What happens if a minor runs away from home?

Asked on June 4, 2009 under Criminal Law, Maryland


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

A lot also depends on the reasons that the minor left home.  If there are allegations of child abuse - physical or sexual or the like than that will result in a child not being returned to the home.  In such an instance if the child is picked up they will would be placed in foster care or a state facility of some kind, pending an investigation.

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

That depends on a number of things, but ideally, his or her parents will notify the police, and there will be some attempt to circulate the name, description and ideally a photograph of the child.

In some circumstances, helping a minor avoid being found or caught by his or her parents can mean serious legal trouble, and it's best not to get involved, other than to try and persuade the minor to go home, or to some protective agency, and cooperating with law enforcement.

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