are ready to do and eventually figure out what you want to come out of this situation. We are not in the position to interpret the laws in your area but laws vary from state to state but we could offer you places to call to find out more about runaway laws in your state. Generally, if a youth run away from home, the custodial parent has the right to file a runaway report on you within a few days. It is not a crime to runaway from home but you get listed within the police database with the status as runaway. You do not necessarily get in trouble with the law but it depends on what happens when you get back home to your mother and what consequences she choose to impose. If you are listed as a runaway with your local police, was found to be involved with any crime since that time and the cops intervene, the cops can detain you until they figure out if you go home or stand charges. If you run away and your mother file a runaway report, she has the right to bring charges against the individual you stay with for harboring a runaway. It depends on whether or not you are in a small town or big city but the cops rarely make stops to people's home to locate a runaway unless you were in danger. On the general scale you are still considered a minor becuase of your age. Unless it is different where you are, once you are 15-16 years of age you are still the responsibility of those with custody of you. However, consider this if it is of interest to you and know that the laws for emcancipation where you are is a new process and comparatively speaking the laws there are liberal and emancipation can be easily accomplished. There are no need for an attorney and it can be accomplished fairly quickly but there is a process that involves applications and it is available at the county clerk in your specific county of residence. However, you have to pay a small fee. We want your information through this form of communication to remain confidential so you are welcome to call us at 1800Runaway for further assistance. If and when you call our crisis hotline, your information will remain confidential and no one is every going to know that you called us. We do have a message service here at 1800-Runaway in case you want to call us to set that up. We have the capability to leave a message for your mother. Once you call and give us your name and your mother's information we can contact her with the message to say that you are safe but we do not let your parents know where you are calling from. The way it works is that whoever takes the message pass it on to another liner here so that we maintain our confidential policy that way. You mother cannot ask this person where you are since the message was passed on and our policy is to always pretend that we do not what is being asked of us. We also have a conference call service if you want us to mediate a conversation between you and your mother. We hope that you remain safe and use this time to empower yourself. We are here 24hrs/day for you to call us and look forward to hearing from you. Good luck.

    Sincerely,

    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)

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