16 year olds rights

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16 year olds rights

i am a 16 yearold girl, and i have a 19 year old boyfriend, if we decide to runaway with money and a car, what could my parents do?

Asked on July 1, 2009 under Criminal Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

In Pennsylvania, the age of consent for sexual relations is 16 years old.  This applies across the board, to males and females, and to heterosexual as well as homosexual conduct.  So charges for statutory staturoey rape cannot be filed.  However, your parents could try to claim that your boyfriend has contributed to the delinquency of a minor.  Whether or not the claim would prevail is another matter.

However, while criminal action is is more than likely not an issue, your parents would have the right to keep you from leaving or bringing you back if you do leave.  Unless you were emancipated (something that is very difficult to do) your parents still maintain the legal right to control and/or to participate in any decision-making about your life.  For example, that means that your parents the right to determine where the you live, or go to school, or how your money is spent.

If your living situation is abusive in some way, than you need to report that to the authorities; however, if this is just a situation where you and your boyfriend "are in love and need to be together" - don't do anything foolish.  If you want to prove how mature you are, running off with someone who is still themselves in their teens in not the way to do it.  Your parents are not the enemy.  They want the best for you.


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