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15 returning 18

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  • 15 returning 18

    im 15 years old and there are so many factors of my homelife that causes me to want to run away. I am in the process of having courtdates because i keyed a car.
    i was wondering if i runaway now and dont return until im 18, could i still be introuble even though im an adult?

  • #2
    RE: 15 returning 18

    Hello there –

    Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. Looks like you were able to find and post on our public forum. We hope that helping you through your crisis, there are others that will be able to get help as well by reading through the thread. It seems like there are a lot of issues going on at home, especially when you are thinking about leaving home without getting your parents’ permission. It must be hard at 15 years old to have to go through all of this. Hopefully we can help.
    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.

    Now normally it isn’t a crime to run away, but it sounds like you might be going to court for some trouble that you’ve gotten into recently. So that might make things a little different in your situation. If you miss your court date (due to running away) it might cause more trouble for you down the road. Meaning that if you were to coming out of hiding at 18 when they runaway report turns into a missing person’s report, you still be in trouble for missing your court date years later. Depending on the outcome with the judge, they might even issue an arrest warrant. But since we aren’t legal experts here we can’t tell you for sure. The best thing to do would be to reach out to your local non-emergency police number and ask hypnotical questions to get a more firm answer.

    Since you’re only 15 years old, your parents or legal guardian can even send to police over to where you have been planning on staying to come and get you to bring you back home. If you didn’t have anywhere to stay, staying at a youth shelter might be difficult as well because most shelters are required to call a child’s parents or legal guardian if they are under the age of 18. That is to let them know where they are and even then most aren’t going to be a lot term living situation for youth. We don't want you to be on the streets were it can get to be a little dangerous so a resource that you might be able to look into if you’re looking for a safe place to go, would be to visit The National Safeplace website ( This organization provides access to immediate help and supportive resources for youth in need. You can look up your city and state to see if there is any safe places near you listed. They are usually places like designated school, fire stations, libraries, etc. So that is always an option if you feel like go to talk to someone in person and what has been going on.

    If you give us a call on our 24/7 fully confidential hotline, at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) we could help answer some of those questions you have and could potentially help you brainstorm a solution to the issues you are having. We also have an online chat service available every night from 4:30-11:30PM CST that is available through our website ( if you don’t feel like calling in to talk on the phone.
    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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