Can My Parents Call The Cops If I Leave At 17? A Must-Read 

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Most kids enjoy behaving like adults, which shouldn’t be the case. Kids should always behave like kids. They shouldn’t try to act like adults. 

Most kids at 17 consider themselves adults. After all, there’s only a year gap between 17 and 18 years. And this would make you wonder why the rush to become an adult. 

One of the benefits of being an adult is the freedom to make decisions. As an adult, you can rent your apartment without having your parents call the cops on you. You can become independent as an adult, secure a job and sign a lease agreement. 

Your parents don’t have the right to make decisions and enforce it on you once you reach the age of 18. You can leave home without them calling the cops on you. 

Now, this leaves us with a crucial question. 

Can my parents call the cops if I leave at 17?

Yes, your parents can call the cops since you haven’t reached the age of majority. The age of majority is 18 years in some states in the U.S. However, it’s 19 in Nebraska and Alabama and 21 in Mississippi. 

When a child finally gets to the age of majority, he or she can leave home in search of greener pastures. It’s considered legal. But the parents may decide to stop supporting the child financially and otherwise. 

The law concerning a runaway teen differs from one state to another. When a child below 17 runs away from home, most states don’t view it as a crime. 

In such a case, the police cannot remand the runaway teen in prison. The best they can do is hold the child in custody, pending when the parents or relatives arrive. 

When a teen runs away from home in Texas, the law sees the situation as a status offense. A runaway teen could be forcefully returned home or kept in a detention center pending when the parents arrive. A judge also has the power to place the child on probation. 

However, in Michigan, things are a bit different. It’s not a crime when a child runs away from home. So there’s a chance that the police won’t even bother themselves when called to handle such cases. 

Continue reading to know more. 

Will The Cops Return Me To My Parents If I Leave Home At 17?

The life of teens is filled with drama. Most of them want to grow up and become adults overnight. They want to be free from the so-called shackles they think their parents have placed them in.

But let’s be honest. Some parents unknowingly increase their children’s desire to leave home. But if you’re 17 or younger, hear this. Leaving your parents might be considered an offense under certain circumstances.   

So, the reason you left your parents at such an age would determine your fate. If you were abused emotionally or physically, the police and law might treat you differently. 

Why? You have a reasonable cause to leave home. 

A Handy Tip: A runaway teen is one that left home without reasonable cause. If you ask such teens why they left home, the answer would be because they want freedom. They want to be free from their parents’ rules and regulations or occasional scolding. 

If you run away from your parents in a state like Texas, you could get into bigger trouble once found. 

However, if you ran away from your parents to escape abuse, you would be treated differently. You’ll be categorized as a teen that requires supervision. 

In Virginia, the government handles such cases. The abused child would not be returned home. Instead, he or she would be placed with a group home, foster home, adult friend, or another family. 

In Maine, the DHSS (Department of Health and Human Services) takes care of teens that run away from home. It doesn’t matter if it’s a case of abuse or runaway. 

If the DHSS have reasons to believe that returning the child home would cause harm or if the runaway teen refuses to go back home, they may take other actions. 

The action could be to move the child to another family, foster home, group home, or an adult friend. 

Why Would A Teen Consider Leaving Home At 17? 

Leaving home at 17 isn’t an easy decision. So there must be reasons a teen would wake up one morning and start contemplating leaving home. 

According to NRS (National Runaway Switchboard), over 30 percent of runaways take such an action for several reasons. Let’s discuss why. 

Neglect or Child Abuse:

Whether it’s emotional or physical, and abuse is abuse. They affect one’s mental health and general wellbeing the same way. You’ll find abused children sad or sitting by themselves most of the time. 

Children need love to achieve their goals in life. You can’t expect a child that’s facing abuse at home to devote maximum concentration in class. 

Even if that child is happy, it will only be for a while. The moment the school closes, the child’s mood might change. The thought of facing his or her abusive parents at home would come rushing back to the child’s mind. 

Negligence is also making many teens run away from their parents. Kids see how other parents pay attention to their children and love them. They see how happy other kids are with their parents. 

If a teen isn’t getting the same thing from the parents, running away becomes a viable option. 

So, if you’re a parent abusing your child, it’s high time you stopped. It would help if you also didn’t neglect your child. Otherwise, he or she may decide to run away to get that attention elsewhere. 

 Shower your children with love. And if you must correct them, do so with love too. 

Seeking freedom:

Most children consider their parents’ rules to be too stringent. And breaking the rules is even worst because of the punishment. 

With these rules, most children feel imprisoned by their parents even though that’s not the case. Most teens want to behave like adults. They want to go out at will, visit places adults go, and even do stuff they do. 

If they don’t get the freedom to do these things, they make plans to run away from their parents. 

The parents are abusing drugs or alcohol:

A home where either parents or both abuse drugs or are alcoholic isn’t the best place to raise a child. Why? Physical or emotional abuse is inevitable in such homes. 

There’s also a possibility that the child may want to imitate the parents. The child may have also gotten tired of watching his or her drunken dad abusing the mother.

All these might force a child to run away from home. 

The child uses drugs or alcohol:

A lot happens in schools nowadays that go unnoticed and unpunished. That’s why it’s only reasonable for parents to keep an eye on their kids’ activities. 

Most teens started doing hard drugs and consuming alcohol from high school. And if you ask such kids what they desire most, it’s the freedom to continue doing drugs or alcohol without the parents’ intervention. 

If the parents always prevent or make it difficult for a teen who abuses drugs to use their drugs, they might consider running away from home.

Sexual orientation:

When most children start developing pubic hair around their private area, they start seeing themselves as adults. And once they become sexually active, controlling the urge becomes difficult. 

Most teens, especially females, are usually banned from attending parties or visiting their boyfriends. They always want to go out and associate. But their parents have another plan. 

It would get to a stage where such teens would start thinking of ways to run away from home. Most of these kids believe running away will give them the freedom to do whatever they desire. But that might not be the case. 

Why Teens Shouldn’t Consider Leaving Their Parents At 17

It’s hard being a 17-year-old, especially in this present time. There’s a lot of peer pressure and changes taking place in the body too. All these heaps so much pressure on teens at 17. Don’t forget they have a year left to become adults legally. 

But please listen. You might be going through a lot right now or have a thousand and one reasons to leave your parents, but don’t! 

Remember that when you leave your parents, you’re going to start paying your bills and taking full responsibility for your actions. You would need a place to stay, a job and other things. 

Alright, let’s look at reasons teens shouldn’t run away from home. 

You might have challenges securing a job:

If you’re thinking of running away from your parents to gain freedom, you’re wrong. You might have the freedom you so desire but at a heavy price. Have you also considered how you’re going to pay your bills? 

You have to work to pay your bills. And hear this; it’s not easy for runaways to secure a job. Even adults themselves are finding it hard to secure a good job these days. 

As a teen, most employers expect you to have a parent. Even if you manage to convince employers that your parents are no more, what about the other relatives that you have?

So, don’t run away. It’s not worth it. If you feel you could get harmed if you continue living with your parents, report the matter to the authorities. 

You cannot rent a house at that age:

As a teen, no landlord would be careless enough to give you their apartment. You can’t even sign a lease if you’re 17 years old.

So, even if you think you have enough money to rent a house, most landlords would not be ready to rent their apartment to you. They know the implication of such actions. 

The danger of living on the street:

If you’re thinking of running away to live on the street, squash that idea immediately. You’re only going to put yourself in harm’s way. 

Firstly, you would face harsh weather conditions. Only a handful of people in the street survive the cold winter months. 

You’re also handing yourself over to criminals by choosing to live on the street. These include those coming for your belongings and possibly, to cause you bodily harm. A rape attack is also a possibility. 

So, no regardless of how bad your condition is at home, don’t run away. At best, you can discuss with your parents to permit you to live with a relative. 

You have to put your education on hold:

Education isn’t the only way to achieve success. But it can open doors of opportunities for you. So, if you’re thinking of leaving your parents, think about your education. Who’s going to sponsor your education?

Don’t forget that education is quite expensive. And even if you feel that you can work while studying, your earnings won’t be enough. 


Can my parents call the cop if I leave at 17? We have provided the answer to this question. But the truth is, at 17, you haven’t reached the age of majority in the United States of America. 

You’re close to being an adult and nearing a stage of your life where you can make decisions without anyone interfering. That’s the fact. 

However, since you’re only 17, you’re still underage. It’s best to wait and allow the transition to adulthood to happen smoothly. 

Leaving your parents at this age can ruin your life. You could struggle to gain your balance and lose time and opportunities along the line. 

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