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14 yo in Florida. Need legal advice for staying somewhere.

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  • 14 yo in Florida. Need legal advice for staying somewhere.

    In Chapter 984 Section 085 b of the 2020 Florida Statutes, it states "A person may not knowingly provide aid to an unmarried minor who has run away from home without first contacting the minor’s parent or guardian or notifying a law enforcement officer. The aid prohibited under this paragraph includes assisting the minor in obtaining shelter, such as hotel lodgings."

    If the people who would be harboring me were to notify the police that they were keeping me, would the police come to the house and attempt to bring me back?

    Thanks for any help.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you for writing us here at NRS. It sounds like you either have already left home or you are considering it, and you want to know more about the possible legal consequences for leaving home. We are not legal experts and cannot give legal advice, but we can speak generally on this. There is not a universal way that police respond to runaway reports and protocols can vary by state and even county. We suggest that any young person with this question reach out to their local police department for more specific information.

    18 is usually the age you are able to leave home without permission from your parents. If you leave home as a minor, your parents can report you as a runaway to the police. Running away is not illegal but it is a status offense. If your parents know where you are staying or you are found by police, they can return you home. Anyone you stay with could be at risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. From what we know this is not very common and usually police do not punish someone for simply giving a young person a safe place to stay. You mentioned wanting to know what would happen if you leave home and the people you stay with contact police. Because your parents can decide where you live until you turn 18, police would more than likely notify your parents. If your parents give permission for you to stay there then police would not intervene. However, if your parents do not give their consent then they can ask that police bring you back home.

    If your safety is at all a concern we encourage you to report this to the police or child protective services. You can learn more about the reporting process and what CPS might do by contacting Child Help at If you would like to talk more about your situation and explore your possible options, please do not hesitate to contact NRS by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or through live chat at

    Be safe,
    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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