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When a juvenile runs away are they free from the law when they turn 18?

Palestine, TX |

A 15 year old girl is on probation in Anderson County Tx. She is sent to a drug rehab center in Dallas. She runs away from the center with the intention of staying gone until she turns 18. Can she still be brought up on charges after she's 18?

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

Yes. She is a fugitive if she was sent to the rehab by the criminal justice center. One cannot simply make a case go away by running until one turns older. And, chances are she WILL be caught before she is 17 (the age of adulthood for criminal law purposes) and anyone who provides her with help while she is a runaway (until age 18 - the age at which the law allows her to decide where she lives) can be charged with harboring a runaway.

Cynthia Henley


Running away does not make the problem any better. She can still be prosecuted after she is 18. The statute of limitations can be "tolled" if the state can prove she secreted herself from the jurisdiction.. If they file an information or indictment, the statute of limitations would then pretty much be irrelevant. I mention the statute of limitations because three years is the base limitations for most felonies. in Texas and that is the time between 15 and 18 years. Being on the lam for three years can be very very stressful, especially for a 15 through 18 year old.

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Running away is not the answer to getting out of trouble. The law will catch up to her and the terms of her probation will be waiting for her once she is caught.

This answer is meant for information purposes only. No attorney-client relationship has been established between the Avvo user and Cesar Garcia.