Police officers are especially educated in how to locate a runaway, so informing them quickly allows them to begin searching as soon as possible. It may provide the authorities with information about where your kid has gone and will assist them in keeping in touch with you in the event that any evidence is discovered.
Runaway teens who don't reach out to their families can be put in dangerous situations. If you believe that your child is a runaway, call your local police department immediately or go to the nearest emergency room. Doctors will be able to help identify any injuries that your teen may have acquired during his or her escape.
Many states have laws in place to protect runaway youth by requiring law enforcement to investigate any reports of a missing juvenile. These investigations can be done either on a voluntary basis or by order of the court. If you believe that your child has been abducted, call 911 immediately. Abductions are often reported because they are so traumatic for both victims and parents that they cannot forget about their children even for a moment.
Some states also require public schools to report sightings of missing students. So if your child goes missing after school hours, check with teachers and staff members who might have seen him or her after class was dismissed for the day.
Finally, keep track of your child's friends and neighbors' kids.
A runaway can be reported to the police at any moment by his or her parents or legal guardians. Federal law prevents any law enforcement agency from imposing a waiting time before taking a complaint of a runaway kid. If the police are not contacted immediately, they cannot take action based on information more than three days old.
If you have been declared an emancipated minor by a court, that status ends when you reach the age of 18. During that time, you still need your parent's permission to travel outside of the country or state. However, as an emancipated minor, you no longer need your parent's permission to work, live independently, or vote in federal elections. Also, as an emancipated minor, you can give consent for medical treatment. Emancipation does not affect criminal charges against you that may have occurred while you were under the age of 18. If you are arrested and charged with a crime, the police must contact your parents or guardian to notify them of where you are being held until you can be released on bail or other conditions. The police cannot hold you in custody without first doing so.
As part of their role in ensuring your safety, your parents or guardians can also petition a court to have your home address removed from public records. This is called "involuntary termination of parental rights".
The statute gives police officers the authority to seek for runaway 16- and 17-year-olds. Officers who locate them may: notify their parents, submit them to juvenile court, transport them to a child-serving organization, or detain them for up to 12 hours. If the minor refuses to return home, officials can hold them in custody until they are placed under the supervision of a guardian or other person as specified by law.
In addition to the laws that apply to all young people, certain additional requirements apply to those who allege themselves to be "runaway" status. The individual must have left his or her parent or guardian without permission. Further, the alleged runaway must indicate his or her intention to not return home or to another specified location. Finally, there must be evidence that public safety is not being threatened because no one knows where she has gone.
If you are accused of being a runaway, it is important to understand that this is an adult crime with serious consequences. Not only could you face arrest and incarceration, but you could also lose your rights to attend school, to vote, and many other privileges that come with being an adult in society. It is also important to remember that even if you are found not guilty of being a runaway, your parents still have the right to file a petition seeking to have you declared a ward of the state. At that point, an attorney could possibly be able to get your charges dismissed or reduced.
Call the cops. If you believe someone has fled, contact 911 right once. A missing person report for a kid under the age of eighteen does not have to be filed within 24 hours. If you are a friend of the runaway, first call the parents and inform them of your concerns. Provide the police with a full description of the suspect. If you know where they are, tell officers so they can issue an alert.
The legislation allows police to search for a 16- or 17-year-old whose parent or guardian reports him missing. It authorizes the police to notify the parents where the kid is if they discover him, but only if doing so would not endanger the youth physically or mentally. The law allows authorities many alternatives for dealing with a runaway youngster they find. For example, if the youth refuses to return home, police can file an affidavit seeking a court order authorizing them to detain the child until he turns 18.
Any type of crime in any state can be reported to local police. However, not all police departments are the same - some may take you seriously, others may not. Some cities have officers who specifically focus on youth issues while others do not. Before you call 911, please know that not all agencies respond to these calls nor do they always follow through with them. You should contact your local police department to see what type of response they give to missing person's cases. If they do not take these reports seriously, then perhaps looking into other options is best for your situation.
Parents, on the other hand, are permitted to file runaway reports, which are recorded into a national law enforcement database. In most cases, police will not actively seek for runaway kids, but will detain them if they make contact and afterwards call a parent or legal guardian to make arrangements for the youth to return home.
Unfortunately, we at the NRS cannot tell you exactly what would happen if a 17-year-old ran away. Laws on that issue differ from state to state, therefore we recommend calling your local non-emergency police number for further information.
All missing minors, including runaways, must be reported to the National Crime Information Center/FBI within two hours of being reported to the police. If you fail to report a runaway in this time frame, they will be subject to arrest. Depending on the state, runaways may be able to petition a court for emancipation from their parents, which would make them eligible for many services not available to undocumented immigrants.
Police departments use several methods to locate missing people, including social media, community outreach programs, and databases of known offenders. Runaways are often able to find work as dancers or models and can earn money to support themselves without reporting their income. The cost of living in some large cities is high, so if a young person decides not to return home, there should be no reason to worry about their safety.