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    17 yr old runaway in sc

    Jurisdiction / State: South Carolina

    What recourse does a parent have for a 17 yr old runaway possibly using drugs? Is there a law to make him come home or get treatment?


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    In 41 states it is not a crime when a minor runs away from home. However, in nine states (Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wyoming) a child can be charged with running away. In these jurisdictions, a runaway is in violation of a “status offense”. This means it is against the law only when someone under 18 years old does it. In your case, you reside in one of the nine states!

    You can contact the police and have your child charged with this offense. You can also inform them of his purported drug abuse.

    Once your child is located, he'll be brought before the juvenile court. He will be given help, if adjudicated as a delinquent.

    Your son might also be classified as a habitual runaway in need of help. The court process has many different names, but it is commonly called a “Child in Need of Supervision” (CHINS) process. Runaway youth are considered CHINS in 34 states. The CHINS process can provide services to youth and families. CHINS can also result in punishment for the child. A child might receive a fine, suspended driving privileges, mandatory drug screening, probation, and incarceration in a juvenile facility. Children will also receive appropriate educational services and drug counselling.

    http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:...&ct=clnk&gl=us

    http://www.focusas.com/SouthCarolina.html
    Last edited by army judge; 03-02-2010 at 03:44 AM.

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    How long til he is 18?
    If he will be 18 soon then there honestly isn't much help available. He would be an adult before any sort of action would take place. If he just did turn 17 then you can still report him as missing every time he runs away. Depending on your county he could be picked up for curfew violations or for being a runaway... but might be returned home rather than taken to a juvenile hall. If the police locate him and find him under the influence or in possession of drugs then they could possibly take him into custody. They pretty much need a criminal offense to book him, not just a status offense.
    As for treatment, that is totally up to you. You are his parent and you can still require him to go. It won't do a bit of good though unless he is willing to accept treatment.

    You need to find a way to hang some consequences over him. Finish school, get a job, be home on time, etc.... or else move out when 18 and live by his own rules.... and you have to really mean it.

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    And now we all know in south Carolina, the state I reside in, when your seventeen you may leave your house without being a runaway but your parents must take you back if you want. Once your 18 your parents can kick you the hell out. And 16 & unders are runaways

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