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Can I be placed on probation, sent to a juvenille detention center, or experience any other punishment for running away ?

Florissant, MO |

The runaway call was false. My mom told me that I can leave the house, but I have to be back by 9pm. I left at 6am, and came back at 6pm. At 10am she called me in as a runaway. I was at a basketball tournament all day, and I don't see this as running away. My mom just did this to get me in " trouble ". I'll be 17 in two weeks, and you are allowed to leave. I plan to do this. My mom knows this, and she is doing things like this to " get at me ". Can I face any kind of punishing ? In my knowledge if what I did was " running away " it is only a status offense. I just want to know the likely/possible punishments. I was told that this was referred to Juvenille. I honestly feel as if I haven't done anything to deserve punishment.

Attorney Answers 3

  1. If you were called in 16 hours after you were back home, and were at home in your own bed overnight, I suspect you have very little to worry about. Might be a good idea to line up names and contact information on folks who saw you throughout the day at the tourney. If any are teachers or other parents, so much the better.

  2. Yes, if the court's determine that you in fact ran away from your home, then the punishment is left within the sound discretion of the judge. All of the punishments listed are within the sound discretion of the juvenile court judge. However, based upon the facts indicated, it is doubtful that your actions would be deemed as a runaway, as there was no intent to runaway. There are also consequences for making false charges that your mother could face. Generally, for the first offense if found delinquent, there is a progressive punishment that is typically recommended. The probation officer could recommend some sort of pre-trial intervention program, which would require some sort of participation in program services for a period of time, then the charge will be dismissed. Then, typically, probation for a period of time is the next level of punishment, followed by detention for repeat offenses. The court does not have to follow any specific recommendation, but they usually do, unless there are some other circumstances. For instance, if you have a wanton disregard for parental authority, disrespectfully to your parents, skipping school or not attending school, then these are the sort of things that could impact any recommendation of the probation officer. Please seek the advice of local counsel.

  3. This sounds like a relatively minor offense. However, technically, you can get in trouble for running away. You could get summoned to juvenile court and then a judge would hear your case. It doesn't sound like that will happen in your case though since you weren't gone that long.

    I suggest you try to work things out with your mom.

    Please be advised that answering questions on this webpage is done to provide general information only and that by responding to a question we have not established an attorney client relationship. In order to establish such a relationship we would need to meet in person and go over more details of your case. Thank you.

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